96 questions

It's citizenship exam time. We memorize the questions and answers by repeating them over and over. I draw charts and whatnot but mostly it's memorization. Do the refugees know what it means? Dunno.

I print out the questions and answers. There are a few blanks and I fill them in, hesitating now and then. Who knows what the answer will be when the ladies in question take the exam? It's at least six months before they can get an appointment. . . So what do you guess will be true in, say, one year?

11 Who is president of the United States today?
14 Who is Vice President of the United States today?
27 Name the two Senators from your state. (CT)

scary one:
89 What kind of government does the United States have?
The answer they give is Republic . . . but. . . will I have to cross that out and write Empire?

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to number 37 and it will be true for a long while:
Who is the current governor of the state you live in?
Unless she does something spectacularly stupid, Jodi Rell.

A few years back I didn't know a lot of these answers. Now I probably mutter them in my sleep.[executive! judicial! legislative!]

What are the three branches of gov't? (hint: look up)

How many voting members are in the house of representatives?

What was the 49th state added to our Union?

What are the first ten amendments to the Constitution called?

Name one of four rights or freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment.

Want to know the answers to these and other 4th grade questions -- about 1/3 of which you've no doubt forgotten? Check out pages 61-66 in this pdf document.

Okay, time to go to work.


  1. as a massive history buff, you'd think i know most of these answers. lol! i tend to memorize the most obscure & inane facts. sometimes, i so suck. lol!

    have a great day! :)

  2. I never get over Americans who insist that the phrase, "the pursuit of happiness", lives in the Constitution. I see red, I do.

    Thank you for helping the immigrants to pass the test. You're making their lives better and this country better every day you help them.

  3. These guys are refugees and when it comes to citizenship, it's a whole nother ball of wax than immigrants. They lack motivation

    They don't particularly want to be here--they left their countries under duress. They have bad PTSD. Their short term memories are often shot.

    What's left of their families or friends are scattered all over. Often they want to be closer to Europe than the USA and are tryign to get to Switzerland or Germany (two popular sites) so that they can be closer to their ex-homes. It's a discouraging thing trying to teach them English or citizenship stuff -- because they're so discouraged.

    I'd rather sit around with them and run a social club. Once their aid from CC runs out, that's the only reason they come to class -- for the companionship.

    Those are the older refugees (over 40) The younger ones are GUNG HO!

  4. The bill of rights! The bill of rights! I'm howling at Empire

  5. There are currently attempts to introduce these citizenship exams in Germany as well. Some of the questions are so difficult that even a lot of natives, including politicians couldn't answer them.

    Asking about the basic political system is acceptable, but I really fail to see why you'd have to know who discovered the tubercolosis bacillus or what the miracle of Bern is or be able to name three German philosophers to be granted citizenship.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

what I'm talking about above--the letter in RWR

My Writing Day with an Unproductive Brain