In Germany you can set your watch by the arrival and departure of trains. A business associate in Frankfurt once told me that if she has an appointment at 9:00 AM, she makes sure to arrive at 8:57 AM. The reason is that it takes one minute for her client to beckon her to come into his office, one minute to walk to the office, and one minute to enter, sit down and settle into the chair. This would ensure that the meeting can start promptly at 9:00 AM as scheduled. Her logic was obsessively precise.

If you are ever in Brazil and you are invited to a party at 8:00 PM, you can show up punctually at that time if you want to see your hosts in their bathrobes and are willing to help in the setup of the get-together. Get ready to help inflate balloons, and make sure there are plenty of beer in the cooler since the invited guests will not be arriving until at least 8:45 PM or later.

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China We – America I

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A look at collectivist China through the eyes of Individualistic America

Art mimics life. Or is it the other way around. One thing is for sure; when it comes to American individualism nothing describes it better than Hollywood.

Take the 1971 movie Big Jake, with John Wayne playing the title role. When his grandson gets kidnapped by John Fain’s gang, Big Jake goes into action. He packs his six-shooter and his trusty 30–30 Winchester, gets on his horse and heads out to rescue the boy. Needless to say he kills a lot of people and brings the boy back.

And what about Liam Neeson in Taken. Neeson plays ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills who sets out to rescue his kidnapped daughter from human traffickers, all by his lonesome. Do we even need to go into details? Neeson’s character Bryan Mills wipes everybody out and brings his daughter back safe and sound. Needless to say those savvy Hollywood types know what Americans like and filmed Taken 2. There is even talk of a Taken 3.

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China’s Grandparent Trap

How China’s children are being cared by their grandparents.

One of the major differences between individualistic and collectivistic cultures is the importance of the nuclear family versus the extended family. Individualistic cultures stress self-reliance, the rights of individuals to make their own decisions, and the right to a private life. In contrast collectivistic cultures emphasize an extended family structure in which loyalty is demanded and interdependence is cultivated as well as enforced.

China, being one of the most collectivistic societies in the world has a strong extended family tradition where grandparents enjoy a powerful and influential position within the clan. As China’s economy improves and women enter the workforce at a greater rate, grandparents have taken on an additional role of custodians and caregivers to their grandchildren. Sometimes these roles have extended beyond normal childminding activities during working hours to full time adoption or childrearing.

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Multiple Intelligences

Maybe we are smarter than we think we really are.

Have you ever bombed on your LSAT? What about your GRE or even your GMAT? How many of you feel your IQ score does not really represent how intelligent you really are? Do not despair. You are not alone. Chances are you are smarter than those pesky scores you received when you took these tests. Most IQ test contain different types of questions. These are usually mathematical and verbal analogies as well as spatial and mathematical pattern driven questions. Plus questions that have to do with the ability to classify, do visual recognition, spatial positioning, and reach logical conclusions.

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