Thursday, November 03, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Notes from Articles on TCKs by, Ruth Hill Useem
- The term TCK was coined to refer to the children who accompany their parents into another society.
- Ruth Hill Useem taught a course entitled, "The education of third culture kids".
These are my notes from the article, "TCKs Four Times More Likely to Earn Bachelor's Degrees" by Ruth Hill Useem, which is Article 2 in a series of 5:
- The "sponsor" organization make a difference in the type of family life and schooling tat the dependant experiences abroad..
- Though all TCKs experience the same expereience of a third culture, the their culture of a military base differes from that found on the mission field.
- Overwhelming majority of TCKs are committed to continuing their education beyond high school graduation.
- Many adult TCKs change colleges/majors many times or drop out in order to take advantages of opportunities that arrise.
- Many feel that their overseas experience puts them ahead of their peers and teachers.
- They often feel out of synch with their all-american-reared peers.
- Most report mild to severe difficulties with re-entry problems or reverse culture shock.
- TCKs don't ever adjust to American life, they adjust to it.
- They adapt they find niches and they take risks. They fail and pick themselves up again.
- They resist being encapsulated.
- Their camouflaged exteriors and understated ways of presenting themselves hide the rich inner lives, remarkable talents, and often strongly held contradictory opinions on the world.
- Most TCKs feel different from people who have not had an overseas experience.
- Most keep up on happenings outside the U.S.
- TCKs are creative and innovative, who have robust educational experiences.
- They relate Americans to the rest of the world and interpret the outside world to the immediate world.
These are my notes from the article, "TCKs Experience Prolonged Adolescence" by Ruth Hill Useem and Anne Baker Cottrell, which is Article 3 in a series of 5:
- In the U.S. you don't appear different so when you openly deviate from attitudes, opinions, ambitions or other from your others they don't see you as a crazy TCK but say you're nuts.
- Being out of step with those around you is especialy noticeable and painful.
- Many cannot make up their minds about what they want to do with their lives and experience prolonged adolescence.
- As they meet new people they are slow to commit themselves until they have observed what is expected behavior.
- Their bland and unremarkable exteriors belie not only the depths of feelings but of considerable talents an a wealth of memories of other countries and places in which they have lived in and continue to take interest in.
- TCKs are extremely complex people who are weaving together their memories ina rapidly changing present for an uncertain future.
- No two ATCKs come up with identical ways of putting their lives together.
These are my notes from the article, "ATCKs have problems relating to their own ethnic groups" by Ann Baker Cottrell, which is Article 4 in a series of 5:
- ATCKs generally agree that their international backgrounds contribute postively to their adult lives.
- ATCKS build on a foundation of international awareness.
- They have more cross-cultural knowledge and skills than opportunity to use them.
- They keep international touches to their homes and would love to visit the countries they have lived in.
- ATCKs are helpers and problem solvers. They draw on their own experiences in new situations and to help others.
- ATCKs feel different not isolated and are different from those who have not lived overseas.
- ATCKs' international experiences make them appreciate much in the U.S. that Americans take for granted.
- Sponsorship greatly influences the TCK experience.
These are my notes from the article, "ATCKs maintain global dimensions throughout their lives" by Ann Baker Cottrell and Ruth Hill Useem, which is article 5 in a series of 5:
- Feelings of rootlessness and alienation, experience most severely during reentry, may last a life time.
- What kinds of world views and attitudes do they have, what kinds of life choices do they make?
- Continue a pattern of mobility and change.
- Many are active in being volunteers.
- Keep in contact with people from other countries.
- Their child-rearing is in some ways influenced by having lived abroad.
- ATCKs seek ways to introduce their offspring to the diversity of the world's people and cultures.
- Teach a message of acceipting, respecting, and treasuring differences.
- The TCK background surfaces in many who can move around the world easily if had the opportunity.
- They enjoy meeting new people and new challenges.
Monday, October 24, 2005
The 9 Losses of My Life
- Loss of World: Every place (whether a country, a house, a playground), person (friends, role models, teachers), and everything (your culture is gone and replaced with a different one, everything changes).
- Loss of Satus: My significance and being recognized for contributions.
- Loss of Lifestyle: Daily living patterns and a sense of security
- Loss of Possessions: Things that connect me to my past (also pets, belongings, things that couldn't be moved or had to be sold, things from the culture that I miss)
- Loss of Relationships: constant come and go, hellos and goodbyes
- Loss of Role Model: People I looked up to whom I learned the culture from and admired.
- Loss of System Identity: ID cards and military priviledges.
- Loss of the Past that Wasn't: I never picked up a foreign language fluently and had to move in the middle of my junior year of highschool. I didn't get to graduate with my friends.
- Loss of the Past that Was: I cannot go and revisit my old homes, old schools, playgrounds, and places of my past. There are too many and they are all so far away from me and eachother.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
- Unrecognized and unresolved grief
- Intangible losses (sights, sounds, and smells) and tangible losses (friends, homes, posessions)
- More than people experience in a lifetime and all before the age of 20.
- Grief is related to loss
- Hidden losses are reoccuring ones
- Unresolved grief accumulates
- No recognized way to mourn my nine losses
- Each hidden loss relates to human need of belonging
- Lack of permission to grieve
- Lack of time to process
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The Sub Culture
My father kept taking overseas assignments. Thus my family spent almost two decades in Europe. Every three years or so the military would send us "home" to the states to see family. Due to our short and few visits, my sister and I never really became very close to our grandfathers or uncles (we have a very small extended family). Going home, to my parents, was going back to the states to see their families. Going home, to my sister and I, was returning to where ever we were living at the time in Europe. Even though we weren't Italian, going home to Italy was more of a home to us than us being american and going home to the states. We didn't have a full ownership to Italy, though we didn't feel we had it in America either. Living on military bases was another culture in itself and a way of living that you can't describe with out having lived it.
When we did go to the states for our family vacations we would go some place like the grand canyon or disneyworld. But before we got on the plane to return to Europe, we would have to stop at the mall. Now, having been back to the states for several years, going to the mall doesn't thrill me the slightest. But shopping for clothes was either going off base, shopping on base, or through catalogs. More than likely no matter where we chose we ended up owning chothing items that our peers also had. You could look at someone and say, "Is that page 23 from that catalog?" Going to the american mall was like living the american dream. All that was left was going to a real american highschool (not just wondering what it would be like from american movies and television). Going to the teenage girl's mecca was quite mind blowing.