Monday, February 9, 2009

"God Grew Tired of Us"

Freshmen- after viewing "God Grew Tired of Us", consider and respond, with highly specific and well articulated analysis, to the following prompts:
1. A benefit of this documentary lies in the opportunity to view our own (American) culture through the eyes of the Dinka. What aspects of our culture, which we may or may not take for granted, are polarized by this different perspective?
2. Construct a "mini-essay" which compares and contrasts the "American Dream" with the "Sudanese-American Dream". Use specific references to the film and the novel.
3. In the film, John is reunited, after 17 years, with his mother. She expresses her elation through a Dinka song and dance, a traditional expression of joy. How does John respond to this? How does this poignant moment illustrate the paradoxical experience of East African immigrants?


Anonymous said...

Meagan Elliott 2/9/09
Mr. Kefor Period F
“God Grew Tired Of Us”:
Film Responses

1. Through the eyes if the Dinka men in this film, we, as Americans, are able to view our own cultural aspects that we take for granted. Before these men came to America, they lived in a place where they had virtually nothing compared to us. They were almost “cut-off” from the rest of the world for the simple reason of not modernizing their way of living. And on top of that, they were basically stripped of everything and they didn’t really own anything, not even themselves; the government did and they controlled everything. And they also went hunting for these people to cleanse their culture. So, these boys were running for their lives most of childhood, all alone.
We take a lot in our everyday lives for granted. And, we don’t even realize it; we can’t see it. Small things such as enough food to go around or more clothes than just the outfit we have on. These boys didn’t have that luxury; they barely had anything. But, more importantly, we took for granted our civil rights. We have a government that works for us, who tries to help us with programs and such, unlike in Africa, where the government used and slaughter their people. Also, just the simple fact of not only going to school, but actually having the opportunity given to us to go to school and get an education. We can also have a job and be able to support ourselves and keep most of our earnings. We think that everyone should have these things, like natural born things. But, really, not everyone does; for example, a home, safety, clothes, a car, etc. We can’t see it because it is natural instinct of ours to think everyone has these things.
2. In the film “God Grew Tired of Us”, we are able to see the difference between our expectations as Americans and the expectations of people from Sudan. Our “American Dreams” are similar to an extent, but they are mostly dreamt differently.
Living as an American, born and raised in America, we see one dream no matter where we come from. To us, the “American Dream” is to one day go to college and pursue a career of our choice; something that we enjoy doing. And after college, get a job in our chosen career field and get to work. Then, we are to get married and start a wonderful family. And, we are to own our own house with green grass and nice backyard for the kids to play in. We want to live that dream. It is the perfect dream for everyone to have.
On the other hand, the “Sudanese-American Dream” is a little different. To people from Sudan, who have grown up in much hardship, they dream of coming to America for opportunity. To them, the “American Dream” is to come here and go to college. And then, to get a job to be able to support themselves. For example, the boys say how much they want to be independent and how they want to be free. And after all of this, they want to help their people who have yet to come to America; the boys and family still in Africa. For example, John is always talking about how he wants to give and give to his people but it is hard. And he soon brings his mother and sister here. And one boy travels back to Africa to visit and he plans on moving back and building a school. And another has set up group that aids in funding these people in Africa. However, life did not come so easy to them and life doesn’t come that easy to us either. But, we learn to work through it and fight until the very end.
3. In this film, John is reunited with his mother after 17 years of separation. He acts in a peculiar way; in a way you wouldn’t expect. She performs a traditional Dinka song and dance to express her joy. And John simply just continues to walk through the airport, almost as if he doesn’t know his mother, or even the simple fact that she is performing this for him. And you can see in the background, other people staring and watching, with expressions saying “what is she doing” and “this lady is crazy and weird”. But, back in Africa, John would have had way more people doing this and it would be accepted as a natural thing. However, in America, these types of things are not easily accepted. When John came here, he wanted to keep his culture. But, being here for over three years has completely changed that. He has basically been stripped of his culture and way of living. Coming here changes everything for a person. And they don’t even see it happening. And because of this, John can barely accept his culture anymore and it is actually quite sad. John has almost lost his connection to his culture.

Anonymous said...

Brianna Rogers
Block D

1. Throughout the documentary; “God Grew Tired of Us”, the Dinka's view our own, American culture, which we take for granted each and everyday. They were very shocked once they arrived here. We as Americans, live a much more modern and updated lifestyle. The boys were even astonished by simple things as showers and running water, which we don’t seem to be thankful for. Where they came from they didn’t have the luxury to have electric things such as cell phones, computers, or even televisions. These object are just simple and minor thing to us, but to the Dinkas they were fantastic and a big step up from what they were use to. Even always being able to have food in our mouths or water to drink was a great privilege for them. The boys were so happy to be attending school and able to receive an education. Now a day, in America, children dread going to school. People of other cultures would give anything to have an opportunity to be educated that we take for granted. They were grateful to be living this type of lifestyle and I believe more Americans should be because we have so much that other cultures do not.

2. In the film, “God grew tired of Us”, we are able to compare and contrast the “American dream” and the “Sudanese American Dream”.
As an American we dream of going to a great college and soon after we go into a career. Once the job is started we get married and have kids in a big, perfect house. Everything is perfect and a dream everyone wants in America. They have a great family and nothing with change this.
The “Sudanese American Dream” is different. They dream of arriving in America and begin being educated. After that they start a career to support themselves. As soon as they are settled they want to help to remaining lost boys that still may have hard times back home. For example, one of the boys was sending most all of his income back home to his mother and sisters to get better. Another boy went back with his money he made to make a school to educate the people of his home land. The boys realize that they have an opportunity to change their lives and make it better. They believe that the Dinka people also should have this opportunity.
As we see the American dream is more about oneself and the Sudanese is about helping the people in need. They are two completely different aspects on life but still are taking place in America. People take advantage of our freedoms in different ways.

3.In this film, John is reunited with his mother after 17 years. She performs a Dinka song and dance to show her expression of joy. John is a little bit embarrassed by what his mother is doing here in America. I believe that if she was performing this dance back home he would have been happy and filled with joy, but after he has been in America for some time, he knows that her behavior is not accepted here. He notices the people staring at her and he doesn’t feel comfortable and maybe somewhat awkward with her doing this to draw attention to them. He is use to the new ways of living now.

Anonymous said...

1. This documentary helps polarize certain aspects of our lives, some good and some bad.
It reminds us constantly about our luxuries. There is a time As the Dinka ask about showers, certain foods and other things we take for granted we release what that we live in a selfish world. We tend to materialize and commercials everything for our own personal benefit. For example the Dinka celebrate Christmas for what it is according to the bible; while we celebrate the commercial aspects. We take our holidays and forget the true meanings; we want them not for spiritual means; but commercial and material ones instead. Another shocking realization is that we are mean, selfish, bitter, rude and lonely as a whole. We ignore and resent people whom try to know us and help us. Yes there are always exceptions but when most see someone in a bad situation we walk away and don’t get involved. The Dinka are kind to each other; they embrace their neighbors and are very kind. Our society needs learn more from them.

2. The largest country in Africa is Sudan; Sudan is the homeland of a group of people that suffered genocide, the Dinkas. The Dinkas and the American’s both have a dream, however different.
The American dream is to own land, have a nice house; for some married and children. The American dream is self centered where as the Dinka’s is far from it. The Dinka’s want peace in their homeland. They want for one day to be able to rebuild there homes and lives where their parents once lived. They wish that their people and friends will no longer be sick, and hungry. There dream is for others; to end there suffering.
The American dream is selfish; we want luxurious for us not others. The Dinka’s dream is one of peace, and freedom; to live and for their friends and family and neighbors to live as well. The Dinka’s dream is one that will benefited everyone if it comes true.

3. When John is reunited with his mother he is joyful. He was working hard to bring her to America. When he finally sees her he runs to her to hug her as Americans would. She wants to hold him but wants to sing to him expressing her joy in the traditional way. He seems embarrassed of this old tradition because he has now adopted an American tradition. He his talking to her, trying to calm her down; holding her to prevent her from dancing. He is embarrassed that the cameras are there. John has now adopted an American culture; this is ironic because in the movie, “God Grew Tired of Us.” John was angry at the Dinkas that had forgotten Dinka traditions and were dressing and acting in the American culture. Now John has adopted the American culture and it will only be time before his mother will.
Anthony Berardi

Anonymous said...

Ryan Consentino
Period F
"God Grew Tired Of Us"
film response

1. Through the Dinka men in the video "God Grew Tired Of Us" we are able to see all of the cultural aspects of our lives which we take for granted. These men grew up and lived with nothing until they were sent to America to continue their lives. Many things in our daily lives are taken for granted but it is not this way for the Dinka men. When they first arrived in America they were amazed at some of the things that are here. One of these things was the fact that we have electricity. We are not usually thankful for this because it is a part of our everday lives. The Dinka did not have any electricity and when they arrived here in America they were very thankful that they were able to use such things as televisions and telephones. Also, when the men got here they were amazed at the amount of food. They grew up barely surviving because of a lack of food and we take all of our food for granted and are not very thankful unlike these men were. A final thing that we are accustomed to and are not very thankful for is our education and school system. Growing up the Dinka boys were extremely lucky if they were able to go to school. Now that they are in America they are grateful that they get to go to college and get an education. Those are some of the things that we as Americans take for granted but the Dinka men were grateful for these things.

2. In the film the difference of our dream as Americans and the dreams of the Sudanese men is clearly shown. In ways the dreams are similar but in others they are very different. We as Americans who have lived in America our whole lives have a common dream. All Americans want to go to school and get an education. Then after college we want to pusue a career in a field that we enjoy. We all want a job that we will like. Then we want to get married and have kids. After being married we want to buy a house with a nice lawn and a spot for the kids to play.
The dream of the Sudanese men is slightly different. Like us they want to go to school and get an education. After college they to want to go to work. Their idea of work is to make money to support themselves. Also, the men want independence and freedom. After they have made money they try to send some to Africa to help their families travel to America. In the movie, John was always talking about how he was sending money to his mother so he can bring her to America so he can see her. Also, one of the other boys travels back to Africa to help the country by building schools so the children can be educated. That is how the dreams of Americans and Sudanese are different.

3. After 17 years of seperation, John is reunited with his mother. She sees him and begins doing a Dinka song and dance. As John and his mother are walking throught the airport his mother continues singing and dancing. As she does this John just continues walking and pays no attention to his mother's expression of joy. He seems as if he is pretending not to know her. Also, John begins to cry as he is walking. He cries because he knows that he has lost most of the connection with his former culture. Being in America for so long changed the way John looks at his culture and he does not accept it anymore. He has almost completely lost all of his old cultural connections.

Anonymous said...

1. Watching the film, "God Grew Tired of Us" really puts the American culture, for which we take advantage of, into perspective. The Dinka men are new to all aspects of the American civilization and their views polarize our culture for the viewers. In their civilization, the Dinkas were deprived of mostly everything. When the Dinkas arrived, they were astonished to discover lighting and learned, on film, for the the first time how to turn a light switch on. Another thing the Dinka men were grateful of, was the transportation. One of the men in the film told viewers it takes him at least 45 minutes riding on different buses to get to work, and he never complained about it. Things like food, showers, electricity and transportation are some of the aspects of our culture that Americans take for granted. Americans rarely notice these necessities until they are put in harms way, or simply just put into perspective by films like "God Grew Tired of Us".

2. The film "God Grew Tired of Us" shows viewers the differences between the dream we have as Americans and the dream Sudanese have. The "All-American Dream" is to grow up, got to college, get a career that we enjoy and have kids with the one we love. Unlike the American dream, the "Sudanese-American Dream" is to come to America be granted running water, three square meals a day, and to afford to send money back to their homeland. One of the men in the film was ecstatic to be able to go back to his homeland, after a few years in America, and build a school for the children.
As these differences are put into perspective for us, we see that the American dream is focused more on the individual and the Sudanese dream focuses on helping those who are in need.

3. One of the Dinka men, John, who moved to the United States along with many other Dinka men, is reunited with his mother after 17 years. In the airport, John's mother expresses her elation with a traditional Dinka song and dance but John doesn't express his joy in the same way. Surprisingly, John actually looks like he feels somewhat awkward and embarrassed. Although, I believe that if the situation was different, and John was visiting his mother in Africa, he wouldn't of felt as awkward and embarrassed.

-Amanda Murphy

Anonymous said...

Kolin Campbell 2/11/09
Mr. Kefor
F Block
Film Responses to
"God Grew Tired of Us"

1) The American culture, viewed by the citizens of the free country, is seen as nothing extraordinary, just the way they have always lived. As the Sudanese "Lost Boys" are invited to settle in to America though, the view they see on the culture illustrates how privileged living in America has been. Just coming from tragedy, catastrophe, and heart break, John, Panther, and Daniel describe to America how amazing the country really is. Common house-hold objects such as showers, refrigerators, televisions, and even mattresses are new to these three boys, where Americans see them as just little items. Electricity, needed for pretty much everything now in the U.S., is the most drastic tool taken for granted though, as countries such as Sudan can not experience its abilities to assist a whole population. The film magnifies the opportunity in the new country that one hundred percent of the country’s population takes for granted. The characters successfully show the lives they have been living compared to the lives the average American has been living, where a struggle for food and water is not part of a daily routine. Boys" are invited to settle in to America though, the view they see on the culture shows how fortunate

2) As the Dinka characters settle down in to their new ways of life, they draw up goals, or a dream, they want to achieve now in America. The dream thought up by these Sudanese boys has a different purpose than the “American Dream.” The “American Dream” is the opportunity to chase the career of chose by hard work, and to eventually live a successful life with money to support them. America is the “land of opportunity.” The “Sudanese-American Dream” is not a dream that is all about the person. It is a dream that they will get a good-paying job that will help with paying for their home, but most importantly, the money will be used to help out the unfortunate ones back in Sudan; the money is used to support others in need. The “Lost Boys” want to bring loved ones over to this free country. The dream consists of freedom, protection, where that dream of Americans does not since they already have those. Both dreams though are not automatically given to anyone, but if hard work and dedication is put in to the dream, success will come much easier.

3) John finally reunites with his mother after 17 years, who he did not even know was still alive. As she walks toward him after getting of the plane, her Dinka song and dance expresses her feelings of joy of the moment. As she continues with her traditional dance, John looks around at the watching audience who does not understand the situation. His feeling of happiness slowly fades to shyness and embarrassment toward his mother, as she does not know how to act in the new world. John knows that the dance is not welcomed in the country as it was back in Sudan. Throughout the film, John continues to follow the his personal culture, and tries to force others to do the same, but the actions of him at this specific moment shows that he was not fully successful, or he would of joined the song and dance of his own mother.

Anonymous said...

Allison Capprini
Period F
1. While watching the documentary we got a chance to see our (American) culture through the eyes of foreigners. We take many of the great aspects of our culture for granted. An example is when the Dinka go to the grocery store in the documentary they don’t understand that the food is already ready for you to eat. We as Americans don’t think at all that it is amazing that we don’t personally have to kill the animals that we eat. When they first arrive at their apartment a man is showing them how to use lights and how to turn them off and on by using a switch, we definitely take having lights and using light switches for granted. It was a big surprise to me that the Dinka did not know what a shower was or how to use it. They were very fascinated by this and most people don’t think twice about it. Too many Americans realize that in our modern times other countries don’t have a lot of the things that we use on a daily basis and very take for granted. It was very interesting to see what foreigners think of our culture and to realize that most of the things we use on a daily basis many other countries don’t have at all.

2. The American dream and the Sudanese-American dream differ from one another a great deal. The Sudanese-American dream is a lot simpler than the American dream. The American dream is that you live in a nice house and have a few children and a wonderful husband/wife. The Sudanese-American dream is to have enough money to live in any type of house, most likely an apartment, and have food at least once everyday. The Sudanese-American dream consists of having enough money and food to live which the American dream just assumes that they will have enough money and not eating three times a day isn’t even an option. The American dream is more complex than the Sudanese-American dream because most Americans already have what the Sudanese-Americans wish they had.

3. In the film John is reunited with is mother after 17 years of not seeing each other or even knowing if one another were alive for a while. She was very excited to see him and performed a Dinka song and dance to express her feelings. While she is doing this John is embarrassed because he notices that everyone is staring and is almost just ignoring her. This action shows that he is now used to the American culture and way of living. If he were back in Sudan he most likely would have been doing the dance and singing with her. This shows that even though he tried to hang onto his culture he picked up many parts of the American culture because he had been living there for over three years.

Anonymous said...

Bradley Jones 2/9/09
English “God Grew Tired of Us”

Prompt 1.

Our “modern” American culture is one of the most puzzling things to deal with and learn in the world, and that is if you start learning when you are born. The way the Dinka looked at our culture was enlightening in how they question the things we take as just part of our culture, like Santa Clause who really has nothing to do with Christmas.

Prompt 2.

The “American dream”, five kids, nice house, pool, white picket fence, but the Sudanese think differently. The Sudanese-American dream is that of school and collage, and learning. When the exiles from Sudan arrive their first thought is of how they will send money that they earn to their families and friends. One of the lost boys exiled from Sudan would get up for work at three A.M. and sleep at his McDonalds until work so he would not be late. The Sudanese seem to have a much less self-centered life style than our own rather selfish dream, let alone our pursuit of it!

Prompt 3.

When the lost boy John was reunited with his mother after seventeen years apart his mother expressed her joy of seeing him, through a customary Dinka song and dance. John seemed to react not negatively as any American would have done but he seemed proud that his mother still had her culture when many other people would have just given up hope and conformed. John was not ashamed of his mother for expressing her self in their people’s traditional way, he was happy.

Anonymous said...

Gary Portway
Period F

1. When the Dinkas arrive in America I believe this expresses the most apporiate response - most Americans take what they have for granted. The Dinkas barely have the necessitities to live, nevermind the technology of modern civilization we are blessed with. The Dinkas (mainly boys) were shielded from the rest of the world. They were taken advantage of by the local government and for this they were often on the move.It makes me feel sorry that innocent people like the Dinkas dont have a cooperative government that stablizes the country. They're government in Sudan does not support any future for anybody that is of any different...anything, this means, no family, no kids, no jobs, no oppurtunities, and mainly death itself. Its a shame that not everybody (here) can grasp the fact that natural rights are only grasped (over there) by a guy with an M16 and a certification of a bounty hunter.
2. The film - "God Grew Tired of Us" indicates a overall difference between the "American Dream" and the "Sudanese-American Dream". To Americans, the “American Dream” means eventually we will go to college and pursue a field of choice that we love.Perhaps along the way begin a family and have kids. Along the line of that we'll need to have a nice house, yard, family pet etc. Who doesnt want this dream? This is only possible because we were born onto this level. Sudan's people who come here, not so much. They just look for a new life, but mainly they look for jobs. A job to help themselves and they are kind gentle people who dare to send such gross amounts of money back home hoping to spread the freedom here in America to the people stuck in Africa. One example is how Panther finds he makes a stable life here in America and decides to return to Africa and then marrys his wife. Another example is John, he has been a leader all his life and has not forgotten all his people. He spreads the reality of genocide everyday and is changing the way Americans think by every single solitary second. Lifes hard for everybody, get that without a doubt in any ounce of a mind, what keeps us going - bond together is a dream to do well and the people who stick to this are the people who succeed in life happily.
3.Unfortunately, no matter how close you are to somebody in such a war-torn contient as Africa, you will find people you've met 17 years ago different, in this case John finds his mom very different. Mainly because she expresses joy not through American traditions but through Dinka traditions, she yelps and sings and cant even stand up straight, John gives the impression like "ok lady calm down..." which is what you would expect more out of a typical American, yet John has now been in America for about 3 years and has adapted to the culture here, John feels embaressed for his mother actions but you have to remeber that the film makers only showed that part, what happened to his mom? Did she find a home in America? I bet if she did and stayed there she would be like us now, you cant judge actions equalily when the film makers show you want they want and not what you want.

Anonymous said...

Tyler Durocher-2/11/09- F block

1.)In the documentary “God Grew Tired of Us”, we as Americans are able to view our culture through the eyes of a few Dinka refugees. Throughout the movie certain things that we take for granted as Americans are polarized by these Dinka men. Things that we take for granted such as freedom, a home, and plenty of food.
Things that we take for granted in our everyday life are polarized by the Dinka men during the documentary. For example, we take our homes for granted. The Dinka originally lived in huts made of straw and mud. So when they were introduced to their new apartments they were so grateful for them because the houses in America are a lot stronger and bigger than the houses in Sudan. Also, the amount of food that we eat in one day is more than most Sudanese people eat in one week due to the lack of food in the camps. When the Refugees came to America, they didn’t necessarily eat the food like Americans but they were supplied with a very large variety of food that they have never had before. For example, one group was introduced to potato chips. They were amazed by the taste of it and how it was packaged. Lastly, the freedom that Americans take for granted is polarized by the Dinka. In Sudan there was not much freedom except for the refuge camps that they were staying in. Panther, one of the Dinka refugees spoke about the freedom of the country because he had the freedom to get a job, own a car and a home.
Aspects of our culture that are taken for granted by Americans are polarized by refugees in our country. Aspects such as freedom, a home and food are a few of the aspects of our culture that we take for granted. The documentary “God Grew Tired of Us” is a perfect example of why Americans should be grateful for the aspects of our culture.

2.) During the documentary “God Grew Tired of Us”, it hints on the ideas of the Sudanese- American dream. The ideas of the Sudanese dream differ from the American dream but in some ways they are similar to a certain extent. Through the actions of the Dinka men in the documentary we are introduced to the ideas of the Sudanese- American dream.
The two sets of goals are very different from each other in some aspects. The American dream is to have the big and fancy house to live in. Where as the Sudanese- American dream is to just have a home. This shows that the Americans are a little selfish because they just want everything big and fancy, when there are people in the world that would be content just having a place to call home. The American dream is to have one of those families that everyone is very close to one another. The Sudanese- American dream is for the refuges to meet up with family members that they were separated from during the war in Sudan. During the documentary John, a Dinka refuge, was reunited with his mother after being separated for seventeen years. In the American dream we just want to live in America with the freedoms that we possess. Whereas in the Sudanese- American dream they want to help there homeland and visit again. In the movie Panther, another Dinka refuge, returns to Africa after living in America for many years. He does this to reunite with all his friends and family and to get a wife. Also, while John was living in Syracuse, he sent his earnings to the people in the camp where he previously stay at. This shows that the Sudanese-American dream is just to make enough money to help their home land. The two sets of goals are different in numerous ways.
Even though the two dreams are different in many ways the also share some similarities. For example, both dreams wrap around the idea of making more money than they were previously making. For example, all of the Dinka men in the movie came to the land of opportunity looking for a way to earn money. Also, both dreams include the basic idea of having a better home. Even though their ideas of a better home are different, they still have the common point of a better home. Those are the few reasons of how the American dream and Sudanese- American dream are similar.

3.)In the documentary John is reunited, after 17 years, with his mother. When she sees him she expresses he elations through a Dinka song and dance, a traditional expressions of joy. She does this in the middle of the airport. As she does this John acts in strange way. It’s not that John was acting weird, it’s that he wasn’t acting in a way that you would expect him to act like. Usually when someone is reunited with a relative after such a long time, you would expect them to be overjoyed. Although John was just reunited with his mother he continued to walk through the airport like he did not know his own mother. He was doing this because he was a little embarrassed of the sounds and movements that his mother was making. This experience in the airport shows that even though John originally set out to preserve his native culture, he still changed. Through the time that John spent in American he has adapted to Americas modern culture. Thus explaining why he was a little embarrassed of his mother.

Anonymous said...

1. Americans definitely take what they have for granted. We use things everyday that people in other countries can’t even imagine. For example a lot of people in America take televisions and computers for granted. Most people in some other countries probably don’t even know what a computer is or what a television is. Two main examples of this are technology and running water.
One of the things Americans take for granted is technology. We sometimes don’t even realize what a luxury it actually is to have televisions, computers, and ipods. If someone gave and ipod to someone in Sudan they probably wouldn’t know what to do with it. Also, we have cars, planes, and many ways of transportation. The people of Sudan don’t have those things, so they have to walk hundreds of miles to get to places. An average American probably can imagine walking a few hundred miles just to get to somewhere.
Another thing Americans take for granted is how we have running water. Most people who have running water don’t realize how much of a luxury it is to have. If someone wanted to take a shower or bath in Sudan they would have to go in a river to bathe. In America we can just turn on the shower and we have hot water. It is just amazing to think about how much Americans have that the Sudanese would just die for.

2. The “Sudanese-American” dream is different and similar to the “American Dream”. The “American Dream” is to go to college and have a perfect family with a big house and be very wealthy and successful. The “Sudanese-American Dream” is to go to America and go to college. Also they want a job to send money and support their families. They would eventually hope to send the rest of their family to America so they can prosper together.
The Sudanese men who came to America from the movie “God Grew Tired of Us” came here and got jobs and some of them went to college. They were sending money to their families as much as they could. Also they would work two or three jobs to pay for where they live and still support their family. Also they were trying to get their families to come to America. On of the men is successful in bringing his mother to America and she fell over when she saw him and she started screaming when she was walking around the airport.

3. In the film “God Grew Tired of Us” one of the Sudanese men is reunited with his mother after seventeen years. When he finally gets off the plane she expresses her happiness with a Dinka song and dance. Two things I found interesting about this was John’s reaction to this and this moment illustrates that the African immigrants have grown apart from their culture.
When his mother does the Dinka song and dance John is sort of embarrassed. This is interesting because, he would be so embarrassed. I know if my mother had been separated from me for seventeen years then I would be extremely happy to see her.
Although John is happy to see her he is embarrassed to see his mother do the song and dance. This is interesting moment really showed how far away from his culture he had come from living in America for this long. The immigrants moved to America to find opportunity but keep their culture. However, it seems that he was unsuccessful because of the fact that he was embarrassed to see his mother doing the Dinka song and dance.

-Matt Pelletier

Anonymous said...

Caisey Calabro
Period F
God Grew Tired Of Us

Question 1 :

When looking through the eyes of the Dinka men who had never been anywhere outside of Sudan and Africa it showed the many things that us as Americans take for granted. At the beginning of the film the boys who are chosen to come to America have to take classes to learn about their new lives. They learn that people have jobs and make money to support their families and about the different types of technology used in the United States. On the plane one boy had to ask how to use the bathroom, another had eaten butter and mayonnaise because they did not know what they were or how to use them. The man at the apartments had to show all of the boys how to flush a toilet, how to turn on a light, how to use the shower, how to wash their clothes, and many other things that we do on a normal day basis. As Americans we take it for granted that we have clean running water and food to support us and our families with everyday.

Question 2:

The “American Dream” is portrayed through our eyes of having a perfect spouse and house with children running around in the background and everything in your life being good without problems. Many people try and search for the American dream their whole night but can never accomplish it but they should realize that the American dream is just a theory. They should learn to love their life for what it is and not want better or more from it and just be happy with what they have and who they have before it is gone. The “Sudanese-American Dream” is to go to America to have a better life. They would come and work and not complain and make minimum wage at their jobs so that they could take whatever money that had left over to send back to their families in Sudan. To the Dinkas there main goal in America was know that they were free, they had to do everything they could in order to help free the rest of their families. The Dinkas appreciate more than Americans do because everything has always been handed to the Americans and they have never had to face any situations like the Dinkas have.

Question 3:

John responded to think dance by backing away at first but then hugging his mother. He was not frightened by the dance but rather more surprised. He had been living as an American for three years and to see his mother dancing that way it took him by shock to see his old culture again. If it had been years earlier when he had still been with his mother in Sudan it would not have seemed so strange to him to see her doing this dance. John was a strong believer in keeping his culture but after being in America for 3 years he has lost his grip on his culture and some things are just forgotten and seem abnormal to him in his new life.

Anonymous said...

Kim Schubert
English F

1. Throughout the documentary “God Grew Tired of Us”, Dinka’s experienced what it was like to live in the world of Americans. Many things came a shock to the Dinka’s of what they were used to at home. Things including the shower, different kinds of food and electricity were very fascinating to the Dinka’s, for they have never seen things like this ever in their life. But to Americans these things are over used and not looked at the same as did the Dinka’s. Americans take things for granted, for many people today are spoiled and get whatever they please. The Dinka’s did not get the opportunity to have food everyday like we do whenever we like, for they had one meal a day which was very small. And to come to America and eat whenever you like was very convenient to them for they were very skinny. Also today many Dinka’s do not have enough money to pay for school so many do not get educated as they should. Again, many Americans take going to school for granted because many people today don’t even care. Coming to America was a great experience for the Dinka’s and they think that we should not take things like this for granted because many countries do not have the things we do. Also they wanted their brothers and sisters to come to America too so they could experience the greatness of it, as well as they did.

2. In “God Grew Tired of Us”, the “American Dream” and “Sudanese-American Dream” were shown in many different ways. The American Dream consists of getting a job that will help you pay for different taxes and what not. Once you get the job, the next plan is to settle down for a family and live in a happy and same environment. The “American Dream” is more set towards living the perfect life, which we all know that nobody is perfect. Yet in the “Sudanese-American Dream”, they are not looking for the perfect life. The Sudanese are looking to help others, where the Americans is just set on one person. In the movie, most of the Sudanese would say on a regular basis how they wanted everyone else to come live like this and experience how great it is, just like they did. Also some of them were sending back money for the others just so the people in Sudan would stay alive and not die of starvation. The “American Dream” and “Sudanese-American Dream” are totally different in many ways, which makes our living very different from them.

3. When John is united with his mother after 17 years he is basically in shock. But at the same time he seems embarrassed. After living in America for about three years he has seen the American culture, where people would think his mother was crazy or weird. But in his culture, what his mother did was completely normal. At the airport people were glaring at John and his mother like she was some kind of strange animal or something. This is why John seemed to try to calm her down and stop her. In the movie you can see that John has totally changed from the beginning to the end in wanting to keep his culture. He still does, yet he changes without even realizing it and it is kind of sad in a way.

Anonymous said...

1) some aspects of todays culture thaty we might take for granted are things we use everyday. things like butter and running water are things that they never had. When they came to America, they saw all these things for the first time and didn't know what to think or do about them. We use these things everyday and we forget how important they are to our everyday lives.
2) the traditional American dream usually consists of getting a well paying job, getting marrried, and having a family. The sudanese American dream, however, is mainly about wanting a better life. Both dreams include getting a job and a family but people for Sudan are also looking for a better life here than they had there. In Sudan people didnt have a lot of opporotunites to become their best. But, here in America they can go to school, get a job, and raise money to send to their family and friends back in Sudan. Americans want to make a life for themselves and be happy, Sudanese people want that as well and a chance to get away from their hardships and troubles back in Africa.
3) When John's mother greets him with her song and dance, he seems really happy and excited to see her. But, he also seems a little embarassed because of his mothers actions. I think he had reacted this way because he had been in America so long. He had become accustomed to our culture. He knows that people in America do not usually greet eacother with dances and songs.
>Lindsay G.

Anonymous said...

Emily Christy
Period B

1. The aspects of our country, may or may not be taken for granted, are polarized by different perspectives. We take for granted the little things in life, when from where they come from they don’t even get those chances. The Dinka people had nothing before they came here. And we they came here that had no idea how to deal with all the stuff we were giving them. They appreciate different things then us. Like clean water, food, clothes, and schools. We hate going to schools wishing for snow days, when they would gladly take those days to learn. Electronics are something’s that they probably have no idea what half the stuff we have is, yet we could careless about the stuff we own. We always want the better and bigger stuff; they would survive with as little as possible and still be happy.

2. The American dream, is basically to make your own name, and for people to achieve what they want to. The Dinka dream is something different. People of the American dream just worry about them, and want what is best for them.
The American dream is to become rich and famous and to make you something great. Sometimes something you aren’t even close to being what you really are. Looking at celebrities as role models are very bad, because they don’t do anything to help everyone else, even if they “say” they are helping. You can help and be part of the American dream that you want to make. I believe that the American dream is any dream that helps not only you but others also.
The Sudanese-American dream is for the Dinka or Sudanese people to help their people. They don’t ever think of themselves. Only ways to help get their family members over to them. That way they can live their dreams. They are kind-hearted people, which we should all take lessons from. They are the kind of role models you would want your kid looking up to.
There are differences and similarities between the two different dreams. Similarities could be that we both want opportunities and equal opportunities. Some differences are that the Dinka people are unselfish. Where we are selfish.

3. John is thrilled that he gets to see his mother again, but he is a little embarrassed at the same time. They have come through so much since they came here. He has grown to accustoms here, and what she does isn’t part of the Americans customs. He wants to tell her to stop, I believe, but I think he would feel to ashamed to go against his mothers culture. When John was younger his mother once said; “You have to work, otherwise you won’t live”. He has been working very hard for his people and I believe that she is very proud of him.

Anonymous said...

In “God Grew Tired of Us,” it really shows us that as Americans, we take many things for granted. Everyday, we wake up and expect to have three meals for ourselves. The people of Sudan are lucky to have one meal per day, and that one meal is most likely not even close in comparison to any of our meals. Some times they will even go days without food, and because they are so used to it, they will not complain at all. Almost everyone in America expects to have electricity in their houses and everywhere they go. In Sudan, many people have never seen electricity, and they are very lucky if they even live in a real house. Lastly, we expect to go to the grocery store and see the shelves filled with food. When the Sudanese men from the movie went into the grocery store, they were overwhelmed by the sight of so much food at once. It is truly amazing that we have so many things and we do not realize how lucky we are.
When the Sudanese came to our country, they did not come with the American Dream in mind. They came with the Sudanese American Dream. The American Dream is the thought of having money, a job, and food at the table every night. However, the Sudanese American dream requires a lot less. All they want is a safe place to live, without the worry of being killed. The people of Sudan are much different from Americans; they do not need a lot to make them happy. They are grateful for what they do have and do not think about what they do not have.
In the movie “God Grew Tired of Us,” a lost boy named John is reunited with his mother after seventeen years. They were separated when their village was attacked, and could not find each other afterwards. John had assumed that his whole family had been killed in the attack and that he would never see them again. With a little bit of luck, he hears about some of his family still being alive. As soon as he can, he has his mother fly to America to be reunited with him. When they see each other for the first time at the airport, his mother breaks out in an old Dinka dance. John is really surprised by this and is not sure what to do. He finds it to be a little strange. It goes to show that a lot of the boys have lost their Dinka roots. They have made the change to the American style of life and will never be the same.

Tyler Anderson
F Block