Category Archives: American Culture

New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s an article from Voice of America about what Americans want to do in 2016. Before you read, make a prediction about what you’re going to read. What do you think Americans will say they want to do in 2016? Will it be something about money, something about health, or something else?

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From Voice of America:

Americans don’t just want to work out more in 2016, they also want to firm up their savings accounts.

A  Nerdwallet survey conducted in December found that “increasing savings” was the top priority for 49 percent of Americans, followed by “working out” (44 percent).

“There’s definitely a connection between the two in the sense that both are about quality of life,” said Nerdwallet’s Sreekar Jasthi. “Both are about health: physical health and fiscal health.”

New Year’s Day is a federal holiday in the United States, which means most Americans have the day off from work to attend gatherings, eat special foods meant to ensure good fortune for the new year, and make a list of resolutions for 2016.

“Increasing savings” was the most popular answer on Nerdwallet’s New Year’s resolution poll. The average American only saves about 5 percent of their income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The other top priorities include losing weight (44 percent), spending more time with friends and family (37 percent), traveling more (35 percent) and getting organized (30 percent).

Paying off credit cards was most important to 29 percent of those surveyed. On average, Americans have about $15,000 in credit card debt.

“We actually thought that the percentage of the population polled that would mention credit card debt as a priority, would be higher,” said Jasthi. “This is a significant concern…a lot of people eventually have to file for bankruptcy because they can’t afford to pay it back. I think more education and more clarity around how to effectually manage use of your credit cards, and how to repay debt on your credit card, is something that’s absolutely needed.”

While 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only about 8 percent of those who make resolutions actually fulfill them. Making resolutions as specific as possible might help. For example, instead of just saying ‘increase savings’, determine an exact amount you’d like to save in 2016 and then set monthly milestones to help reach that goal.

“Solid, specific goals that you can actually visualize instead of just large umbrella terms always help,” Jasthi said. “Be realistic when you’re setting these resolutions or setting these milestones. Be as specific as possible but obviously be realistic about how you’re going to attain those goals.”

What about you? What do you want to do in 2016?

 

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Talk Like a Pilgrim

(Almost) just in time for Thanksgiving, here’s a website that demonstrates how pilgrims talked. Click here or on the picture below to go to the site.

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Superstitions

Today is Friday the 13th. Many people think it’s an unlucky day, but others say thinking it’s unlucky is just a superstition. Superstitions are things you do or believe that bring good luck or bad luck.

Look at the picture. What in the picture brings bad luck? What brings good luck?

Click on “Continue reading” to see the answers:

Continue reading

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A Sunday Kind of Love

Happy Sunday! Here is a song by soul singer Etta James  (January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012). You can learn more about Etta James here, here and here. You can also listen to one of her most famous songs, “At Last” . Listen to the song, read the lyrics and sing it to a friend. Enjoy…

Read the lyrics below… Continue reading

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Below is the short movie ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving‘. It is usually on TV on Thanksgiving. Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions you do every year? Let us know in the comments section what your traditions are and if you enjoyed the movie.

 

 

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NYC Tips and Etiquette

NYC can be an exciting and interesting place to live, but it can be difficult. There are so many different people living so closely together. Sometimes it isn’t easy to get along with or live together with all of these people. This is one of the reasons why we need social etiquette, unspoken rules and ways to act.

Nathan Pyle is an artist. He has made some cartoons illustrating NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette. Click on the picture to read some of them.

Do you agree with Nathan’s cartoons?

Have you experienced any of these situations?

Do you have some tips of your own on how to live in NYC?

Which cartoon is your favorite?

Let us know in the comments section below…

http://www.wisebread.com/nyc-basic-tips-and-etiquette

You can buy Nathan’s NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette here and see more of his art work here.

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Bill Withers

Bill Withers is an American singer and song writer. He was born on July 4, 1938 in West Virginia. Bill joined the US Navy when he was 18 and served for 9 years. Afterwards, he moved to California and began his music career. Bill Withers has written some of the most well known songs of our time; “Ain’t No Sunshine“, “Grandma’s Hands“, “Just The Two Of Us” and many more. Below you can listen to Bill sing his song, “Lean On Me”. Also below is a video of the song with lyrics you can read.

Let us know what you think about the song in the comments section.

Is it a happy song or a sad song?

What does the phrase ‘lean on me‘ mean?

Do you have someone to ‘lean on‘ or does someone often ‘lean on‘ you?

What does the phrase ‘swallow your pride’ mean?

Have you ever had to ‘swallow your pride‘?

Listen to some of Bill Withers’ other songs and tell us what you’re favorite is.

Read the lyrics below… Continue reading

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