How to Become a Good U.S. Citizen like Peter Griffin
Peter Griffin at a Ceremony
Look at the editorial cartoon and think about what questions should be included in an interview for a U.S. citizenship. Because whoever designed the current questions probably drew heavily on the American public school testing system.
I saw my wife studying U.S. citizenship questions from a government-issued booklet called “Learn about the United States”. I listened to the CD that came with the booklet for a while and thought that many of the questions required nothing more than dry straightforward answers. Everyone with some basic English skills can cram these lifeless questions and answers.
So, I decided to come up with U.S. citizenship questions of my own. At first I wanted to add some serious thought-provoking questions that would make a citizenship candidate think instead of memorizing facts. Say, instead of asking how many Senators reside in Congress, the questions should be “Why our forefathers decided that there must be two Senators from each state?” And then the answer should not be listed in the booklet, so that at least some of the examinees research and learn to think for themselves.
Why more thought-provoking questions with no listed answers on the citizenship questionnaire? We have enough citizens who can’t think for themselves in this country—think of voters who reelected Pres. George W. Bush. We need more thinking individuals.
Here are two sample stimulating questions that require thinking:
1) What are at least three reasons for the importance of George Washington in the history of the United States? Possible answers, though not listed: He led the Continental Army as general. He was the first President. He stared the policy of two-term presidency in the United States.
2) What is American Ingenuity? Give an example. Possible answer: The ability and tradition of American people to develop new ideas and create new things. Benjamin Franklin, a self-taught scientist and inventor was one of the first symbols of American Ingenuity. He was often thought to be an archetypal American.
If you think that the above questions are as soul-destroying as the ones already in the citizenship booklet, check out the following multiple-choice questions:
Listen to the song “Mercy” by Duffy. For which of the following this song applies best:
the song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp0ce1kS-yw
the lyrics at: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/duffy/mercy.html
a) OJ Simpson to the United States legal system
b) OJ Simpson to Las Vegas PD
c) OJ Simpson to the American people
d) The American people to OJ Simpson
e ) Wall street to the American taxpayer
f ) The American taxpayer to Wall Street
g) All of the above
What was the garment that led to the second impeachment of a U.S. President?
a) A black evening gown beautifully decorated with Swarovski crystals
b) A stylish, high-end, red lingerie set
c) A cheap, blue, coat-like dress
Who pays for your health care and what happens if you get really sick?
a) The U.S. government pays, regardless of how sick I am.
b) I pay for my health care. It’s called blood-sucking medical insurance, and if I get really sick—I’m better off dead.
Who is responsible for your bad business decisions, like buying a house that you can’t afford or giving loans to all and sundry:
a) the United States government and Treasury Secretary Paulson
b) the American taxpayer
e) I’m responsible
You can’t become a U.S. President because you were not born here, but is it possible as a naturalized citizen to become an important government official:
a) Yes, by lifting weighs
b) Yes, if I can learn to wear an empty suit and appear important
c) All of the above
a) The Sunshine State
b) The Mexican State
c) The Part of the United States where you can live and die without knowing a word in English
d) The best-public-schools state
e) The Bubble-bursts state
f) The c and e state
The Family Guy is an animated television sitcom where the main character, Peter Griffin, represents:
a) The American Dream
b) The Average American
c) You after you stay long enough in the United States
d) All of the above
I’m leaving the rest to your imagination.
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