Tag Archives: Verenigde Staten

Just Say No to Life Jackets

Okay, I’m shamelessly Facebooking on my blog with this, but concerning the whole contraceptives, rape and abortion controversy, this says it all!

 Let me explain this for Dutch readers who may not have been following the whole debate about all this closely. Continue reading

Party Platforms: Promises, Promises!

Photo: Harderwiek

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Someone Get This Woman a “Stupid” T-Shirt

Photo: spreadshirt.com

I have no patience with stupidity.

Ignorance I can tolerate to a certain degree. It comes from lack of education, and it doesn’t tend to occur to uneducated people to look things up. Especially because many uneducated people don’t realize they are. And so they can remain relatively ignorant the rest of their lives. I get that. Continue reading

The Netherlands in WWII : Lessons Learned

Photo: rijksoverheid.nl

This is the eleventh post in a series about American high school students’ impressions on a presentation about the Netherlands in World War Two. Click here for the introduction to said presentation.

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The Netherlands in WWII : The Gun

Photo: smith-wessonforum.com

This is the seventh post in a series about American high school students’ impressions on a presentation about the Netherlands in World War Two. Click here for the introduction to said presentation.

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The Joplin Tornado

I’ve posted before on my frustration about above-ground power lines and how dangerous they are in a storm. And in certain footage of the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri, two days ago, the first thing you see when the tornado touches down is a power line being snapped. Continue reading

Hi There!

(For my Dutch-English translating and proofreading business, please go to my D-E Translating WordPress site. Thank you.)

Welcome to my blog.

I’m a 57-year-old Dutch immigrant. I didn’t come to America for a better life. My life was just peachy in the Netherlands. I came here for love — no other reason. I met my American husband while on vacation in Scotland. He tried to get a job in the private sector in Holland, but since he could only speak two languages — neither of them was Dutch and English really didn’t count, because everyone in the Netherlands can speak English –that wasn’t going well. So I moved to America. To the Rio Grande Valley first, and after twelve looooong, hot years we moved to Austin, where we’ve now lived for almost twelve years as well.

I love living in Austin but I’m chock-full of criticism of America in general. The Rockies bring me to tears, but so does the health care system. I’ve adopted Thanksgiving, but not the Pledge of Allegiance. If I seem elated and unbearably grouchy in sometimes dizzyingly quick succession, this is why.

I love the usual: my husband, my children, my friends and our pets. I hate heat, willful ignorance, bone spurs, spiders, and walking or cycling in place.

I collect raft books and I’ve developed a weird obsession with the bottoms of bridges.

When I lived in the Netherlands, twenty-three years ago, I loved hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end, and I walked and cycled everywhere. Now that I live in a pretty darn hot part of the U.S., with kids who have to be driven everywhere by car, I love reminiscing about hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end and walking and cycling everywhere…

My blog is a crazy—some might say completely unhinged–collection of posts about any of the above-mentioned issues and then some. Nothing is sacred. I blatantly ignore all American no-nos. Which means I talk politics, religion, I don’t idolize  teachers and I swear (though not that much — well, maybe a bit more than usual since November 2016).

As you read my posts you might laugh, seethe, weep or shrug your shoulders. If you like a post, great. Let me know. If you hate a post, great, let me know. I like to think I’m always right, but don’t let that stop you from telling me if you disagree. We Dutch love a good debate.

If you want to know more about how I got here and an overview of how that’s been, visit my About page.

Otherwise, have at it!

(In my posts, I refer to my husband as T, my 21-year-old son as B, and my 18-year-old daughter as R.)

Wil-who-mus?

When I was in school, it seemed that only private religious schools made the kids learn the Dutch national anthem. The rest of us  never learned, and so we didn’t get much further than the first two lines, and nobody cared.

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Food Poisoning

This is an almost 20-minute video, but the information Robyn O’Brien gives is important to know. Coming from Holland seventeen years ago, I felt like almost everybody here is allergic to something. My husband would jokingly say, “Oh sure, the Dutch are never allergic,” thinking it was just another of my everything’s-better-in-Holland observations, but seriously, there didn’t seem half as many people allergic to stuff in Holland as there are in America. Now it turns out this might be true. So there, hubby! Continue reading

Home Is Where the Cup Holder Is

I’m sitting in the passenger seat of my Honda Odyssey minivan, with my feet up on the dashboard. I’m parked in front of the theater in the east side of town, where my 11-year-old daughter has her acting class every Thursday evening from 6 – 8:30 p.m. It takes us about an hour to get there because it’s rush hour, so my daughter took her laptop with her to work on a “book” she’s writing while we’re driving. Now I’m using it while I wait for her to be done. Continue reading

Watch Out For Inflation

Notes From a University Student 11

Pieter Breugel The Tower of Babel

 Not everything related to education here can be easily translated into Dutch. To American standards I’m studying at a university, but to Dutch standards that’s a rather big word.

Let me explain.

Magner Come Lowdy

Notes From a University Student 7

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Mary Had a Little Lamb

Notes From a University Student  6

Illustration Kate Greenaway

One of the first days on my job as librarian at that small high school, I was sitting behind my desk, sorting catalog cards – yes, cards in 1995!—and some students were sitting at a table near me, showing each other pictures.

One girl who couldn’t have been more than fifteen asked me if I wanted to see pictures of her son. I started to laugh, and then remembered that America has a problem with teen pregnancies. I quickly turned it into a cough. She wasn’t joking.

To put it in perspective:

Around the World in Five Weeks

Notes From a University Student 4

The registrar, after telling me that the courses I took in middle and high school in Holland didn’t count, had then turned around and given me credit for a few, so in the second summer session I took two history courses, all the courses I needed to have a minor in history.

I couldn’t be a librarian, but after these two five-week courses I could conceivably teach history in high school.

The first course was World History, for 90 minutes a day. World History is also taught in high school here, but you can get around it, and anyway, in high school it’s usually also just one semester.

Since history isn’t taught properly in high school, you have to take it again in college, where it also isn’t taught properly, because how on earth can you teach world history from Mesopotamia to the present in one semester or in a five-week summer course?

Well, let me tell you.

Look at Me–I Can Read!

Notes From a University Student 3

The second summer course was Survey of English Literature from the Romantics to the Present.

That was a great course. It was largely a survey of poets and poetry, but since I hadn’t had much poetry in high school, most of this was new to me.

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Huh?

Notes From a University Student 2

image from strategicdc.com

image from strategicdc.com

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3=3, Or Does It?

Notes From a University Student 1

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Sing Along, Now, Girls and Boys!

 

Apparently having good company for your birthday is not enough when you go out to eat. In many restaurants the personnel sings a song for the celebrant. And everyone in the restaurant will know about it. The waiters meet near the kitchen and start clapping as they walk to the birthday person’s table. Often they sing and clap their very own house-birthday song: Continue reading

Rings and Things

High School Report 10

(From a letter in 1996)

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Divide and Conquer

High School Report 8

Although there are no more than one hundred employees in the whole school district, which is made up of one little elementary school, one little middle school, and one little high school, all on the same grounds, the superintendent insists on everyone following the correct hierarchical lines. This leads to idiotic situations.

Take my own example.

And the Rest

cougar clawHigh School Report 6

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Oh No! A Test!

test todayHigh School Report 5

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Friday All-Day Lights

footballHigh School Report 4

There is often a change in the daily planning at the school because of “activities”. During football season there’s a game against another school every Friday night. The South Texas schools are divided by size. Since our school is tiny, we play against other tiny schools. Sometimes these are very far away.

For instance…

A Day in the Life

globeHigh School Report 3

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Cougar Time

cougarHigh School Report 2

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A So-called Year

Calendar_003High School Report 1

For the students the school year begins on Wednesday (sic), August 16. It ends on Tuesday (sic again), May 28. The Christmas vacation began on Thursday, December 21 and ended on Monday, January 8. More than two and a half weeks. Instead of autumn break there’s Thanksgiving in November, which means three days off, and sometimes a whole week. At Easter only Good Friday is a holiday. Instead of Easter break there’s Spring Break in March. For the rest there’s a long weekend in September  for Labor Day.

Find out what happens when school is in session.