Thursday, January 06, 2005

Oh, Canada

Note: the story below is unfocused, rambling, and nothing actually happens. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

I spent the first 6 yrs of my life in Illinois. Then my dad got a new job, and we moved to Alberta, Canada. Dad had taught me to read when I was 4, so by 1st grade, I was far ahead of my age peers in some school skills. In my new school, they bumped me up to a mixed 2nd/3rd grade class. I was the youngest kid, the new kid, and the only American kid.

I shed my American accent within a week. I made some friends, and began to assimilate.

One day in class we were talking about Canadian history, or geography, or something. The teacher said something like “We live in Canada. I’m a Canadian. How many of you are Canadians?” Everyone, including me, raised their hand. The teacher looked right at me for a minute, but she didn’t press the issue.

I’ve always wondered what her point was. Maybe she wanted to provoke discussion or something, I don’t know. Maybe she wanted to see what I would do. But I still can’t believe she would expect a seven-yr-old in a new environment – one in which acceptance and assimilation were hard-won prizes – to publicly declare himself the odd man out, the weirdo, the one who’s Different.

So I lied. I betrayed my country. But it was worth it.


6 Comments:

At Thu Jan 06, 07:40:00 PM PST, Blogger No_Newz said...

Hey, when faced with trouble, Bryan, blame Canada. I would have betrayed my country too. ;)
Where in Illinois did you live?
Lois Lane

 
At Fri Jan 07, 12:01:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When your teacher asked how many canadians there were, you should've just started chanting U-S-A! U-S-A!!
That's what I do when I'm in most European countries and I want instant respect. It doesn't work that well actually, not that I think on it...

-Kire

 
At Sat Jan 08, 11:25:00 PM PST, Blogger bryan torre said...

Lois: Champagne/Urbana
Kire: Yeah, that's what I do, too.

 
At Sun Jan 09, 08:55:00 PM PST, Blogger bryan torre said...

and that would be Champaign, of course...

 
At Mon Jan 10, 03:29:00 PM PST, Blogger anya ransuns aka Roxy said...

I! AM! CANADIAN! That's all I have to say.

 
At Wed Jan 12, 12:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not everyone would react the way you did, Bryan. I've never been able to figure out why people don't like being the center of attention!
(By the way, I used to live in Canada too, so there)

 

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