Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)
TITLE: View from the other side of the pond
By Gregory Kane
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The United States of America are to be found in the northern hemisphere, situated between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Principal cities include Washington, Hollywood and Disney World. Several different languages are spoken, including English in the north and east and Spanish in the south. However the dialect of English employed has been greatly simplified with many peculiarities of spelling. For instance colour is spelled color and manoeuvre is rewritten as maneuver. (I am unable to comment on the Spanish.) The staple diet consists of hamburger, chips (known locally as fries) and coca-cola in the north, with tacos, guacamole and chilli sauce being popular in the south. As far as I can tell, the USA doesn't export anything of consequence except for action films and computer games, although in my opinion Nintendo and Sony beat the US hands down every time.
The USA used to belong to Great Britain. However when the Americans discovered a strong preference for coffee, they sank several boatloads of English tea in Boston harbour and decided to set up their own government. Initially King George tried to crush the rebellion but he was soon distracted by the more pressing threat of Nazi Germany, so he allowed the Americans to drink their espressos and cappuccinos in peace. Many Americans visit England every year and they especially enjoy touring Buckingham Palace. I suspect that most would quite like to rejoin the British Empire, but I don't think the Queen is all that interested as she doesn't much care for coffee.
Famous American presidents include George Washington, John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln as well as a number with rather odd names. Several of these have since died. The best loved of recent presidents has been Jed Bartlett who battled courageously against polio throughout his two terms. He has since been succeeded by Barak H. Obama, who is the first Hispanic to hold office. The former movie actor, Humphrey Bogart, once served as president of the US and I understand that Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in all those amazing Terminator films, would like to have a go as well.
The US was originally a Christian nation with immigrants coming from both catholic and protestant churches. However the leaders who lead the rebellion against Britain followed an odd religion called deism, which my pastor tells me is like a cross between Christianity and atheism. Apparently deists believe that God created the universe but then went off on holiday for the rest of eternity. Anyway these men said that people weren't allowed to pray in school any more and pastors couldn't work for the government. It seems that no one took much notice of these new rules until very recently when some folks got very upset. I don't think that going to church is seen as all that important these days because most Americans spend their Sundays going to malls or watching cable TV.
Americans are completely useless at playing football. To disguise this, they invented a fundamentally different game and called it football. This is basically a version of rugby but everyone has to wear body armour and helmets, probably because they're all wimps. Americans also play a game called baseball which is similar to cricket but most players can't actually hit the ball so there are a lot of misses. They also run round a big diamond but are allowed to stop at any of the corners if they get tired.
I would quite like to visit America one day. It would be cool to meet Mickey Mouse and maybe shake hands with Big Bird from Sesame Street. I haven't got a lot more to say as the USA isn't all that interesting a place. Next term we're going on a school trip to France and me and my mates we all think that the Eiffel Tower is fab.
Teacher's remarks: this is such an excellent and well-researched essay, I have entered it for the Wordsworth Memorial Competition on current affairs in schools. Emily, I'm extremely confident that you'll do well. I even learned a thing or two myself!
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