Transitional Life: Housing

My move is getting closer. In less than two months, I’ll be making the big leap. From then on, I’ll be living in the United States. So hang in there, just a few weeks. As my time of departure is getting closer, I get to see differences in culture that I didn’t notice before, or maybe I cared too little to realize how big a difference they actually make. One of those differences concerns housing. As miss Missouri and I are looking for a house, I am getting familiar with all aspects of selecting and buying a house. Also, when I say that we are looking, it means that I’m doing all I can from behind my desk exactly one Atlantic Ocean away.

Someone actually took the time to build a Dutch and American house next to each other.

Someone actually took the time to build a Dutch and American house next to each other.

The differences strike me at a few points. First of all, houses in the Midwest are generally bigger. If you’re Dutch and under thirty, nine out of ten times you live in an apartment. If you’re married, this apartment could have more than a living room, a bathroom and a bedroom; just don’t count on it, though. Although this isn’t the worst adjustment (I can imagine the other way would be worse), I still have to get used to the idea of someone my age actually living in a house that’s big enough to play hide and seek in. Also, I never thought I would ever be worried about something the novelty that is school districts. Not since I was picking one of three high schools on walking distance (that’s also really special over here) did I care about what schools were in the area, but now I find myself ticking of boxes that relate to elementary school, middle school and high school. Aside from other things that are new when buying a house, the school districts are something that are hard for me to wrap my mind around, as I’m used to the idea that you have a choice. You could say I’m actually pro-choice when it comes to schools. I don’t know how these differences will shape my life later on. In the end, I think what makes a home doesn’t really change between cultures, but what it takes to get there certainly does.

Does anyone else feel that middle schools are really the middle child of the school system?


9 thoughts on “Transitional Life: Housing

  1. The small house is so cute.
    I don’t know anything about middle school. We don’t have that here. We only need to worry about elementary school (grades 1 – 8 or ages 6 – 13), highschool, grade 9-12 (I believer grade 13 was cancelled some time ago), and then college or university.

  2. I’m not a fan of middle school. My kids attend a “community school” in Minneapolis, that covers kids from Kindergarten to 8th grade. After that, high school. I seem to recall that middle school had very little to redeem it, when I experienced it.

      • Let me give you a little teaser:

        “The boy fastened his pace. He had to hurry. Not yet adjusted to the new speed, one of the books under his arm almost fell to the pavement. Just in time he clenched his elbow. There was so little time. His first day at middle school was almost underway. That meant he was already running behind; there are just three years of middle school. Three years is way too short for the adventures he was planning to have. No good adventure happens in three years. Or could it?

  3. Living in small town Ohio, I will tell you that Middle School isn’t really anything more than grades 6,7,&8. Some times only 7&8. Depending on what school district you are in. I believe in the district I grew up in, Middle School came about when there was a population explosion and the need for another building was felt. The (at that time) new High School was built and grades 7 and 8 were actually moved into the class rooms vacated by the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. Here we call them Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior.

    I can remember the first day of my 6th grade year knowing that my older sister was not at the same school building as my younger brother and myself. It was odd and a little bit uneasy. Not that we really saw each other that much anyway, but just knowing she was nearby was settling to me. But, as most things go, we all adapted and things worked out just fine.

    Another point to your post I’d like to comment on is that some districts do have open enrollment. There did come a time when my son learning more about how to disrespect others than what the teacher was actually trying to teach. It took me about two days to call the school I attended and discover that they did have open enrollment and they were happy to have him switch to that school. (I was more than happy to drive him every morning and go back and pick him up each afternoon. It had silently broken my heart to send my children to the rival school to begin with.) So, keep in mind, that if you find you aren’t really thrilled with the district in which you make your home, you do have other options. (in most areas.)

    • Wow, that’s quite the comment. Welcome! To be fair, the school districts are mostly because we have a choice. Children are not in the picture for quite some time. It’s just a new idea to me is all. Maybe, when the time comes that schooling is important, it would be good to look into open enrollment. Thanks for stopping by!

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