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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

May 18, 2012

SNAPS

You wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be such a “United Nations” right here in Dublin. Then again, maybe you would.

My office overlooks the parking lot in the back of the church and the other day was the last day for the large preschool, which meets daily on the first floor. Over the years I have watched parents and kids come and go to school. The national origin of so many of the parents varies. Many have distinct “American” accents and some have distinct foreign accents when they speak English. And there are many others who are speaking to their children or colleagues in their native tongue.

I rather like it. I often think of my upbringing here in Ohio. The kids I knew were all from families that had been in America for two, three and four generations. (Let’s see, I am the third generation born in America on Dad’s side. Great Grandpa, no doubt, had a strong German accent.) The only exceptions were 2 kids in my elementary school whose mothers were War-Brides: One bride from Japan and one from Belgium. Even at Ohio State in the late 60’s and early 70’s the “vibe” and reality was overwhelmingly 3rd and 4th generation American kids.

All that changed for me when I went to teach in Africa. All of the students were Zambian and most of the staff were from Africa, Europe and India. Berkeley, where I studied theology a few years later, was equally and wonderfully diverse.

Immigration reform in the 80’s and 90’s has changed the face of parents taking their kids to school in America. Literally. I like what I see from my window and I have to wonder how these newer Americans will react to issues that are so crucial to us in this election year.

But one thing is the same as when my kids or I were growing up. Photos.

Parents of all nationalities and ethnicities had their kids line up outside the front door of the Church Preschool for a photo of their final day at school this week. It looked like paparazzi in Hollywood. I recall doing the same for the Zambian students nearly 40 years ago. They were Middle and High Schoolers at the boarding school. I filled the parental role as I took their “snaps” on the final day of classes. Some things are the same the world over.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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