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Archive for November 21st, 2009

Differences.

Things that are different about North Carolina (Durham in particular):

1. Everybody wears khakis and skirts to church. It’s just how I remember it being in Arkansas. These crazy southerners. Don’t worry though, Dave and I still represent with our denim.

2. There are roundabouts everywhere which on the one hand is fun for me as it reminds me of England, but on the other is not so fun because people here do NOT know what the rules are. It makes me so mad. What part of yield to the left do people not understand??

3. The roads and roadsigns are terribly confusing. It’s very frustrating for people who don’t know where they’re going half of the time.

3. Fall is beautiful. Or should I say, fall exists. Our backyard is now covered with a thick layer of red leaves. You can’t even see the grass, and they’re still falling.

4. People are nice. Very nice. Almost so nice that I start to get suspicious. This is most obvious at the grocery store. Yesterday a woman saw me putting a box of soup in my cart and she practically grabbed my hand and led me to another isle where there were coupons for a dollar off the soup. It was really nice of her but I must admit, I kept wondering if she got some kind of deal out of the referral! The last time I was shopping there I got trapped in a 15 minute conversation with a 60 year old woman about why the brand name of condensed milk cost so much more than the Kroger brand when the ingredients were exactly the same. She seemed to be appalled at this and I pretended to be equally so (as you do in a conversation like this with a stranger) so we both threw the Kroger brand can in our shopping carts in silent protest and shuffled away with our heads held high feeing like we’d beaten the system. I waited until she had disappeared around the corner and then swooped back to switch it for the Nestle brand because I just can’t settle when it comes to baking ingredients.

5. Apparently they take child care seriously here. Who knew. To do the job that I was doing back in Texas (a Lead preschool teacher) I would have to get licensed here. Obviously this is a much better system as there is a higher chance of people actually knowing what they are doing when caring for children for nine hours a day. But it kinda makes you wonder about Texas… and the quality of childcare workers and childcare centers. Because Lord knows there were some crazies where I used to work. The problem is that the world is in such desperate need of preschool teachers because nobody wants to do it. The center where I worked had such a high turnover rate that the interviews were a joke. Merely for the sake of formality. Thinking back now, my interview consisted of one question: “What is the first thing you should do with a class of children when you’ve transitioned from one place to another?” The answer, which I got right, is count the children. However, I can say with confidence that if I had said something like “make each kid punch another one as hard as they can”, it would have been morphed into the correct answer by the interviewer. “So what you’re saying is you would count the number of punches and figure out how many kids there are?”. “Exactly!”.

All that to say, we are liking it here very much but it is funny when we encounter these differences. Just thought I’d share what I’ve been experiencing in this part of the Old South.

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