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I Said Darn


R. S. Martin
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to a Christian of all people. This crazy former friend will stop at nothing when it comes to guilt trips and emotional manipulation to regain my friendship. It has all the ear-marks of pre-evangelizationism.

 

So she's out to prove how much she loves me. I mentioned Canada Day and said it's July 1. She asks me:

What is the background of Canada Day?

This woman loves to brag about her son who is a professor. And she asks me what Canada Day is. I freaked out and said:

Canada Day is our Fourth of July except it's July 1. I would have expected a prof's mom to know that much, esp. given the proximity of the date to your Big Day. How come we Canadians always know so much more about the States than Americans ever try to know about us? Darn little interest you guys demonstrate in us, considering that Jesus said to love your neighbour.

 

Somehow I'm proud of having said it. Now I blocked her email. I guess I'm not a shining example of the happy atheist. Let me rephrase that. I am no longer pretending.

 

She tries so hard to prove how much she loves me but demonstrates that she has absolutely NO INTEREST in my "home and native land." In my mind, that is saying she doesn't give a damn who I am, what I might want, how I feel, etc. Those are the things I think we do for people we truly love. Maybe she's hoping for a few more stars in her crown or whatever her religion rewards people for catching souls.

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She tries so hard to prove how much she loves me but demonstrates that she has absolutely NO INTEREST in my "home and native land.
How come we Canadians always know so much more about the States than Americans ever try to know about us?
2 things to this: 1: what looks like interest to you seems more like prudence to us. It PAYS more to know about America, particularly this day and age, especially if you are a neighboring country. You never know when a platoon or something from down here'll march on up there and annex Alberta, making it the New New York.

 

2. How does one expect us to know or care about Canada, when quite a few of us know less about America than you do? (Yours truly largely excluded) I only just recently learned that Canada has a version of Thanksgiving. I would suggest that apparent effort, no matter how half-assed, might as well be considered effort.

 

*The preceding was serious but composed largely of jokes*

 

As to learning to swear, I was 5 last time "darn" was prohibited to me. A good tip is to realize that at some point, all swear words were either commonplace language, or not nearly as taboo as they are now. So just act like they're just words, because in reality, they are just that. Words. They get the point across, the make a statement, they roll off the tongue, but they won't invoke leprosy (the term "curse words").

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to a Christian of all people. This crazy former friend will stop at nothing when it comes to guilt trips and emotional manipulation to regain my friendship. It has all the ear-marks of pre-evangelizationism.

 

So she's out to prove how much she loves me. I mentioned Canada Day and said it's July 1. She asks me:

What is the background of Canada Day?

This woman loves to brag about her son who is a professor. And she asks me what Canada Day is. I freaked out and said:

Canada Day is our Fourth of July except it's July 1. I would have expected a prof's mom to know that much, esp. given the proximity of the date to your Big Day. How come we Canadians always know so much more about the States than Americans ever try to know about us? Darn little interest you guys demonstrate in us, considering that Jesus said to love your neighbour.

 

Somehow I'm proud of having said it. Now I blocked her email. I guess I'm not a shining example of the happy atheist. Let me rephrase that. I am no longer pretending.

 

She tries so hard to prove how much she loves me but demonstrates that she has absolutely NO INTEREST in my "home and native land." In my mind, that is saying she doesn't give a damn who I am, what I might want, how I feel, etc. Those are the things I think we do for people we truly love. Maybe she's hoping for a few more stars in her crown or whatever her religion rewards people for catching souls.

 

Where in the US is she from? I learned about Canada in grade school but then again, I'm from up north and we were closer to Canada than those in the south. But the interesting thing is she must not look at many calendar's. A lot of the paper calendars not only have US holidays marked but have Canadian holidays marked. But then again I've always been partial to Canada since my father's family was from there and he very rarely talked about them so maybe I just paid more attention.

 

But really though I'd have to say she's not much of a friend to not know or try to learn about where you live. Or at least is too self centered to care much about anyone else but herself.

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But really though I'd have to say she's not much of a friend to not know or try to learn about where you live. Or at least is too self centered to care much about anyone else but herself.

 

Thank you for understanding. She is in Pennsylvania and she knows full well that I live in Canada.

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Where in the US is she from? I learned about Canada in grade school

 

I am so glad to hear this. I've been on the impression that American schools don't teach about their kids about Canada, as though we weren't real people or something. When I was in grade 7 or 8 we had to fill out a blank map of the US, with all the state names, important rivers, and maybe capital cities. Canada has only thirteen provinces and territories. It seems American kids could learn that much.

 

An American teacher once visited a Canadian school and quizzed the Canadian children about capital cities and other trivia. They didn't do too badly, but they didn't quite measure up to her expectations. And for good reason. She was quizzing them on American cities and presidents.

 

Thus, I am happy to know that there are American schools that do teach their children about the existence of Canada.

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I am so glad to hear this. I've been on the impression that American schools don't teach about their kids about Canada, as though we weren't real people or something. When I was in grade 7 or 8 we had to fill out a blank map of the US, with all the state names, important rivers, and maybe capital cities. Canada has only thirteen provinces and territories. It seems American kids could learn that much. .

 

In 11th Grade History Class we were given a map of the US and asked to just write in the States. I was pissed because I mixed up Kansas and Nebraska. Most of the rest of the class could not get more than half the states right. And t his was no dumby class either, it was right below the Honors level.

 

Can't expect Americans to learn about foreign countries when most are too lazy to learn about our own.

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She tries so hard to prove how much she loves me but demonstrates that she has absolutely NO INTEREST in my "home and native land."

 

I'm confused...

 

It seems to me that she showed that she was interested in you. How should she have done it different? Would it have seemed more loving to read an encyclopedia or ask her son? It seems that - knowing you are Canadian - she went straight to the source. If it proves nothing else, it proves that she has some interest - and that she can make conversation...

 

I have some wonderful Canadian friends, but I don't know the first thing about their country (except for what I have picked up in conversations with them - that is a valid way to learn stuff). I can say "aboot" and "eh", but that is virtually the limits of my knowledge. I love them dearly, but I have no interest in learning the history of Canada. Fortunately, they don't use that as a measuring stick for our friendship.

 

I am not sure that I would have taken "what is Canada Day?" as a personal affront.

 

And to be fair, since July 4th is a day when we celebrate our independence from Britain, "Canada Day" isn't quite like it. There are very significant differences, based just on that alone.

 

Spoomonkey

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Hmm, not knowing anything about this woman except that she appears to be a fundie makes me distrust her motives from the get-go. On the other hand, I certainly can't condemn someone for not knowing about a holiday I only learned of around 1995 from a Canadian friend here in Britain. You're probably thinking "you're in the UK, you should know about Canada Day", but I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, in the deep American south. I was never taught anything about Canada other than it sits north of the United States border and that you speak French as well as English.

 

But if this woman lives in PA, surely the subject must have come up sometime during her education, if only by virtue of geographical proximity.

 

Now, of course, I know much more than I used to, spurred on by the fact that I visit Canada at least once a year (my Canadian friend made me want to know more and then I went and fell in love with the place - I'd move to Canada if I could).

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I'm shocked. Dumbstruck. What do Americans learn in school?

Learning about the world map was part of my education, starting with Grade 4 if not earlier. I'm sure I was introduced to the map of Canada in Grade 2 or 3. In Grade 4 or 5, I started learning about world exploration of the past five centuries. It was part of the curriculum.

 

Earlier generations had to draw the maps they learned about. My generation was lucky because teachers handed out duplicated maps for us to mark rivers, cities, provinces, continents, countries, mountains, whatever we were learning; how much of the world was discovered, what parts of the world belonged to what country, etc. We also learned about different products of different countries, land formations. It was history, geography, and social studies.

 

We had to colour the maps too. It was impossible not to learn. Given my passion for the large picture I probably retained more than my sisters did, and I have done some intentional study of my own. I have a globe and atlas on my shelf and a world map on the wall. I need these to understand the things I read. I always feel like I am two steps behind everybody else. Where a person lives says so much about who a person is, what vocabulary is familiar, how they talk about other places in the world, how they see the world itself.

 

I've heard rumors that Americans care only for their own little corner of the country and barely know about the next state over, and definitely don't concern themselves with Canada. But I refused to believe it. It sounded outrageous. No matter who I talk with in real life or on forums, I always want to know where people are from. It's simply part of showing an interest in who a person is. Given that the American school system does not address geography and history (where I learned all about maps) I can better understand this woman's total ignorance about something as important as my country's national holiday.

 

My father taught me how to draw the Union Jack (flag) when I was quite young. Then halfway through elementary school--I think it was in Centenial Year 1967 we got a new flag: "One red maple leaf on a field of white" to quote one line of a new song that went with it. I guess we got new legal status as a country along with the new flag. That maple leaf is not so easy to draw as the Union Jack with all straight lines. It was blue with red and white stripes or crosses.

 

Someone in this thread said fourth of July in the States is a celebration of independence from Britain. That person suggested that in Canada we would not celebrate that. I see those details as technicalities that belong to the character and history of individual countries. Canada Day celebrates the beginning of our country just the same as Independence Day celebrates the beginning of the United States. It's only the historical details that differ.

 

Someone mentioned calandars that mark holidays. That was another source from which I learned about holidays in other countries and/or religions. For example, there is someone who celebrates Columbus Day, but I don't remember who. The horse and buggy Mennonites in Ontario celebrate Ascension Day and have church services on Thanksgiving Day (which for them differs from the rest of the country as well as from the American Thanksgiving) and New Years Day. However, they don't take off from work for the regular Thanksgiving Day. Each culture and/or society has its own high holidays.

 

Maybe I'll have to write that lady an apology. I guess she can't help it if her country doesn't teach her any geography or history. (I would really like to know what Americans do with all that time spent in classrooms; what do we not learn that Americans learn? I mean, the human brain can only hold so much so we Canadians probably are slack on something Americans are strong on. I am curious what that might be.)

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Learning about the world map was part of my education, starting with Grade 4 if not earlier.

 

None of the maps that I colored had holidays on them...

 

Maybe they should have. :twitch:

 

We learned about maps, other cultures, etc. But to know and understand every holiday in another country... I mean, seriously... Of course not. What date is Cambodian New Year? Do you know? I do. It is a trivial thing that I know because it shares a date that is significant to me, but that it the only reason. I don't think a lack of knowledge regarding foreign holidays is really a negative indictment of a nation's educational system.

 

Spoomonkey

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Maybe out of respect for nonCanadians I should have added links to pictures of the flags I mention. Here they are:

 

Union Jack

 

Flag of Canada

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Learning about the world map was part of my education, starting with Grade 4 if not earlier.

 

None of the maps that I colored had holidays on them...

 

Maybe they should have. :twitch:

 

We learned about maps, other cultures, etc. But to know and understand every holiday in another country... I mean, seriously... Of course not. What date is Cambodian New Year? Do you know? I do. It is a trivial thing that I know because it shares a date that is significant to me, but that it the only reason. I don't think a lack of knowledge regarding foreign holidays is really a negative indictment of a nation's educational system.

 

Spoomonkey

 

I was responding to the fact mentioned by a number of Americans on here that Americans don't learn about their own country in school.

 

Sure I do. I know when the Cambodian New Year is on the Gregorian calendar. Maybe you meant on the Cambodian calendar.

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Hmm, not knowing anything about this woman except that she appears to be a fundie makes me distrust her motives from the get-go.

 

Yeah, you're right. There's lots more wrong with the relationship than this one little thing. It's the same person as this thread is about. Most of the stuff I couldn't put a finger on. This one little thing I could.

 

On the other hand, I certainly can't condemn someone for not knowing about a holiday I only learned of around 1995 from a Canadian friend here in Britain. You're probably thinking "you're in the UK, you should know about Canada Day", but I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, in the deep American south. I was never taught anything about Canada other than it sits north of the United States border and that you speak French as well as English.

 

But if this woman lives in PA, surely the subject must have come up sometime during her education, if only by virtue of geographical proximity.

 

I don't know the names of other countries' national holidays or birthdays or whatever they're called. But it just seemed to me that Canada Day is such an obvious name. Besides, if she didn't know and was honestly interested, she could always look it up on the internet. I sent her an apology now, along with a copy of that long post where I explain why I assumed everyone learned about the countries next to themselves.

 

Now, of course, I know much more than I used to, spurred on by the fact that I visit Canada at least once a year (my Canadian friend made me want to know more and then I went and fell in love with the place - I'd move to Canada if I could).

 

Thank you. It's a huge country. Depending on where your friend lives it might be quite different from here where I live. But they would still have Canada Day on July 1, and Thanksgiving in the middle of October.

 

You mention Georgia and the deep south. Why is Georgia called "deep" south? It is not the southernmost point of the US, and Atlanta is in the northern half of the state according to my wall map. The entire state of Florida, part of Texas, and part of California are all south of the southern border of Georgia. Oops! I looked again. The pan-handle or peninsula of California belongs to Mexico according to the colour of things on my map. And the mainland part of California is not south of Georgia. But still, why is Georgia called the deep south? I think it has something to do with slave history and cotton plantations, I guess. But I have never been able to tell from stories why it is called "deep"--is there a shallow south, too? I've never seen or heard the term...

 

This thing about speaking English and French in Canada is something I find rather embarrassing because I don't know French and I have never heard French being spoken. Yet it is an official language of my country. I think it was a political manouver back in the sixties to hold the country together. There seems to be a long-term and deep desire in Quebec for sovereignty--to be separate from English-speaking Canada. I write in the present tense because I understand it's still alive.

 

The rest of us don't want that to happen and the prime minister of the time--Pierre Trudeau, I think--decided to make French an official language of the country as a compromise. You can guess that the rest of the country felt somewhat resentful--at least here in Ontario right next to them. It didn't help things when I was in Ottawa and crossed the river into Quebec. In Ottawa all the street signs are in English and French. On the other side of the river they are all only in French.

 

I felt like we English-speakers are going more than half-way in this bargain. I'm sure there's stuff I don't know about. We've got at least one member on here from Montreal so I will back off now. If he can speak French (as I'm sure he can), then he is totally bilingual because his English is impeccable. A Mennonite man, who speaks Pennsylvania German fluently but doesn't know French, went to Quebec on a business trip. He was in a restaurant and the waitress refused to speak English to him. So he started speaking Pennsylvania German. That did the trick. He then got good service.

 

So yeah, we speak French but I never hear it and don't know the language. I have put considerable effort into reading French labels and listened to a few French TV programs once in a long while, but that is as far as I have gotten.

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I think what is taught varies from school district to school district. We did the colored maps too. I can't say that we covered all countries but we did hit on the bigger ones especially our friend to the North. I have to admit that if something intrigues me about a place, I look it up. Canada is a place that intrigues me so, I am partial to it and retain more facts than I would about a country that doesn't. I have a friend from India and another from South Africa. I've looked up the areas where they are from but still ask lots of questions as do they. We've done that since we became friends. A lot of what we talk about cannot be found in a book or on the internet, it's more cultural based.

 

I am a transplanted northerner in the "south". I can't tell you why it is called the "deep south" either, guess I probably should know why but I don't, I only know it refers to various states. When I first moved here I couldn't speak "southern". A guy in my english class was talking about his "house" and I thought he said "horse". I can't tell you how many females I probably offended by saying "you guys" instead of "y'all".

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Also keep in mind that most people on this site are adults, and had to learn history the rote memorization way in school, which means that you forget most of what you memorized a few hours after you take the tests, unless you are really interested in learning the subject. The U.S. school system is quite outdated, and many schools do still make kids memorize facts rather than make a subject interesting so kids will want to learn it. And most of us (myself anyway) were last in elementary school 20 or more years ago.

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How come we Canadians always know so much more about the States than Americans ever try to know about us?

 

I know alot about Canada. It's a very beautiful country. *nods* I hope you enjoyed Canada Day, my northern neighbor.

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I think people asking about your homeland is a way to show interest. Maybe she wanted to get away from the god talk and get to know you on a more personal level. (??) I know many people who work in an exchange program and come from all over. They have lots of questions about the country they are visiting. I can only imagine the looks I'd get if I had a you 'should already know and taken an interest and looked yourself answer'. :twitch: In turn there is much I learn from them. It makes for good small talk if nothing else.

 

People learn via other people, you should jump at the opportunity and give her some fascinating information that otherwise she might never know. The last thing you should be is offended. That's my $0.02 anyways...

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You mention Georgia and the deep south. Why is Georgia called "deep" south? It is not the southernmost point of the US, and Atlanta is in the northern half of the state according to my wall map. The entire state of Florida, part of Texas, and part of California are all south of the southern border of Georgia. Oops! I looked again. The pan-handle or peninsula of California belongs to Mexico according to the colour of things on my map. And the mainland part of California is not south of Georgia. But still, why is Georgia called the deep south? I think it has something to do with slave history and cotton plantations, I guess. But I have never been able to tell from stories why it is called "deep"--is there a shallow south, too? I've never seen or heard the term...

 

There have always been big cultural differences between the Northern and the Southern states, at least on the eastern side of the country. It goes all the way back to the founding of the country; the Constitutional provision that slaves count as a quarter person for the purposes of determining how many legislators a state gets in the House was a compromise between the North and the slave-rich South. Those differences caused tensions which ultimately culminated in the Civil War. Since then, there's been some level of cultural homogenization--especially with the advent of telecommunications--but there are still states where the old Southern culture is as strong as ever. (And yes, they really do dislike the Northern states quite a bit.) This region is called the Deep South because the Southern culture has deep, deep roots there. The cultural differences run from the relatively minor--tea is always served chilled and with lots of sugar--to the major--racism is still quite strong, and many people believe that the world would be much better if the Confederacy had won the Civil War.

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I agree with whomever said she is trying to show interest in you, but it might be for purposes of evangelisation, as you suspect.

 

In grade school, we had to learn the provinces and territories just as we did the states and capitals. It varies widely from district to district, but this is pretty commonplace as far as I know. I think most people just forget what they've learned. I don't think my education was all that horrible, but I was in the gifted and talented program.

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And most of us (myself anyway) were last in elementary school 20 or more years ago.

 

I'm not sure what counts as elementary school for you but I graduated from Grade 8 in June 1971 at age fourteen. Being out of school for a long time does not necessarily equal not knowing stuff one learned, but it can. I've lost some math and grammar.

 

It seems a lot of Americans feel very insecure about their knowledge of the wider world. Please don't. If your schools don't teach you stuff and you don't have the interest or expertise to learn on your own, it's not your fault that you don't know this stuff.

 

Nor is it my fault that I was born into a society that did teach these things, or that I was born with an innate hunger and thirst for learning far beyond what the province required. I explained where I'm coming from, stated that I apologized to the lady, and still the posts keep coming. Just calm down, everybody. We are who we are and that's okay. I just needed to understand where others were coming from. I learned a lot from this thread. Thank you for enlightening me.

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How come we Canadians always know so much more about the States than Americans ever try to know about us?

 

I know alot about Canada. It's a very beautiful country. *nods* I hope you enjoyed Canada Day, my northern neighbor.

 

Thanks. :) I don't keep holidays or Sundays. My days are all the same. And I enjoy most of them. I forget what Canada Day was like but I probably enjoyed it.

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There have always been big cultural differences between the Northern and the Southern states, at least on the eastern side of the country. It goes all the way back to the founding of the country; the Constitutional provision that slaves count as a quarter person for the purposes of determining how many legislators a state gets in the House was a compromise between the North and the slave-rich South. Those differences caused tensions which ultimately culminated in the Civil War. Since then, there's been some level of cultural homogenization--especially with the advent of telecommunications--but there are still states where the old Southern culture is as strong as ever. (And yes, they really do dislike the Northern states quite a bit.) This region is called the Deep South because the Southern culture has deep, deep roots there. The cultural differences run from the relatively minor--tea is always served chilled and with lots of sugar--to the major--racism is still quite strong, and many people believe that the world would be much better if the Confederacy had won the Civil War.

 

Thank you! This entire post is stuff I never read in the history books but it fits in with the stories and history I have read. The bolded statement answers my question. It's as though the very words of the statement reflect the cultural values I've encountered. But I didn't know enough background to quite get the picture. Thanks again.

 

I think the history as it is taught here is told more from the perspective of the victorious North than the cultural values of the Deep South. As they say, it's the winners who get to tell the tale. In this case, enough "losers" survived to pass on their version, even if only in a persistent culture has roots so deep it will take centuries to eradicate it, if ever.

 

I'm fascinated with the way history is reflected in present-day relationships. For example, the antagonism between the North and South of the eastern US, and the anti-Americanism of eastern Canada. Like both Americans and Canadians have said, Canadians don't really know who they are except for one thing--they're NOT American. Given that many of the original settlers came north precisely because they did not want to be American, this makes a great deal of sense.

 

And well, we needn't defer to anyone to know that this is the best country on earth. It's bred and born into our very bones. So we let Americans have their pledges to the flag and other stuff to prove their independence. We are "the true North strong and free."

 

Back to the OP. Just why would it be that the first time the word darn (other than for darning socks) rolls off one's tongue it is to tell Christians to get lost?

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And most of us (myself anyway) were last in elementary school 20 or more years ago.

 

I'm not sure what counts as elementary school for you but I graduated from Grade 8 in June 1971 at age fourteen. Being out of school for a long time does not necessarily equal not knowing stuff one learned, but it can. I've lost some math and grammar.

 

 

Let's see. I never had a graduation ceremony for grade 8 since I was in a middle school. But it would've been...89, I think. High school, at least for most Americans, is 9-12. Some schools combine 7 & 8 with the lower grades and some split them off to be a middle school. Depends on the population, I believe.

 

I have some interest in history, but it's in the Renaissance and Medieval time periods. Recently I joined the Society for Creative Anachronism. (That kind of goes along with being a geek.)

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(I would really like to know what Americans do with all that time spent in classrooms; what do we not learn that Americans learn? I mean, the human brain can only hold so much so we Canadians probably are slack on something Americans are strong on. I am curious what that might be.)

 

We learn to follow orders and not question authority- the vast majority of interaction in American Publik schools centers around this concept. Now that I'm older and have read some about how prisons are run- there are a lot of similarities to public school.

 

But if anything, I think this thread goes to show that if somebody is LOOKING for a reason to become irate- they'll find one easily enough. If her proselytizing is the root of this problem, and you don't want to talk to her anymore... just say so. If she doesn't take the hint, block her email.

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