Wednesday, July 4, 2012

American Pride

After an amazing night of sleep in a real bed, our family loaded the family truckster with more boxes for our impending move home and left Fripp Island once again for our next stop: Redneck GReece's home in Lexington, Georgia where we would be spending the Fourth of July.  Driving the country roads of western South Carolina and eastern Georgia, we discussed our favorite things about America.    After living as expatriates for over a month, we had a new perspective on our country.  We understand why the United States of America has the largest number of immigrants- accounting for over twenty percent of all immigration in the world.  The USA has over three times more immigrants than the second highest, Russia, and over five times more than the UK.  America has been an immigrant's dream for hundreds of years and is still number one because it offers the best standard of living and career opportunities to its people, even newcomers.

To celebrate our nation's birthday, we created 
The Brooks Family's Top Ten Reasons to Live in America:

10.  Garbage Disposals
It may sound small, but these babies sure make cleaning up after three meals for a family of five easier.  (Not one place we stayed in the UK had one.)

9.  Diverse Environments
While the UK was beautiful, it does not offer the diverse climates and geography of America.  From the desolate deserts to the plentiful plains, and from the majestic mountains to the colorful coasts, America has diversity in spades.

8.  Convenience
You can get most anything you want at anytime in the US.  The reason America is the largest importing nation in the world is we sell more than any other nation.  We also sell it at anytime.  (It surprised us that most stores closed by 6 p.m. in the UK.)

7.  Standard of Living
We have a higher standard of living at a lower cost than many nations.  Ranked 7th in the 2010 Quality of Life Index, the US is touted for its diversity, affordability, convenience and efficiency. (Which I thought was pretty cool since we made our list before I researched this blog.)

6.  Music
The UK may have given us the Beatles, but WE gave the Beatles: Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.  America birthed jazz, blues, gospel, country, rock-n-roll, rap, hip-hop and pop music.  I believe music is America's greatest export. 

5.  Disney World
Another great US export, there's a Disneyland in Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and a new one planned for Shanghai, but the "real deal" is on most travelers'  bucket lists.  Nothing compares to the original in California and the grandest of them all: the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  (We're actually considering moving to Florida because Georgia isn't close enough.)

4.  Opportunity
One of America's most famous immigrants, Albert Einstein, said, "All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual."  He came to America seeking opportunities prohibited in Nazi Germany.  America thrives on its opportunity.  By combining ingenuity and hard work, an individual may achieve anything in America.  Rags to Riches stories are not just fairy tales in our country.

3.  Entertainment
Italy may know pleasure and India may be the more sensual, and Great Britain may have more literary brilliance, but nobody entertains like America.  From Hollywood to New York City, America cranks out movies, television, video games, youtube videos and computer apps faster and better than anyone.  Don't believe me?  Google it.

2. Creativity
United States citizens hold more international patents than any other nation.  We also hold the title for more independent inventors applying for patents.   These are facts I cling to as I worry about our nation's future.  As a teacher and parent, I believe our government is failing its people with its lack of proper support for public education.  With slashed budgets, our schools are in crisis and teachers and students are left to fend for themselves.  We have gone from a nation that churned out leaders to  one that settles for "meets standards."  There is nothing more thoroughly approved than mediocrity.

1.  Optimism
We are not a perfect nation (see above), but we strive to "form a more perfect union."  We never claim to get it all right.  From our founding documents, we have been instilled with optimism.  Thomas Jefferson stated it as fact in the Declaration of Independence that we are "created equal and endowed by our creator certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  If that's not optimistic, I don't know what is.  Americans have a can-do attitude even in the worst of times.  After a crippling Depression, we faced the tyranny of Germany and Japan.  The British were magnificent as they implored their citizens to "Keep Calm and Carry On."  But we were more optimistic as we succinctly shouted, "We Can Do It!"  

I call it rationalizing, but I think it is my optimistic approach to life that gets me through each day.  I am excited about returning home after our miraculous year even though I am unemployed.  Thanks to more budget cuts in education, classroom sizes have increased (again) to a new high of 34 students to one teacher.  There are not enough teaching positions for the currently employed instructors yet alone one who quit to take a field trip year with her family.   "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." -Winston Churchill (British citizen, but American in spirit.)  Ever the optimist, I am looking at my joblessness as an opportunity to be creative and try my hand at a new occupation.  Thank Heaven, I live in the land of opportunity!
My copy of my new book just arrived.
Hopefully, I have more in me!


  1. Is your book only available to teachers or can anyone get it?

    1. Anyone can get it. I give detailed instructions on basic computer functions and internet searches like how to save pictures and videos. Then, I go in depth on how to use powerpoint, keynote, moviemaker, iMovie, and Scratch. I have a link on the top of my blog or you can go to


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