Life in the USA Magazine

Life In The USA Magazine

Life in the USA is a complete guide to American life for immigrants and Americans. All materials on this site Copyright © Elliot Essman 2016. All rights reserved.

Life In The USA Magazine showcases writing by experts on American issues, and is linked to the full Life In The USA website: more than 800 separate sections.    Submission Guidelines

Life In The USA
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Mediaset Italia: The Italian TV to Make Us Feel at Home

It happens every day: foreign communities in USA feel different, people want to stick to their culture, or simply new immigrants miss home.

If you can observe American-born people who are strangely attached to memories they get from their parents, there are also young people who feel far from home, and with the desire to maintain connections with the land they came from. Italians are the perfect example.

A lot of young women and men come from Italy to the USA every year. In the Mediterranean peninsula they call this migration “brains escape”, because they are not poor people looking for fortune like in the past. Most of them are qualified persons looking for a real job opportunity or a fruitful experience abroad. Generally they are 30-something, with educational qualification, and a lot of energy.

This people usually arrive in the United States and hate everything they left behind: from music to system, from culture to way of life. That is OK, you can exclude Italian weather and – of course – Italian food.

It takes not long, however, for Italians to progressively miss their country, and they tend – more than other communities – to reunite each other to feel more at home.

Television is a great way to remain closer to your own origins: you can be always well-informed on politics, society, culture, and you can have the typical entertainment you enjoyed in Italy. Mediaset Italia is one of the Italian TC channels you can watch in the USA via Dish online submission. Every day you can follow newscasts, Italian TV series like the comedy “Un ciclone in famiglia” or the crime drama “Distretto di polizia”, and a selection of the best TV shows, from quiz to legal.

For the ones who miss Italian cooking and want to replicate traditional recipes, there are two daily cooking show, “Cotto e mangiato” and “Ricette all’italiana”.

This is a perfect way to feel more comfortable and at home, even when you live abroad.

Oh No! It's Bike Week
Thomas Scopel

The rumble started. It wasn't the ocean. It wasn't a thunderstorm. "OH NO IT'S BIKE WEEK!" The time of the year when thousands of bikers invade our quiet little town of Daytona Beach, Florida, to party, ride everywhere, and basically, force we residents to deviate from our otherwise, calm and peaceful little lives. For the next week, day and night, night and day, it will continue. Gradually increasing, growing larger with each and every passing day. Full Article  Top

Dallas, Texas
Arlene Mason

There are more myths and misconceptions about Dallas than any other city. Myths like cattle drives down Main Street, cowboys on horseback, shoot outs in the street, and JR Ewing are only some of the things people believe about the area. The truth is there are no cattle drives through the center of town, except, however, in Fort Worth (about 30 miles away), they do run a few Longhorns through town as a tourist attraction. There are no cowboys, or even people wearing Stetson hats, in downtown Dallas. Full Article  Top

Bozeman, Montana
Jeremy Soldevilla

Bozeman is nestled in the Gallatin Valley of South Central Montana, which for thousands of years was a sacred healing place known as the Valley of the Flowers to many Native American tribes including the Blackfeet, Sioux and Nez Perce. Today it is home to a broad spectrum of people from professors, artists and ranchers to outdoorsmen, students and active retirees. The population is diverse but predominated by descendents of European settlers from Germany, Norway, Ireland and Holland. Full Article  Top

Non-Commercial Radio
Randall Davidson

Unlike many countries, the United States does not have a domestic government-run radio service. However, some radio stations in the U.S. are “non-commercial,” which means they do not run advertisements and are operated on a non-profit basis. Most are on the FM band and the stations from 88.1 to 91.9 mHz are reserved for non-commercial use. There are several types of non-commercial radio stations:

Public radio stations are typically run by a university or a local non-profit organization. The stations usually broadcast radio programs from National Public Radio, a network that distributes high-quality news programs and other offerings. The stations also usually air programs from two other networks, Public Radio International and American Public Media. Full Article  Top

Tattoos and Tattooing
James McDaniel

While tattoos are growing in popularity among young Americans, tattooing is still a controversial subject in America today.

According to Wikipedia, "A tattoo is a mark made by inserting pigment into the skin; in technical terms, tattooing is dermal pigmentation." Tattoos are a permanent form of body modification which involve pain and require care and special attention. Tattoo removal is possible but much more expensive and painful than getting a tattoo in the first place. As a person ages, their skin loses its elasticity which can change the original tattoo into one that is less defined and less attractive. However, with the invention of new inks made from vegetable oil, tattoos done today last much longer than they did twenty years ago. Also, many new laws on the sanitation of tattoo shops have minimized the risk of infection. Full Article  Top

A Not-So-Stupid-Crook-Story
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

In the USA we relish stupid crook stories. We always are reading about them in the newspapers. You know, stories about cat burglars who rob jewels from their own grandmother's house and leave behind a thank you note that says, "You always told me these diamonds belonged to my mom." That makes it easy for even stupid cops to find them.

What stupid crook stories do for me, instead, is make me think of frosted strawberries. In the United States, people often borrow something from a neighbor. Sometimes it's something like a pick axe, but usually it's just a stick of butter or a cup of sugar... Full Article  Top

Terri Elders, LCSW

In 1996 actor Cuba Gooding won an Academy Award for playing a football star in the comedy movie “Jerry McGuire.” His signature phrase from that film, “Show me the money,” has become a popular tag line, and serves to reinforce the stereotype of Americans as opportunistic capitalists who are self-serving to the core.

But Americans who have served overseas with Peace Corps report that one of most puzzling concepts for their overseas counterparts to grasp is why they have chosen to volunteer in the first place. Their colleagues ask them if they are simply unable to find work back home, or if they are seeking a spouse. Some puzzle over words such as “altruism” and ideas such as “a call to service.” Full Article  Top

Networking for Immigrants
Tatyana Sorokina

Networking is a phenomenon known all over the world but it is especially well-established in the United States. Whether you are looking for a job, trying to develop your own business, or seeking to grow the client base for your employing company you will not get too far without networking.

Recent statistics from the Federal Bureau of Labor indicate that 70 percent of all jobs are found in United States through networking. If you ask any entrepreneur in the USA he/she will confirm that about 90% of clients are found through networking too. This makes sense because you are more likely to do business with or employ a person who was recommended to you by someone you trust, i.e. someone from your “network”, rather than take a risk of dealing with a stranger.
Full Article  Legal Aliens Guide  Top

Is the Grass Really Greener?
An Examination of the Gender Gap

Katrina Boydon

Since the swinging 60’s it has been illegal for an employer to “discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such for equal work” (Equal Pay Act, 1963). In the following year, the Civil Rights Act prohibited “employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin”. In the four decades since these milestones in human rights, has the gender gap closed for earnings and career choice?

The Gender Earnings Gap
Data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that women are still paid less than their male counterparts. For example, female physicians and surgeons can expect to earn around 60% as much as male physicians and surgeons. In hard cash this is the difference between earning approximately $2,000 per week and $1,200 per week. Even in traditionally female careers, such as secretaries and administrative assistants, the fairer sex can expect to earn only 85% ($550 compared to $650) as much as men. There are only five careers in the BLS list of over 250 occupations where women earn more than men.
Full Article Web Site  Top

Mistaken For Black J. LaVelle Ingram, Ph.D.

I once counseled a young man from England who was biracial; he looked like your average fair-skinned African-American. If he were sitting quietly you couldn’t distinguish him from any other 20 something “Black” man in America. The problem was that African-Americans also couldn’t distinguish him from one of their own, and often seemed to take offense when he spoke differently and behaved differently from them. He reported reactions ranging from amusement to hostility when he didn’t dance like African-Americans or listen to the kind of music they liked or eat the kind of food that they ate. The conflict was not a minimal one, especially when my client found himself ostracized by the larger black community because of his differences.
Full Article    Top

Cheerleading Sandi Phillips

high school cheerleaders from champion cheerleading squad

Cheerleading styles vary greatly between the high school, college and professional levels. Teams that cheer for professional sports team such as basketball and football generally perform dance routines and do not include tumbling and gymnastics. Some of the most well known teams are the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for football and the Los Angeles Laker Girls for basketball.

College teams not only cheer at some sporting events to help fans show support for the teams, they may also compete as co-ed or all female teams and are judged on their routines performed to music. College level cheer competitions incorporate difficult gymnastic skills as well as stunting; making pyramids and throwing team members into the air and catching them. Two premier college teams are the University of Michigan and the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Full Article Top

Teen Pregnancy Gail Metcalf

There is very good education in our schools now about teen sex, the precautions and devices to prevent pregnancy and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). But no prevention method is 100% safe. And it is important to know that teen legal rights to engage in all types of sexual activity is regulated by state. In some states teens are forbidden to have sexual intercourse, including homosexual intercourse under a specified age. Every state attempts to regulate teen sex through statutory rape laws. These laws are intended to preserve community standards and morality. In a few states, some morality laws are still in place to prevent sex between unmarried adults.
Full Article  Top

Hollywood Sue Mazzone

Hollywood is the movie capital of the world. The American public has assured the film industry of that distinction by their weekly treks to the movie theater, and their purchase and rental of videos and DVDs. Nowhere in the world do people watch more movies than in America. It is estimated that the average American views one movie a week, whereas in Europe, the frequency is about once a month.

Americans work hard and play hard, and one reason they attend movies is for entertainment. The other reason Americans like to attend movies is that the stories on the screen illuminate truths about life on earth. They tell the truth about a fictional situation, or in some cases, the truth about our shared history, parts of history that are not taught in elementary school or even in high school (Dances with Wolves). We no longer sit around the campfire telling our healing stories and cautionary tales, and movies now serve that purpose.
Full Article  Sue Mazzone Website  Top

Office Politics Marianne Powers

Every office in America has office politics, which is the way people influence decisions in a company from outside the designated chain of command.  The chain of command seen in most offices requires changes to come down from the top or laboriously up from the bottom.  A worker with an idea has to convince his boss and his boss has to convince his boss and so on until the idea, possibly now diluted or distorted, reaches the level where decisions are made.  Failure to follow the chain of command can get a worker fired in a hurry.
Full Article  Marianne Powers Website  Top

Salt Water Fishing Craig Banks

Saltwater fishing can be of interest to both visitors as well as residents of the USA. Here in the USA, fishing has been a traditional pastime and is often a family oriented hobby. My fishing began when my father and older brother took me many years ago. Since age 6, I have been addicted to the sport.
     In the movie The Hunt for Red October, the movie ends with a scene where American and Russian officers discuss their mutual love of fishing which went back to their childhood. Fishing was a common interest that they could share. The scene was a good example of how people hold fishing as a tradition here and abroad.
Full Article  Daybreak Fishing Website  Top

Mr. Distance
Michelle Wang

I’d like to introduce you to a man named Mr. Distance. He is close friends with Mrs. I Miss You as well as distantly related to a boy named Presents From Foreign-Lands. You could say Mr. Distance is my archenemy, and we have been acquainted since I was young. Who, might you ask, introduced this man to me? My father.

My dad is the best dad in the world, because he is my dad. If you ask me what he looks like, I’ll say, around 5 feet 10 inches tall, Asian, wears glasses, and rounding a little around the midsection (to put it nicely). But I probably wouldn’t tell you about the things I guard in my little safe box called Memory. I probably wouldn’t tell you about his hearing problem in his right ear, his annoying tuft of hair that always likes to stay unruly, his nose that looks like his sisters, his smile that is like his dad, his favorite black Brook’s Brother’s polos, his gray suit from Hugo Boss or his transition lenses glasses that make him look kind of like an alien. Full Article  Top

Immigrants and Attitudes
Brenda Lachman

Since 9/11, anti-immigration sentiments not only have risen for obvious reasons, but they have really multiplied in the last couple of years. There are over 17 anti-immigrant organizations, and their arguments for rejection of immigrants, amnesty or comprehensible immigration reform are often economic: stealing jobs, the heavy use of the welfare systems, overload of the education system and not paying their taxes. The national identity and unity forums complain about immigrants isolating themselves into their own communities, not replacing their culture of origin with the American way of life and refusing to learn the language. Full Article  Top

Home Schooling: An Alternative Education Option
Lee Ann Rubsam

Home schooling has been a part of American heritage since the days of the country’s founding. The first immigrants, as well as the pioneers who moved westward in later years, home schooled their children by necessity until they were able to establish community schools. Fourteen of the forty-three United States presidents were home schooled, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. Inventors Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, Generals Douglas MacArthur and George Patton, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and composer Irving Berlin were all home schooled for at least part of their educational careers.
Full Article  Top

Yard and Garage Sales
Lisa Maloney

Yard, garage, tag, moving and apartment sales all refer to essentially the same thing: a private individual selling personal belongings from their own home. The goods for sale are typically displayed outside, either in the yard, garage, or driveway. Items may also be displayed inside the house or apartment if no outside space is available. Sellers advertise by posting small signs on neighboring streets, directing buyers to the seller's home. Sometimes the signs also describe what sort of items will be available for purchase.

Other places to find advertisements for yard sales include the local daily or weekly newspaper, local bulletin boards, neighborhood newsletters, and the website Craigslist.
Full Article  Top

York: A Key City in the Keystone State
Sue Chehrenegar

The history of the United States has repeatedly included mention of York, Pennsylvania. Beginning in 1750, as thousands of settlers traveled south from Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley, they passed through York. One of those settlers, Daniel Boone, carried a rifle designed by a gunsmith with a shop in York.

During the Revolutionary War an important dinner took place at a home inhabited by General Horatio Gates. Some of the dinner guests that night were statesmen, men who had had to flee British-occupied Philadelphia. Like Gates, some of those statesmen entertained thoughts of replacing General George Washington with a different officer.
Full Article  Top

Child Abuse Juanita Harris

Every year there are three million reports of child abuse in America. When a parent or caretaker acts, or fails to act in a way that presents imminent risk of serious harm to a child it is considered abuse. This includes causing or not preventing serious physical or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and death. Most of the States recognize four types of abuse: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

In the year 2004 there were 872,000 proven cases of abuse in America. The majority of those cases involved neglect. When you neglect a child, you are failing to provide him or her with the basic needs & supervision to live a healthy and happy life. 1,490 children died as a result of physical abuse or neglect in 2004, and more than one third of these deaths were recognized as a direct result of neglect. The majority of child fatalities involved children younger than four-years-old. Studies show that in most cases the abuser was the child's parent.
Full Article  Top

Poverty in America Jeannine Pitas

For most people in the world- including some in other developed countries- the US is the paragon of an affluent society, the proverbial Promised Land where millionaires abound and where even the lower classes are comfortable. This is the image commonly portrayed by Hollywood movies, in which every family lives in a suburban subdivision or plush apartment and owns at least one luxury car. On the superficial level, this picture appears accurate enough. After all, how many other countries have our gigantic supermarkets stocked with every imaginable delicacy from sushi to tahini, our superhighways crowded with every kind of vehicle, our whole communities of spacious, beautiful houses with perfectly manicured lawns? How many other countries have our tradition of social mobility and our treasure of rags-to-riches tales? Any way you look at it, our country is one of the most affluent in the world.
Full Article  Top

Teen Self Esteem Jay LaRico

Low self-esteem is a critical issue facing teens in America. It has been proven that low self-esteem affects learning and can lead to such problems as delinquency, unhealthy relationships, eating disorders, drugs and suicide.

Some facts:
Eating Disorders: In the United States, the National Eating Disorders Association conservative estimates indicate that, after puberty, 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or borderline conditions.
Full Article Website  Top

Errand and Concierge Services Angel Wilder

Come midnight, everyone gets to start over with 1,440 minutes in their daily bank account of time. What they do with those minutes is up to them. Like money, people’s minutes can be spent wisely or spent frivolously. With Americans having an ever increasing load of tasks and errands that need to be done, it seems as if they are trying to squeeze every last minute into the day by multi-tasking. From time to time people have seen the multi-tasker out there who is trying to drive while eating breakfast, talking to a client on the cell phone, reading notes for the morning meeting, and making sure his or her hair is in place.

So how do people spend their time wisely when there is a ceiling of 1,440 minutes and they cannot store any extra time for another day? They buy more time from errand and concierge services.
Full Article  Angel At Your Service Website  Top

Hiring a Nanny For Your Child Steve Lampert

Finding a reliable nanny is a primary concern for working mothers in the United States.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 5.6 million working moms in the United States, and approximately 51 percent of women who gave birth to their first child returned to work within four months.

In record numbers, families are turning to nannies as a solution for their childcare needs.

Hiring a nanny is a serious commitment, and many U.S. parents use a mutual “nanny contract” to lay out clearly the terms and conditions of employment before the hiring process is complete.
Full Article Website  Top

Home Exchange Helen Bergstein

Although airfare and the costs of car travel have been lowered by competition in recent years, accommodations continue to be a stumbling block for many would-be travelers. Hotel rooms can add up to hundreds of dollars a night in some of the most desirable locations. Home exchange, though, lets couples, families, and singles from all walks of life travel the world and meet exciting people without spending a cent on accommodations. Thanks to the influence of the Internet, arranging this type of travel is as simple as joining a home swapping community and exchanging emails with would-be partners.

Home exchange simply means that you agree to exchange your primary or secondary/vacation home with someone else's for an agreed period of time. No money changes hands, and you get a clean place to stay that is miles ahead of any hotel room.
Full Article  Digsville Home Exchange  Top

Negotiating a Business Deal Erin Flynn

As a manager, do you know what it takes to negotiate a successful deal? Can you build an honest and direct relationship with the other party? Anne Warfield, President of Impression Management Professional, a Minnesota-based consulting firm, shares her negotiating expertise:
     First, you must have a game plan or strategy. If you go into a negotiation session without one, you have no idea where to be flexible, when to give, or how to state your point.
     What is the personality style of the other people and how does that affect how you negotiate? According to Warfield, not everyone negotiates from the same point of view. People have different stakes in a negotiation. Determine what issues concern the other party the most. Also, know what your style is like so you can best prepare to negotiate a win-win situation.
Full Article  Flynn Media Website  Top

Building Your Own House Bill E. Fullington

It is the American dream to own a home of your own. Most people that are really interested in getting the home of their dreams build their own. Building your own home or having a home built for you is definitely an adventurous, but most rewarding task. As with any project or new career that you're interested in exploring, the more education you have and knowledge you obtain before inception, the more rewards and less risk will be involved.
     There are many good, honest and ethical home builders. But how do you know if the builder you select is doing a good job and if he's charging you appropriate sums of money? What do you look for when selecting a lot? What amenities are available in a particular subdivision? Should you pick the high ground or the low ground; a sloping lot or a flat lot, a rectangular lot or square lot? Do you choose stock house plans or custom house plans? How do know if the house plans you choose will be appropriate for the lot that you purchase? What about financing? How much house can you afford?
Full Article  Top

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