Eat the World – Food in Europe versus America – by Ana María Camelo Vega. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Eat the World – Food in Europe versus America – by Ana María Camelo Vega. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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Most of us have fond memories of our childhood. Growing up, few things sticks to us as strong as food did. Whether it was your mom’s homemade key lime pie, or a gross mixture you did not even know what was in it, food has always been key to transporting and evolving our senses in time. Growing up in Colombia I was exposed to, of course, the typical Colombian food. It was later on when I started trying different foods. Clearly, it has been a process of getting to know what you like and what you do not. Nevertheless, what I think is the most amazing thing about food is all that it implies.

I personally think food itself is a whole culture onto itself.

Everything revolves around food. It is amazing to see how food reflects a whole geographical, historical and cultural background. Latin American food, for instance, is characterized by the use of corn. There are multiple maize-based dishes all over the region, such as tortillas, tamales, tacos, pupusas, arepas, and elote asado. Precisely, this is the reflection of the historical and geographical background of the region. In this case, Latin American indigenous groups thought of corn as the greatest gift from the Gods. It was the most valued good, even more than gold.

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After traveling outside my country, I have noticed how the culture around food changes dramatically depending on the region. Even in the same country, food is significantly different depending on the geography. In Colombia, for instance, breakfast is an important meal. However, there’s plenty of options to choose from. In the central zone, the traditional breakfast is called “changua”. This is basically a milk soup with eggs. I know, it sounds interesting. This dish comes from one of Colombia’s indigenous groups: the Muisca people. In this region you can also find tamales, which are usually eaten for breakfast on Sundays; and “almojábana” with hot chocolate. Here, it is important to clarify that Latin American hot chocolate is completely different to American hot chocolate, which was one of my biggest food-frustrations when I first moved to the U.S. If you go to the “Eje Cafetero” you will find different breakfasts. One of them is the typical “calentao”, which literally means “heated”. This is usually the night before’s leftovers, reheated and mixed. There’s also the “arepa paisa”, which is a flatbread made of cooked corn flour, and commonly is served with toppings such as butter, cheese, scrambled eggs or meat. In the Colombian coast, clearly, the food is different. The Caribbean region breakfasts include “arepa de huevo”, which is a deep fried arepa made from yellow corn dough with an egg inside that is cooked by the frying process. It is also common for people to have fried plantain with cheese for breakfast. The list could go on, but I think I’ve proven my point.

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This is how, during my European adventure, I decided to look deeper into its food culture.

Firstly, breakfast is smaller. From what I was able to experience in London, Paris, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Munich, Santorini and Athens, it is more customary to eat smaller meals for breakfast. It was interesting to see that probably the biggest breakfast I found was in London, which was pretty similar to the typical American breakfast. Once again, I was able to make the connection to the historical background and relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Other than that, most people tend to have either a biscuit, croissant or toast, accompanied by coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

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Putting this in perspective, I was able to confirm that American portions are indeed bigger than average. When I came to the United States, the only thing I could compare them with was with Latin American portions, which are indeed bigger than European, but way smaller than American.

Secondly, ingredients are different. Yes, this seems like a logical statement. Nonetheless, it is impressive to see the actual difference between the ingredients used in every place. The freshness and the way food is prepared absolutely changes the way people enjoy food. Pizza is the perfect example for this. European pizza is, in general, served individually, characterized by its thin crust, simple ingredients, sauces made from scratch and a not as cheesy/greasy consistency. On the other hand, American pizza is, in general, thick -even stuffed- crust, extra cheesy, and made from frozen dough. Both of them are delicious, but they are not the same in any way. It is not a surprise for anyone that American pizza is considered to be fast food. European pizza is not. Again, this reflects the culture.

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Thirdly, it caught my attention the way in which meals are distributed. For instance, in Latin America, breakfast tends to be significant, lunch tends to be the biggest meal in the day, and dinner tends to be lighter. This is not the case in the U.S.. From my experience, I have seen that breakfast is usually significant, lunch lighter, and dinner tends to be the biggest meal of the day. Along this, there is a lot of snacking in the United States. Snacks are a huge part of the market and of every day’s routine. This is not the case in Europe. Farmer’s markets are much more common in Europe and Latin America than in the U.S.. Clearly, this makes a difference at the time of analyzing the different food cultures.

There is no doubt that depending on the country, city, or even region, food will be different. Most importantly, food will reflect the differences between the cultures. After traveling around different cities, different countries and different continents, one of the biggest lessons I learned is to simply go out there and eat the world!

Ana Maria serves as an editor for The North Star Reports.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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A Foreign Sporting Experience – Gaelic Football – by Allison Brennhofer. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

A Foreign Sporting Experience – Gaelic Football – by Allison Brennhofer. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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[Part of the crowd watching the match. I wish I had been smart enough to have brought a hat with me to Ireland]

I would like to preface this entire piece by saying I am not an avid sports fan. I will watch baseball (my favorite, by far, of the sports my family watches) when it’s on. I’ve even gone to quite a few baseball games. Other sports are where my attention begins to wane. Soccer interests me, but I couldn’t care less about American football. All information collected in this piece is put together by myself and a few other students in Ireland with me, who also know very little about Gaelic football.

Our wonderful bus driver, Owen, apparently knows everyone in Ireland or at least in County Mayo, in which we are located. He managed to talk his way into getting us tickets for the match between Maigh v Muineachain (their Gaelic names) or counties Mayo v Monaghan. We had our pick of seats in the stadium because he had the foresight to arrive an hour and fifteen minutes early. He led us up the bleachers till we were midfield, close to the top of the stadium. I quickly lost my Minnesota cred by bundling up under a scratchy wool blanket that are standard issue in our cottages. The stands filled within half an hour of us arriving and we were able to sit there smug because of Owen’s knowledge, as others milled around looking for open seats. I heard later that there had been 10,000 people at the match, which seems very incredible to me for a team that isn’t even professionally paid. It’s taken very seriously here.

Owen had tried to explain the basics of Gaelic football to us on the bus, but it’s difficult to remember everything about a brand new sport so I had resigned myself to watching the match completely confused. Luckily, in the row behind me, there were two younger children. The little girl was sitting next to two other students in our group and she quickly noticed their befuddlement. She was gracious enough to explain everything that was happening on the field and answered all of our questions. Her younger brother was quick to interject what he considered crucial information that she had skipped over, amid him flipping a water bottle over and over and some incredible dabbing. I was the only one watching him while the rest of us listened to his sister, so every time he succeeded with the water bottle flip he would grin at me and then kindly offered me a turn which I turned down.

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[Some of the fans who swarmed the field after the match had ended]

The best description I can come up with of Gaelic football is that it’s a mixture of soccer and rugby. The game is split into two thirty-five minute halves. The essence of the game is similar to soccer, players do their best to get the round ball down the field to their opponent’s goal. However, in addition to kicking it, they can hold and throw it to their teammates. They are only allowed three steps before they must either pass the ball or ‘dribble’, bounce it off of their foot. It also seemed slightly less rough than rugby. Players are allowed to shove and tackle each other. The caveat there is that if the tackle is too rough in between certain lines (our young teacher was less clear about which lines she was gesturing to) the player can get in trouble and the other player is awarded a free shot. They also use yellow, red, and black cards. A player is issued a yellow card when they do anything the ref decides is worth disciplining. If a player is issued two yellow cards or a yellow and a black card, it is considered a red card and they are taken off the field and cannot be replaced by another player.

The woman seated next to me found our lessons with the girl behind us hilarious and when she noticed my accent, she was very interested in where we were from. She and her husband actually knew where Minnesota was and I had to shamefacedly admit that yes, it was very cold back home, and yes, I was cold right there. She told me her son was on the Monaghan team, which made cheering for Mayo a little awkward but there did not seem to be the bitter rivalry we would have seen in the states.

Mayo trailed Monaghan by a few points the whole match. The point system was a little different than soccer and rugby. Three points are scored if they get the ball in the goal. There are two posts on the goal, which I found similar to field goal posts. If the ball makes it between the posts, above the bar that separates the goal from the space above it, it is one point. This was how both teams made the majority of their points. Mayo never scored a goal, Monaghan got one. The final score was 12-14, or 0:12 to 1:11. They keep the goals separate from the points, so the 12 that Mayo got is just 12 but the 1 for Monaghan represents a goal and is actually 3 points. They add those to the points for a total of 14.

The Monaghan fans who had made the three and a half hour trek to Castlebar erupted in cheers when the game was called and Monaghan won, including the couple next to me. Many people swarmed onto the field as soon as the match was over. Despite the majority of people being Mayo fans, everything remained civil and the fans quickly disbursed.

The next day, we were in a local pub for the Super Bowl and many people assured us that Mayo should have won the match. It’s still early in their season, so the team had been trying out some different players. If they had put in the best players, I was told they would have definitely won.

My only question after the match: Will l be allowed to return to the US if I admit I liked Gaelic football a million times better than American football? ….

[A short video clip I took of the match. Mayo was in possession of the ball at the moment. You can see the player dribble the ball off of his foot every few steps]

Allison serves as an editor for The North Star Reports.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Arriving in Ireland – by Allison Brennhofer. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Arriving in Ireland – by Allison Brennhofer. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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It took eighteen hours of travel, over two planes and one bus that hurtled quite precariously through the narrow lanes of Irish roads, but our group of sixteen students and two professors made it to Ireland unscathed.

The first flight, Minneapolis to Newark, raised my hopes that I wouldn’t experience the pain I’ve likened in the past to being stabbed in both ears by screwdrivers. I shouldn’t have been so optimistic because the descent into Ireland made me think my eardrums were slightly away from rupturing the entire 40-minute descent. Other than that, the flights were rather fun. The man I sat next to first was the perfect seat partner, we exchanged a head nod when he sat next to me and we didn’t speak for the rest of the flight. I was lucky enough to have the middle seat of my row empty for the longer flight to Ireland, with myself by the window and an older gentleman on the aisle. He was a good seatmate as well, only chatting at the end of the flight when everyone was anxiously waiting for the doors to open. The only hiccup in that was my hearing was affected by the landing and I could half hear everything he said. I was also worried I would be unable to hear the questions the man who had the power to deny me entry to Ireland would ask me, but luckily he didn’t say much of anything.

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By the time we got off the plane and onto the coach bus taken, we were all exhausted. We made a stop at a gas station where we bought food and some got coffee. The narrow, winding roads made me regret trying the black pudding the women in the gas station gave us a free sample of. Black pudding is a traditional food that is not pudding like at all. The woman who gave us the free sample wouldn’t tell me what it was made of until I tried it. It’s typically made of pork fat, pork blood and oatmeal, although I’m not entirely sure what was in the one I tried. Surprisingly, I didn’t think it was terrible but I hadn’t been feeling the best after the flight so I just tried a tiny piece. Our bus driver had absolutely no qualms about our large bus on the two-way roads that I considered tight for a one-way. From what I’ve observed so far, most people in Ireland like to drive fast, many would risk the tight space and overtake us when they found themselves stuck behind the bus.

Driving through Ireland was incredibly surreal. This is going to sound cliché, but it’s honestly so green it surprised me. Perhaps it’s just because I came from the white snow and brown grass of Minnesota, but it really is amazing. The fields go for as far as your eye can see and the mountains in the distance rise out of the ground and disappear into the clouds, except for the rare moments the sky is clear. There are also sheep everywhere, every time you turn your head there are more sheep. As soon as we drove close enough to some sheep, we noticed that the sheep have blotches of color on them. Our bus driver informed us that the farmers let their sheep roam so they each have a color (or pattern of colors) that they paint across either the right hip, left hip, back, or back of the neck of their sheep to distinguish them.

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In what was probably an attempt to help us overcome the jetlag with minimal problems, we had arrangements to have drinks and food at one of the local pubs in town that night. The board members of the cottages we’re staying in bought all of us a round of drinks and we drank those and ate sandwiches provided by a local shop. The outing turned out to be a great idea. If we hadn’t gone out, I can guarantee I would have been asleep by six that night. Instead, I managed to stay awake and social until about nine which I deemed a perfectly acceptable to head to bed.

If my first few experiences with the people and atmosphere of Ireland are any indication, I would say I am in for a fantastic semester here.

Allison serves as an editor for The North Star Reports.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Spring Semester in Ireland – Arrival – by Victoria Hansen. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Spring Semester in Ireland – Arrival – by Victoria Hansen. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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[The beach near the cottage and the rainbow that I saw on that first day of exploring]

I have always been the type of person that would rather sit at home and hang out with family then go out and do things with people my age. I would say I am what you call a “home body.” That must be why my family was so surprised when I told them I had applied to travel to Louisburgh, Ireland for three in a half months in the spring of 2017. When I first applied and even when I got my acceptance letter to the program, it didn’t feel like something that was ever actually going to happen. Even as I hugged my mother goodbye in front of the big airport doors, it didn’t feel real.

As I boarded my flight from Minneapolis to our layover in Newark, the reality had finally settled in: I was going to be the furthest away from my family for the longest I have ever been. That made me a bit nervous. Fortunately for me, there was so much excitement radiating from my other classmates that I was mostly able to ignore my nerves. For four hours, we spent waiting to board the flight that would bring us from Newark, New Jersey to Shannon, Ireland, everyone chatted excitedly with anticipation.

Our second flight happened to be a red eye. I knew from previous experience that most of the time you don’t get much sleep on a red eye flight but I also knew that when we landed it would be almost 7 AM Thursday morning and we were going to hit the ground running. For that reason, I tried my hardest to sleep the majority of the flight. About thirty minutes before we landed I was woken up. Our captain had come over the radio tell us that the landing was going to be rough and let me tell you: he wasn’t lying.

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[The Cafe that Arden, Allie and I stopped at for coffee in the town center]

Every time we seemed to get closer to the ground, the wind would push us right back into the air. This rough up and down motion lasted almost half an hour before we finally touched down on the tarmac. But even when our wheels were on the ground it was still obvious that the wind was propelling us forward. The plane fought against the wind to slow down and eventually succeeded but for a minute there, a few of us didn’t think the plane was going to be able to stop.

Once we left the plane, we went through immigration, grabbed our bags and headed outside to meet the much talked about bus driver of ours: Owen. Owen is a man that lives near Louisburgh and has been driving the College of St. Scholastica students for at least twenty years. When we found him out in the lobby awaiting our arrival we loaded up our big coach bus and set out on three-hour journey to Louisburgh.

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[The pub that all of us students had our welcome night drink at]

As we winded through the streets of Ireland there were three things that struck me immediately. First, it is so unusual driving in the left lane since we are so used to driving on the right. I was also amazed by how fast they drive on these extremely narrow roads and by how well they were able to fit two cars past each other on a road that seemed to be made only for one. To be honest, it made me a bit car sick whenever I would look out the window at the road or a car passing by because it always felt like we were going to run into something.

After what felt like forever, we finally arrived at our cottages in the small sleepy town of Louisburgh. I was finally able to settle into the place that I would be calling home for the next few months. After unpacking and a short nap, I was informed that my presence was required for a small get together at the pub. All of the students made the short walk from our cottages to a pub called An Bhun Abhainn. Where the board members of the cottages decided to buy us all a drink. I have never been much of a beer drinker so I decided to stick with a sweet cider called Orchard Thieves. After finishing our welcome drinks many of us trudged back to the cottages and went straight to bed.

The next day was a day of nearby exploration. My friends Arden and Allie went on a walk with me into town and found out where several things are such as the post office, a pharmacy and even a small grocery store. We took a break in a small café where I was elated to find out they serve lattes. The inside of Ruddy’s was very welcoming and homey. It had big overstuffed chairs, a few tables and a bench seat for people to sit back and relax on. Arden, Allie and I sipped our warm drinks while playing a short card game. We were still so new to this place that we couldn’t be satisfied with our day of exploring without taking a walk to the ocean.

The three of us left Ruddy’s and took the quick five-minute walk to the beach that is near the cottages. The tide was really low at the beach which allowed us to walk further onto the beach before reaching water. Because almost the entire beach is covered during high tide, it was easy to spot several shells sitting in the sand. As a bent down to pick up shell I had seen on the ground, I looked up only to notice a rainbow lit up across the sky. That was the moment I knew this semester in Ireland was going to be one amazing adventure.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Taiwan – Taiwanese Bubble Tea and Beyond – by Megan Beckerich. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Taiwan – Taiwanese Bubble Tea and Beyond – by Megan Beckerich. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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[Photo of Taiwanese Bubble Tea, from : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bubble_Tea.png , see also, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_tea ]

If you have the chance to visit a trendy café or restaurant, you may happen to spot something on the menu called bubble tea, or boba tea, depending on the area. Exploding in popularity worldwide in the past decade, this tasty and unique beverage has an interesting history behind it and very noticeable effects on contemporary tea culture in the world. bubble tea is a recent phenomenon, originating in Taiwan in the 1980s. Originally found in Taichung (western Taiwan) this drink was a creative risk taken by a man named Lin Hsiu Hui, inspired by Japanese cold tea serving methods, and immediately became a smash hit spawning a very popular beverage that would spread in popularity throughout East and Southeast Asia.

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[Yours truly enjoying a traditional black tea bubble tea in Tainan (and jumbo mango ice)]

Originally made with Taiwanese black tea and tapioca balls, other flavors and combinations were tested out to immense success. The next immediate flavor added was green tea, but now any flavor imaginable is available in shops, restaurants, and street venders. Still, the majority of flavors make use of fruit teas or milk teas (or both) but classic black and green remain popular as well.

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[Sample vacuum seal on a bubble tea-individual stores often used different prints on these covers]

Given that bubble tea originated in Taiwan, it goes without saying how ubiquitous this drink is when venturing through any Taiwanese city, but my experience is limited mostly to Taipei. I can say in all honesty I consumed a lot of bubble tea during my time in Taipei, in addition to many other local favorites.

From my experience, trying bubble tea in Taipei (or anywhere in Taiwan really) is an absolute must. Tea is cheap in Taipei, often being priced around $1USD for a fairly large cup, and it is conveniently portable. Many shops vacuum seal a plastic lid over your drink to minimize spillage, and provide a small plastic bag to carry the drink around in, while giving you use of your hands to do other things (like eat dumplings or hold an umbrella-or both). Bubble tea can also be very gourmand, with some stores offering very fancy and unique flavors (tomato lemon is a surprisingly refreshing combination).

On menus, bubble tea is often called zhenzhu naicha (pearl milk tea) and can also be prefaced with the specific flavor of tea, such as hong (red) or lǜ (green) but many other flavors exist.

While bubble tea is probably the most prolific and culturally important, similar drinks are popular in Taiwan (and East Asia). I’ve had the pleasure of trying a lot of these, so I want to briefly talk about them as well. “Foam tea” paomo hongcha (foam red tea) is very popular in Taiwan as well, and was something I first learned about in a reading passage for my Mandarin class. “Red” is often used to refer to black tea, and this drink is hot black tea with sugar and ice that would be foamy in taste and appearance. This particular tea is not served with the tapioca bubbles. Another popular style of drink would be the plethora “jelly” beverages available. I visited Starbucks in Taipei and Hong Kong and in both I saw “iced coffee with earl grey jelly” and “iced tea with lemon jelly” and many more varieties (perhaps sadly, I chose to try a dark chocolate matcha confection instead). I tried a variety of jelly teas and coffees from other shops and venders with flavors ranging from coffee jelly to plain jelly (just sugar) to even grass jelly! Not all of these beverages need to be specially ordered in tea shops though, jelly drinks can be bought in cans in vending machines (one of my favorite drinks in Japan was Minute Maid’s white grape with aloe jelly I bought from a vending machine on campus almost every day) and some convenience stores.

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[Dark chocolate matcha confection. Sadly not a bubble tea]

Tea is not just limited to traditional green or black tea, and discovering the plethora of flavors and varieties available in Taipei (and anywhere in the world) is a rewarding and delicious experience.

Megan is a student at Northern Kentucky University.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

 

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Dominican Republic – Friendship Across National Borders – by Eleni Birhane. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Dominican Republic – Friendship Across National Borders – by Eleni Birhane. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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I met my now very dear friend Diana at the beginning of fall semester 2016. Almost instantly we became close; both of us wondered why we had not been friends until then. Not even half way through the semester, Diana suggested I go to the Dominican Republic with her to visit her family. I immediately accepted, how could I refuse such an offer! Once I had made the arrangements, she informed her family that I would be joining her on her trip for winter break. She told me that they were all happy and excited that I was coming. I knew that if they were anything like her (she stressed that they were) they would be extremely welcoming and hospitable, so I had no worries.

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My stay at the Dominican Republic was one I am not likely to ever forget. From the people to the land to the culture, everything I witnessed had a beauty that I cannot easily express in writing. I was lucky enough to experience the country not only from a tourist perspective, but also through the eyes of the local residents. Diana’s family took care of me as one of their own. Even though there was a language barrier between us (I speak almost no Spanish), I realized that if there is enough will and maybe a little help from the notoriously misleading, but undoubtedly helpful Google Translate, people from very different places and dialects can get along and even care for each other.

Other than being a much needed break from school and work, my stay at the Dominican Republic was also an informative experience. I learned a lot about the people’s culture, how laid back yet hardworking they are. I learned about the dynamics of their politics and their somewhat tense relationship with their only other neighbor on the island they share, the nation of Haiti. I learned that no matter how much I ate, Diana’s grandmother and aunt would never truly believe I was full. I enjoyed observing the similarities and differences between the Dominican Republic and my own home country Ethiopia.

Overall, by the time I had to leave I was feeling very down. I had come to truly care for her family as I believe they did for me. I know I have made friends for life and have promised myself (and them) I would come back when I could. I am very grateful I got the chance to have this experience. I encourage people to take any chance they get to travel and explore the world no matter how close or far, there might be something beautiful waiting just around the corner.

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Eleni serves as an editor for The NSR

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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My Family Has a Website?!? – Migration, Anniversary, Rituals, Family History- by Thomas Landgren. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

My Family Has a Website?!? – Migration, Anniversary, Rituals, Family History- by Thomas Landgren. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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This summer we celebrated my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. Since this was such a momentous occasion all of my family members on my mom’s side, all 75 of us got together and had a little celebration. It’s always hard to get all of the families together and when it happens we have a tradition where we go through all of the pictures that the aunts and uncles took over our childhoods that we spent together. My oldest sister took charge of the tradition this year and this really sparked her interest into looking deeper into our family history. Luckily I took Professor Liang’s Introduction to World History II this last semesters so we already had a decent amount of information to go off of. After a couple of weeks my sister came across a website named after our ancestor Demetrio Erspamer last name created by the Church of our ancestor’s home town of Malosco, Italy.

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It seems that my family was a big part of the church community in Malosco and the Church had tons of information on my family and its multiple members that they, with the help of a historian, put together the website documenting our family and creating an online family tree for us. To be honest it is weird scrolling through a website and see your name and your brothers, sisters, cousins, and grandparent’s names all plastered on this website that no one in my family knew about until my sister stumbled across it. Luckily if you are still living it keeps most off your information private but it is still a weird feeling. It is always interesting to learn about your family, and to find out that mine had such a big impact in their home town before leaving to America, that the Church and the Town in the Future would still hold them to high regards that they would make a website and even a book is an awesome feeling. My family is in the process of finding the book so I will keep you updated in the near future!

Thomas serves as an editor for The NSR.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Rituals and Education – Denfeld High School: A school full of Spirit and Tradition – by Kyle Dosan. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Rituals and Education – Denfeld High School: A school full of Spirit and Tradition – by Kyle Dosan. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

If one ever gets the chance to drive around West Duluth, it will not take them long to notice the big brick school with a clock tower that stands more than one-hundred feet tall. This building is the one and only Duluth Denfeld High School, home of the Denfeld Hunters. Duluth Denfeld, which is normally just referred to as Denfeld by alumni and present students has been around since the early twentieth century. For a school that has been around for such a long time, it has many traditions that have been carried out and practiced throughout the years. As a graduate from the hallowed halls of Denfeld in 2015, I am happy to share with you the traditions, old and new, of this historic building. At the beginning of a new school year one fun filled week called “Spirit Week” ensues. Just about every high school has a Spirit Week, but the 5 day festivities that capture school spirit and excitement truly sets Denfeld far apart from any run of the mill spirit week.

Starting on the second to last Thursday in September the Homecoming Court is announced, along with what activities and dress up days will consume Spirit Week. From dressing up in costumes to class color day, there are three days that make the Homecoming Spirit Week at Denfeld such a blast. On Wednesday of Spirit Week each student is instructed to wear blaze orange and ‘camo’ to school and following into the nighttime there is an all school bonfire at Merritt Park in West Duluth. Huge wooden crates are brought onto the softball field in the park and the fire is started by the Duluth Fire Department. Denfeld is the only school in the ISD 709 district allowed to have a bonfire. It is a privilege and the teachers and staff reiterate this to every student because Merritt Park is right in the middle of a neighborhood, and we were reminded to respect not only the park, but everyone in the community. At one point during the bonfire, the seniors will split up into two groups and play the game called Red Rover. For those of you who are not familiar with Red Rover it is a pretty simple (yet dangerous) game. There are two teams (usually named team 1 and 2) that stand about forty feet apart from each other and each team stands shoulder to shoulder, creating a chain link fence while locking arms. The teams will take turns calling out a few names and the selected people must run and try to break the wall of the opposing team, if the people fail to break the wall they must join the opposing team. If one of the runners breaks the chain of the opposing team they must select two people from the opposing team and bring them over to their team. When one team has a shortage of players they must rush and try to break the chain of the opposing team and if they fail to do so they lose.

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(Picture of some of the senior class of 2015 at the school bonfire)

The day after the bonfire is “dress your best day” and when the Homecoming King and Queen are selected. My senior year I was fortunate to be on the Homecoming Court and was crowned the Homecoming King. The last day of spirit week is Maroon and Gold Day, which if you couldn’t guess are Denfeld’s school colors. The halls are decorated in maroon and gold streamers and posters with the students decked out with their maroon and gold clothing. Toward the end of the day everyone gathers into the gym where the pep band plays various songs, a maroon and gold contest is held and the most spirited Hunter decked out in maroon and gold wins, along with the football players being introduced and have a funny dance, choreographed by the dance team to pump every student up for the homecoming game. Crazy skits and throwing pies into faculty members faces also highlight some of the fun to be had on homecoming week. Right after school gets out that Friday of Homecoming there is a tailgate in the parking lot prior to the football game. I have to admit the student government at my high school came up with some funny and clever dress up days that made spirit weeks such a blast.

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(Picture of the 2015 Homecoming Court)

One other tradition that helps Denfeld stand out is the all school “Lip Dub.” This is a new tradition that started in twenty-fourteen. A Lip Dub is a video where a group of people lip sync a song and show off the many sports and clubs of the school. Don’t worry I will leave a link down below for you all to see Denfeld’s lip dubs. Now there was a reason for the making of the lip dubs; back in twenty-fourteen members of the senior class who were in a club called Junior Rotary, were instructed to create a project that includes the whole student body and shows off what being a Hunter is all about. In the video, various students lip synced to the song “It’s Always a Good Time” by Owl City and Carley Rae Jepsen throughout the school showing the interior of Denfeld, leading to the magnificent auditorium towards the end of the video and every student singing the school song. Ever since the inaugural lip dub there have been three additional videos, two of which are with the whole student body and the other is by another club called Link Crew, a club that help freshmen have a smooth transition into their first year of high school. I was a junior when the first lip dub was created, and the best way I could describe getting every student and club into their little section of the school was controlled chaos. It was very fun and exciting to be part of this process because this video brought school spirit to a whole new level that I never thought was possible. Even former Duluth mayor Don Ness and now new Duluth Mayor Emily Larson have appeared in the lip dubs.

One last tradition that is pretty overlooked is a chant between the seniors and freshmen before every school assembly in the auditorium. It first must be noted that there is a big balcony that all freshmen have to sit on with one of their assigned classes. All the seniors sit right in the front rows of the auditorium, and it is quite a big deal to be a senior and have a spot in the senior section. Before the school assembly starts, all of the senior class stands up and chants “Freshmen on the shelf!”, while the freshmen respond with, “Seniors in the Cellar!”, and this chant will go on for about a minute. The staff is fine with this and encourage the freshmen to yell back at the seniors. When I was a freshman, I admit I was kind of leery of taking part in this chant just because this happened on the first day of school and I was sort of nervous. As the school year progressed I got used to it and tried to yell as loud as I could. As a senior it was fun to start off the chant, and in a way come full circle with the tradition.

From the homecoming spirit week to the new tradition of lip dubs, to the chant before each school assembly, this shows how big traditions play a role in schools. Yes, there are other traditions that I left out like formal dances, but this is typical for any school. I wanted to show the different traditions that make my alma mater unique. Just remember that tradition plays a big role with the identity of a family, friend group and schools. Our parents grew up with traditions and have tried to instill them with us. Traditions are something to be cherished because as the years change traditions can easily die out. Looking back on my school and even my family I have a greater appreciation for the role traditions play in my life.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Gender Roles, History, Family – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – by Abbey DeLisle. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Gender Roles, History, Family – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – by Abbey DeLisle. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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There is no doubt that things were much different in 1948 compared to 2017. My maternal grandmother was in high school from 1948-1952, during the height of the domestic scene for women in America. No boys were found in sewing or cooking classes, boys and girls had gym class separately, girls wore dresses to school every day (no shorts allowed for girls!), and only boys were allowed to take auto mechanic class. Although very irritating to me, pretty predictable. But my grandma elaborated on many more things and informed me that boys took typing along with girls and girls had shop class for 8 weeks. How intriguing! Just as I was condescending the 1950s for sexism, conversation allowed me to see complications I had never thought about before.

Moving on to the next generation, my mother, I thought I had it all figured out. My mother went to high school from 1977-1981, a time I forgot was also much different than the current time. My mom informed me that gym class was still separated by gender, boys didn’t take sewing, shorts at school was not allowed for girls, and girls didn’t take auto mechanics. Arbitrarily it appears, girls had to take foundry (shop, gardening, and woodworking), basically what is taught to boys and girls in current curriculum. My grandma jumped in and said she was shocked when my mother didn’t make my father’s lunch everyday like she had, and admitted she made her daughters clean every Saturday but not her son. I was beginning to see the distance that time and societal changes had created between the generations.

In the 1950s, it was largely assumed that the women’s place was in the home and they “didn’t talk about that stuff” (referring to social issues). But as easily as I forgot about the struggles of sexism in the 70s and 80s, my mother didn’t question the norms. We take for granted how far we have come but yet we stand in the same place as our predecessors still, unless we continue to discuss societal issues that need to change.

Abbey DeLisle, NSR Staff Writer, is a Junior Biology and Peace & Justice double major; The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, Class of 2018

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Denmark – Traveling to the ‘Happiest’ Country in the World – by Michaela Campbell. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Denmark – Traveling to the ‘Happiest’ Country in the World – by Michaela Campbell. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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[The ‘Little Mermaid’, Copenhagen (København), Denmark]

When I told people that I would be studying the ‘Science of Happiness’ abroad in Europe I was the recipient of either intrigued expressions, or a fit of laughter. Our trip focused on the area of positive psychology, which is a relatively new field in the area of psychology. Our main purpose for traveling abroad to Europe was to visit a few main areas, with Denmark being the sole focus, since it had recently been rated as the happiest country in the world. The country currently usually moves down a spot or two, and then goes back up to the number one spot every couple of years. So twenty other classmates, two professors, their young sons, and myself boarded a flight one evening in mid-May to discover what may be some potential causes for these findings.

Our first hands-on exposure to the ‘happy’ Danish lifestyle came when we had the opportunity to travel to different area high schools in and around Copenhagen to talk with local students about our differing cultures. The high school that I had the pleasure of visiting included three other classmates and myself having a Q&A with fifty Danish students. The students often asked about our public policy programs, American politics, and Minnesota weather. But as the questions became more in-depth, we asked the Danes why they believed that they were among the happiest people in the world, and the responses were intriguing.

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[Nyhaven, Denmark]

One Danish students’ response was, “We’re happy because the only thing we have to worry about is what the weather will be like tomorrow”. When you live in a country like Denmark that has free healthcare and free post-secondary education, it makes sense that your main concern would be the weather, among other menial things. Another key factor as to why the Danes believe they are among the happiest of nations is that they trust their government and the system that runs it. In the US, stories of corrupt politicians and corporations headline the news every day. This is why my classmates and myself when asked by the Danes if “we trusted our current government”, we were a little ashamed to truthfully say, “No”. A third factor that makes the Danes appear as a ‘happy’ nation is the emphasis on time with friends and family. According to the students we talked with, the average work-week for a Dane is 37 hours per week. As soon as the work-day is done, the Danes leave work at the office, and put more of an emphasis on enjoying life with loved ones. This is very different from the American work style, where we often can be found putting work in front of friends and family.

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[In Copenhagen (København), Denmark, on a bike tour through the Royal Palace (Amalienborg)]

Strong social policies, trust for a country’s government, and emphasis enjoying leisure are what create lack of stress within the Danish lifestyle. Lack of stress is what I believe leads the Danish people to lead a ‘happy’ life and be one of the happiest nations in the world every year. Here in the US, we pay outrageous amounts of money for healthcare, especially if not covered by an employer, and the US college tuition rise is a whole other problem in of itself. These issues put enormous amounts of stress on the American people, and this could explain why the US ranked twelve spots below Denmark on the happiness rankings.

Michaela serves as an editor for The NSR. This essay is based on Michaela’s participation in St. Scholastica’s Denmark and Happiness Study Abroad Trip supervised by Professor Karen Petersen.

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Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

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