Hosting an exchange student

EmuI am naive sometimes. You see, some years back I was invited to join a Rotary Club. I met the President for coffee and I agreed to become a member. It is a big commitment, meeting once a week, every week.

No sooner had I become a member and there was a big split in the Club. Not over me – there were two factions vying for leadership at Change Over. Someone came up with a solution – “Lorraine is new, and neutral, why don’t we ask her to take the leadership?”  They did and I accepted! After all, it seemed like a good solution and it would save the Club from folding due to the factional fighting.

OK – I take on being President – it is an even bigger commitment now. Not only was I going to a meeting once a week, I was now Chairing the meetings and making decisions about Club matters such as finding a new venue etc. You would think I would have woken up by now but there is more to come.

Club Members agreed to commit to hosting an exchange student; they have done it many times before so there should be no cause for alarm. That was until no-one was available to host our young (16 years old), female Japanese student over the Christmas period.

As President I welcomed her into our home however I had a four bedroom home and my three teenage sons each had their own rooms. I felt quite inadequate to the task. I always envisioned Rotary Members to be the more affluent people in the community and I didn’t fit into that group at all. We all survived the experience and hopefully our exchange student learned something new about how the average person lives in Australia.

In early January I moved to a job in the country for twelve months so I put in my resignation to the Rotary Club. Our Exchange Student moved into more appropriate accommodation with another member. The decision wasn’t only based on the Rotary Club experience though.

Funnily enough, I still have recurring nightmares where I come home to find that I have 5 or 6 exchange students waiting to be fed and accommodated.



Ever felt alone in the world? You aren’t!

OK – I admit they WON the Grand Final for 2012 though!

I am prone to wondering who I am since resigning from full-time employment. I find myself talking about my old job and saying “we” did this or that. There is no such thing as “we ” anymore. A lot people I worked with have retired or moved onto other jobs. My memories of the workplace are carved in stone for me – not hindered by time or place. It got me thinking about how powerful the word “we” is and how many sub groups we can belong to – and we don’t always have to sign a membership form!

Firstly the meaning of the word: We (pronoun – Ist person plural) – Compact Oxford English Dictionary

  1. Used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself and one or more other people considered together.People in general
  2. Used in formal situations for or by a royal person, or by a writer to , to refer to himself or herself.
  3. You (used in a superior way)

ORIGIN  Old English

We can be used to describe an inclusive group that share the same characteristics,

  • employment titles such as engineers, nurses, I.T. professionals
  • union groups – retailers association
  • introverts and extroverts
  • members of a board or committee such a Rotary International
  • members of political parties
  • members of government or opposition
  • constituents in an Electorate area
  • members of a family – mother, daughter, aunt, father, son
  • members of a street such King George Street residents
  • members of a country or race – English, Polish, American, Libyan
  • informal groups such as a circle of friends
  • members of a religious group
  • members of an industry group – financiers, cleaners
  • interest groups – bird watchers,
  • a group with similar physical features – fat, skinny, beautiful
  • hair colour – blonde jokes
  • health status – diabetic, mentally ill
  • status on the internet such as blogger
  • supporters of football/cricket clubs

Can you think of any subgroups I forgot? I am sure there are lots 🙂