"Sample 2" for the Double-Entry Journal

 

Reading

 

Quotation/Observation

American Cultural Meaning

Italian Cultural Meaning

"At seven o'clock on Tuesdays and Fridays, the clatter of the sanitation truck approaches, to stop outside our door."

Americans are punctual people. We grew up with the understanding that if you're not early you're late, so naturally people find themselves in a daily routine of some sort.

The specificity of time and date in this quote suggests that Italians may perceive time differently. Perhaps they see American's obsessiveness over scheduling as unnecessary and ridiculous.

 

What may drive Italians to value down time more than Americans?

 

Quotation/Observation

American Cultural Meaning

Italian Cultural Meaning

"The open window allows me to follow the rhythmic thump of sneakers on the sidewalk, the labored breathing of ruggedly built men, and the whimpers of women too exhausted to complain but too neurotic to stay at home."

Although we have a stereotype of being on the larger side, Americans have been on a fitness kick for several years now. Staying healthy and beating obesity has been of the utmost importance to many.

Italians do not have said stereotype plastered to their backs, so there is nothing for them to prove or overcome. Italians may not value physical fitness as strongly as Americans.

 

How does the concept of beauty differ between Americans and Italians? Why has Italian commercialism not influenced Italians the way American commercialism has influenced Americans in regards to body image?

 

Quotation/Observation

American Cultural Meaning

Italian Cultural Meaning

**Talking about how to obtain a license at an American DMV "When you're ready, you sit at one of the computer terminals and take part in an exciting videogame of twenty questions. If you get fifteen right, you win."

Somehow Americans have the ability to make everything into a competition. We always want to win and out-do our neighbors. Something as simple as getting a driver's license can be made into a game with a winner and loser.

Italians may not incorporate this sense of competition into their everyday lives. Perhaps they live more for themselves and not so much trying to beat those around them.

 

What stops Italians from comparing themselves to those around them and thus ending up in a competitive situations?