Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Way of Jimmy: It's a Pyramid!

So the assignment to tackle this week is actually something up my alley, thankfully.


"Imagine that I am hosting exchange students who have never visited the U.S. What particular things about "your people" (your culture - national, regional, local, familial) would you need to explain during their visit - and how?"

Basically, I would inform the students about three specific topics: Morals, Ethics, and Laws. Specifically, these three topics can be looked at as a pyramid.

On the bottom of it, you have morals. These are on an intrapersonal level; only family, relatives, and friends are affected by this. Is eating together for dinner important? Are group activities such as family reunions and get-togethers a necessity? What kind of virtues and values are worked towards, and what do they tie into? For example, is missing a family outing frowned upon? Or is having a streak of independence a sign of approval?

Above the base, you have ethics. This level specifically is the on-start of the interpersonal level; more so, ethics on the standards of the general public. Like the word itself, these are the grey area... or is it gray? Regardless, they are the actions and words we use to interact that may be encouraged or frowned upon. Is helping an elderly across the street acceptable? What level of sexual innuendo can you engage with the opposite sex before it becomes inappropriate? Sarcasm and the level of humor is something that needs to be adjusted regularly because each individual within a culture operates on different standards.

Topping the pyramid of course, is law. Last, but not least, this is interpersonal but unlike morals and ethics, law is definite. It is final. And it is unchangeable. What is the drinking age in this country compared to where the students stay from? Are certain drugs and activities legal here compared to their home? What is the driving age, and are there any curfews restricting traveling abroad or locally?

Of course, this information isn't supposed to be filed in a PowerPoint presentation. Mostly, I would communicate this in two days easily. Family interaction, activities, bingo. Morals are covered. Setting times, meetings, and appointments, while allowing submersion into the culture by their self, it's liberating and guided. Ethics are up to date. And last, outings, informative snippets of things that are and aren't allowed, and careful warnings ahead of time at the right time would be done as they occur. Laws complete, checklist secure.

Because this is long and I don't want to bore all of you reading, I'll end it here and give anyone who needs one an intermission.


If not, continue on over to the next one...

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