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Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Utopia or Dystopia? The hidden history of Bay Area cults
Utopia or Dystopia? The hidden history of Bay Area cults
Linnea Koblik and Tallulah Knill AllenJuly 12, 2024

Silhouetted against the sweeping landscapes of the Bay and the Marin Headlands, the Bay Area is well known for its position in the counterculture...

Public protests and perspectives
Public protests and perspectives
Ava Stephens, Gabriella Rouas, Aanika Sawhney, Nadia Massoumi and Grace GehrmanJune 29, 2024

Reflejando otra vez con los ELD seniors
Reflejando otra vez con los ELD seniors
Ava CarlsonJune 27, 2024

El año pasado, tuve la oportunidad de hablar con estudiantes del grado 12 en la clase de English Language Development (ELD) sobre sus experiencias...

America lacks global perspective

“You know,” the Swedish boy on my left began as he turned to me, “I have no idea who you are.”

We were sitting at a long table together, two students out of the many who’d traveled to England for college interviews. The others we’d been talking to, boys from Luxembourg and  Qatar and girls from Romania and New Zealand, turned to look at me, and I suddenly understood how alone America is.

The Swede wasn’t talking about me personally. He was talking about my cultural context, and he was right.

Countries on most continents are like people in a small town. Everyone has seen each other grow up, watched each person’s story unfold, and cultivated an amused tolerance for each quirky personality. They understand each other, and individuals within each country are connected by shared traditions, jokes, and sorrows.

While I share a large portion of that connection with Europeans because of my French heritage, another part of me–my American side–stands apart from other cultures.

If other countries are like people in a small town, then America is the recluse that lives far away, shrouded in rumor and legend. Her history is only rarely intertwined with that of the townspeople, and the result is mutual confusion.

We can’t put ourselves in foreign shoes, they can’t put themselves in ours, and the consequence  is that while we’re a major player in the game of global politics, most of our people have never been taught the rules.

But when we fail to understand where other people come from, we lose a way of thinking that is becoming more and more important as the world becomes a global village. We need to change our mindset: learn about other languages and histories, seek out culturally diverse environments, and mingle on the world social scene. The culture gap needs to be closed, and if it isn’t, we’ll be the ones to fall through the crack.

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