Sunday, February 24, 2013

welcome to america!

I was finally able to meet up with my ESL partner, Nassar. I must admit, I was nervous to meet him...I had a feeling I was going to be really awkward and not have anything to talk about. BUT, I was wrong! Nassar was eager to talk about his home country, and I was eager to listen and tell him about my life in America. 

Nassar and I got along great! What a relief! We met at the TCU bookstore and quickly started our conversation. Nassar is all the way from Saudi Arabia, and is still working on adjusting to American life. When I began to ask him about his home, he lit up, eager to tell me all about it. He quickly pointed out that there are amazingly large differences between our life styles, ranging from our outlook on family, food, work, and holidays. 

Nassar is proud of where he comes from, and admittedly favors its greatly compared to the United States. He explained to me how shocked and confused he was that our family structure and pride vary greatly. Family is an especially large aspect of his culture, and it serves as a main identifier. He also pointed out how interesting he found our desire to be independent and on our own, where as his culture focuses greatly on family dependency. I found it interesting to hear him talk about how his life at home differs greatly from the day-to-day aspects that we are part of on TCU's campus. 

He did admit, he doesn't like Texas much.. HA! Well I love Texas, and when we disagreed, he couldn't help but laugh. I thought this was by far the best parts of the conversation. Whenever Nassar struggled to find the words he wanted to use, or couldn't explain something to me, he would laugh! I immediately connected this laugh to the Relief Theory... his struggle to find the right words led to laughter, allowing us to become much more comfortable with each other. 

One of the biggest concepts theta Nassar struggled with was the idea of age and numbers. When I asked him how old he was, he said he wasn't sure! Well, we came to find that he is 22. When we finally figured that out, he kept laughing! He thought it was so funny that I had to help him figure out what his age was, especially since I am younger than him. 

Overall, it was such a great experience to get to meet him and talk about our differing cultures. It was so amazing to see how every aspect of our cultures and lifestyles are so different primarily because of where we are from. It was a positive experience and we already have planned out our next meeting time for next week. 

until then, 


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