Wry Exchange

School Bowling?
04-15-08, 12:29 pm
Filed under: Culture, Home | Tags: , , ,

 Husband, 2 FES, and I attended a luncheon yesterday.  The speaker was a local school representative who spoke about bowling and teamwork.   He talked about a program ‘Bowling for Bears’, our school mascot.  He spoke about teaching kids about bowling in the first years of school.  He told us how everyone has to work together to learn about bowling.  He talked about teams, and getting everyone in the community  involved.   He mentioned that bowling wasn’t just done by big jocks, but by popular girls as well. 
I thought the speech was kinda weird, and my mind wandered. 
About 90% of his speech was over before I realized the man was not talking about bowling.  He finally said we have to STOP bowling.  What? Why?  He just spent 10 minutes talking about teaching kids about bowling. He had been mispronouncing saying ‘bullying.’   OH.  Well, then the speech made perfect sense.  (But honestly, most of it did make sense when ‘bowling’ was substituted for ‘bullying.’)
Duh.  I made the mistake to telling Husband and the FES.  Oh, did they laugh! 


Family Hosting Rules-Part 3

ES Advisor/Counselor The advisor is the student’s guardian in the US. The advisor will enroll the student in school, speak regularly with the guidance office, and monitor grades. The ES advisor is an experienced volunteer The advisor helps you and the student to become a family. Please talk with the ES advisor often, at least weekly for the first month that the student lives with your family. Discuss the student’s progress and behavior. Don’t wait for small problems to grow larger. The ES may honestly not know why you are unhappy with him/her. The only thing many students know about living in America comes from TV and the movies, or previous exchange students. Please judge each student as an individual.
Food/Cooking Don’t assume the student knows how to cook or can even make a sandwich. Show your student where the food is kept and how to work the microwave, stove, toaster, etc. Ask the student what they typically have for each meal. Many countries eat later than us; have lunch as the largest meal, eat lunch-type foods for breakfast, etc. Tell the student what foods he may eat, and which are being saved for a later meal. Respect cultural differences-some foods we eat are not eaten in the ES’s home country. The student may not know the “American’ name for some foods. A cookbook with plenty of photos is a big help in the beginning. So is a trip to a large grocery store, so the student can choose familiar foods. Many students are used to most meals being made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Many have never eaten in a car
Early Return The student will be sent home immediately for several reasons. The student is not permitted to use or be around drugs. If someone is using drugs where the ES is, the student is expected to leave immediately leave or call for a ride home. The exchange students are not permitted to drive. Ever. The students cannot ride in a vehicle with someone that has been drinking. (But don’t scare the student. We had a student stay with us who would not get in the car if my husband had a beer with dinner when we dined out, unless I drove.) The student can’t be at a party where there is underage drinking. The ES is supposed to leave or call for a ride. The student is representing our program, his /her country, and your family. The ES is not to embarrass any of us. The decision to send a student home is a very serious one.
Changing Families If you’re happy, and the student is happy, we are  happy. We strongly recommend leaving a student in place if the student and family wish to stay together. Everyone should have a ‘back-up’ family, just in case of problems. If you want the student to move, or the student wants to move, it’s also fine. We understand the student is here for one year, and we all want it to be the best year possible. Most counselors try to remain fluid. If the student moves, the Counselor must report the new family’s address and phone number within 10 days to the program Chairman, along with the reason why the student has moved. We must send the information to the State Department. The new host family’s Criminal Records check must be completed before the student moves. 
Contact with Authorities If a student has any contact with legal authorities, including truancy officers, police, and juvenile court officials, you must notify the Assistant Chairman and Inbound Chairman immediately. This includes citations, summonses, and arrests.
Language Most students say ‘to learn English’ when we ask why they chose to come to the USA. Please assist your student in that goal. Don’t permit them to watch native language TV. Try to keep native language phone calls and IM chats to a minimum. Please don’t speak to them in their native language; it’s not a kindness. Please require them to speak English after the first month at all times. When other students visit, please remind them to speak English. We can tell the difference between students who speak English all the time, and students who continue to speak their native language.
Natural Family We have no rules for students communicating with their family. (Other than the phone call saying I arrived, and I’m fine). Some ES’s will feel comfortable calling home twice a year; others will talk almost daily. Some students become less homesick when they talk to their family or friends, the opposite is also true. Talk with your student if you detect a problem. The student’s family may wish to visit. We strongly recommend they wait until after 1/1. The student should have a chance to adjust to living here, and become proficient in English.
Termination Students may be terminated for a violation of the “4-D’s” Drinking, Drugs, Driving, and (serious) Dating. Students using drugs will be immediately terminated. Students may be terminated for other reasons, such as shoplifting, running away, physical violence, and school disciplinary problems.
Identification and Passports Please assist your student in obtaining a state ID card. The Ids are less than ten dollars, and may be purchased at a any Driver’s License Bureau. The student will need their Passport, DS-2019, and I-901.They should use the state ID card for identification purposes, and leave the passport and papers in a SAFE location. The only reason students need the passport during the year is if they travel outside the US.