High hopes, or: Cautionary tales

A limerick

Emigrating from the land of your birth;
moving somewhere far across the earth;
if you don't master the tongue
or move when you're quite young,
you're likely to struggle with self-worth.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

37 thoughts on “High hopes, or: Cautionary tales”

  1. When my grandparents moved to the states – they would not teach us their ‘mother tounge’ – We are here now this is what you will learn. And unfortunate dis-service. One needs exposure young to be at ease. Some schools have had successful language immersion programs, but that was for a selected few (some chosen by lottery). Still I believe, there needs to be a balance to understand two or even more. To some that kind of learning comes easy and they know up to half a dozen or more!

    I read the other day that one of the royal children’s nanny’s spoke her native language to the child – so already the child is now familiar with her own, another and possibly a third that the nursery school teaches.

    Waiting until jr high or high school is to late – if learning is a challenge.

    1. ❤ Jules ❤ ~ this is something my wife and I have thought about a lot. I speak to my daughter exclusively in English (she's at 4th grade reading level by US standards), and my wife speaks to her exclusively in Russian (I think her reading level in Russian is 2nd grade or so), and she's learning Hebrew by virtue of growing up in Israel and attending Israeli public school…

      Little kids are like sponges for language – you've gotta take advantage of that as a parent because you'd be doing a huge disservice to them otherwise. I know ppl who deliberately don't speak to their children in their native tongues for various emotional reasons. I can understand where they're coming from, but I think it's a terrible decision from a pedagogical perspective….


      1. I went to college with a gal who got married – both she and her new husband came from different countries but living in the States spoke American English 5 days a week. Saturday was for his and Sunday hers… so they wouldn’t lose them.

        Some families who escape to freedom here and don’t want any knowledge of their past… as you say not a good choice.

        I remember reading about a grammer school girl who taught herself Chinese from the internet and then went on to assist her father with his communications in business in dealing with those clients!

        1. I’m very thankful that my parents spoke to me in Russian despite escaping the USSR in the mid-70’s… They didn’t maintain much of the culture from the USSR, but they kept the language…

          1. Different things are important. In our home we have always done volunteering… Mostly via the volunteer fire service. Some more active than others… a good background – actually lead to compensated positions full and part-time for two family members. 😀

          2. The laws changed, but our mostly volunteer station years ago had junior programs starting at 14. Not anymore. And with so many too far from the station more paid folks are needed for fire departments.

            Years ago 70% of all fire departments were volunteers. I’m sure it is more now that 70% are paid.

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