Saturday, September 02, 2006

Speaking of Home...

My new school is an oasis in the desert. The "cold turkey" approach to returning to the US has been rather shocking. Whether it was the sideways glances from my mother-in-law (and "uh-huh...interesting" from my father) about living without a car, the absurdity of everything that is available at Bed, Bath and Beyond or the 24-hour FEAR THIS News Channels, America has been overwhelming at times.

Luckily, my new school has a bit of an international flavor to it that has softened the blow a little. The language of choice in my open-plan office space is French. My closest work associate is from Spain. Many of my students spent the summer in Europe, South America or Africa. My principal was lamenting the lack of a good Indian curry in her part of Maryland. My history curriculum focuses on Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.

I know that I felt out of place in London. Not that I was a stranger, but also that I didn't really fit in. Now I fell similarly about America. I listened to Pat Buchanan on CNN (probably on Lou Dobbs' show) on Thursday. The America he described as "in danger" (mostly from those brown skinned folks from down south) didn't appeal to me. In fact, it didn't even register with me. Maybe with more time in the US (heck we've only been back 3 weeks), I'll feel more like a local. As for now...I'm glad to be Home - whatever that is.