|By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 01:29 am: Edit|
I have this habit (a good one for most occasions) during interviews of saying "Yes, Ma'am." and "No, Sir." Military discipline tends to do that to you. It's not like I jump out of my seat and scream at attention, "YES, I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY MA'AM!" but for someone who just got out of the university and is younger, wouldn't they feel uncomfortable? Or am I just being concerned over nothing.
Another thing.. I recently had two self-designed courses approved for me (District-approved) and they were just added to my schedule. I had to do everything, from curriculum design and syllabus to the actual work itself, as well as researching state law to find out which standards match which parts of the course (the two courses are AP Macroeconomics and AP Comparative Government, it's a first for our school to take it, we only have Micro and US Government.. until now).. Is this of significance enough for me to go bug my counselor (not really, he'll do it, I'm exaggerating the bugging here) to write it or is it not worth mentioning?
BTW, I will be receiving credits for the actual AP course. I had to go through rigorous inspection in order to get that course curriculum passed for both courses.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 01:39 am: Edit|
If the college is one that emphasized independent study and/or self-designed interdisciplinary majors, your process of gaining approval for your courses could make a very interesting essay topic.
It could be used for the main personal statement esssay or the "Why Podunk U?" essay.
As for Ma'am and Sir. That was pounded into me at school when I moved from Pennsylvania to Georgia in the 3rd grade. It was pounded out of me at college in New England.
|By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:12 am: Edit|
I requested the courses because it ties into the major I want to enter (International Relations/International Politics).. AP Macroecon to study the effect of economics on government, and AP Comparative Government to shed light to government from an international POV.
|By Garland (Garland) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 08:28 am: Edit|
My H moved from Virginia (and Marine bases) to NJ when he was seven. Shortly after, he was sent to the principal's office for being smart-mouthed; they couldn't believe his "yes, Ma'am" was sincere!
|By Kjofkw (Kjofkw) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 08:53 am: Edit|
not just the military... I went out to dinner in NYC w/ a coworker from Texas. He always used "sir" and "ma'am" in conversation. When he politely thanked the waitress w/ "thank you ma'am" she gave him a dirty look and retorted "give me a break".
|By Amethyst213 (Amethyst213) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 09:19 am: Edit|
I was in Charleston,SC recently and even the cab driver said "yes, ma'am" to me. Everyone was so incredibly polite, I loved it! Much better than the "hey" and "yeah" you get here up north.
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 09:25 am: Edit|
Hang on to it! My daughter, VA born and Alabama bred, was in New Haven, said "Could have a turkey sandwich please?" and "Thank you" to the 7-11 cashier - they looked at her like she had grown 2 heads. She thinks they are all "so sad" up there, and she's not a big "sir" and "ma'am" person, my admonitions to the contrary.
If you do it with a Southern accent, generally I think you're thought of as "quaint".
|By Pattykk (Pattykk) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 09:34 am: Edit|
I think you should ask your counselor to discuss the courses you designed. The research and marketing skills required are impressive.
Re: "Yes, ma'am'ing," don't overdo it. It really gets on my nerves when a child inserts a yes'm in every sentence. I roared at your "was pounded out of me in New England" comment, Interesteddad. My daughter has a friend from Georgia who works at a fine restaurant here in the Midwest. The chef told him he would apply his number twelves if he "yes, sir'ed" him one more time. What is considered a sign of proper upbringing and respect in the South can come across as smarmy in other parts of the country if the locals are not used to it. It is very hard for my Virginia nieces and nephews not to "yes, ma'am." It becomes a reflex that occasionally requires pounding, I guess.
|By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:13 am: Edit|
My poor kids were accused of being disrespectful if they forgot to "ma'am and sir" on visits to the relatives but then had to be careful not to use it at home where it was usually taken as sarcasm. It was a good early lesson in the importance of appropriate behavior for different cultures. LOL
|By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:16 am: Edit|
Well, I'm Asian (Korean). We don't traditionally do the yes ma'am/no sir thing.. but it's been grilled into me after going in front of SO many military officers..
I don't know, is it a concern I should highlight? (My interviewer is Asian as well...)
|By Pattykk (Pattykk) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:46 am: Edit|
I personally don't think you need to highlight it as a concern. If you catch yourself overdoing it, you might want to explain or make a little joke about it. I would think that there are a few respectful Southerners or other gentlemanly types at Georgetown, so your interviewer is probably used to being addressed politely.
|By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 01:29 pm: Edit|
Tlaktan: From all the comments, it sounds like you should adopt a Southern accent while saying that. (tongue partly in teeth) With what I gather are your clearly Asian features, that should both make quite an impression as well as give you an excuse for saying it.
|By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 01:42 pm: Edit|
Since your ROTC work is so much part of your profile, any interviewer will have to know about your military training, so your "yes, ma'äm" style will not be surprising. Just be yourself. There are ROTC students at every top schools.
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:09 pm: Edit|
Dadofsam - tongue in teeth? - some of the thickest drawls I know belong to some great kids of Asian descent and deep South birth - the world it is a changin'!
|By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:15 pm: Edit|
Keep in mind that for every person turned off by cultural or geographic differences (overlapping?), someone else will be charmed by them.
It's tough enough being ourselves and presenting well. To try to second guess what other party wants? And keep in mind that the person you think is a true blue yankee may be a transplant from Alabama, for example.
|By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit|
Ain't that right! All the Vietnamese who have resettled in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, places where the weather is closer to what they knew back home.
|By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:45 pm: Edit|
Actually, when I say yes ma'am or no sir (or vice versa) I have this slight southern accent I acquired from a Lieutenant Colonel who was in the mid-west and the South (he's the director of District JROTC)... so yeah :-D..
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:58 pm: Edit|
Tlaktan, be yourself, you'll probably be nervous enough without dwelling on this. This is probably like the "what to wear" issue - better to be a little overly polite than too casual.
|By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:02 pm: Edit|
I went ahead and figured that I'm going to speak with it anyway (it's instilled) so I pretty much gave up on it.
How about the AP courses though (listed in the original post)
|By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:09 pm: Edit|
I'd say ask your GC to mention the courses. They show that you have the initiative to design them and your willingness to take the most rigorous courses that you can take, even when they are not offered. Good show.
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:12 pm: Edit|
Are you taking the AP exams - I would think you should try to work them in somehow, either using the process for getting them approved as an essay topic, or a short supplemental paragraph about developing them, or through your guidance counselor. I think you should discuss it with your counselor how best to include those courses.
|By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:52 pm: Edit|
Mea culpa. I had forgotten about all those Vietnamese Sothunuhs. Sho nuff.
|By Dke (Dke) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:56 pm: Edit|
When we moved from New Jersey to Florida six years ago my kids came home from school saying that their teachers were requiring them (private school) to say "yes ma'am, sir" etc....My husband and I weren't pleased with it at all...we even had an argument over dinner last night with my husband's boss (from Tampa) about it.!...I know its cultural...but in the big picture, if you're not thinking of staying in the South your entire life I would suggest dropping it..."yes please/thank you" is polite enough and works everywhere.....I don't want my kids to be considered "quaint"...
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:33 pm: Edit|
Dke, don't worry it'll wear off. If they stay in the South it is an expected part of telephone etiquette, for example, especially the yes ma'ams. My kids' private school doesn't "require" they say those things, but it is fairly ubiquitous anyway.
|By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:53 pm: Edit|
Dke, when in Rome......
|By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 09:27 pm: Edit|
The problem I always have with the yes, ma'am construction (I only occasionally hear yes, sir) is that it seems to be a substitute for thinking about what's been said. That is, it's become a reflexive response. I associate it--as a northerner who was taught to disdain the south and has mostly grown out of it--with unthinking agreement of the sort that is most dunned into children. That is: "don't you dare disagree with me, young man!" "No, ma'am, of course not, ma'am."
Try saying "I agree with you, ma'am" or "I'm sorry, I can't agree with you, sir" instead of simply "yes, ma'am." That way, the politeness is clear, but it sounds more considered.
And I'd avoid calling a college student ma'am or sir.
|By Caseyatthebat (Caseyatthebat) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 01:17 am: Edit|
"as a northener who was taught to disdain the south"
I fear you are reading far too much into the "sir-ma'am" issue, probably because of your continuing "disdain" (your word/your declared sentiment) for the South, and by obvious implication, the people of the South.
Furthermore, I find it remarkably cavalier that you would imply that those who use the courtesy, including my own children, do so in some reflexive way that suggests "unthinking agreement of the sort that is 'dunned' ((sic) of course,you mean "drummed")into children." It is a southern custom, and while it has a great deal to do with upbringing, it has nothing to do with being encouraged to be an unthinking dimwit.
Sorry, ma'am, but I call it as I read it. Regards from Arkansas
|By Megsdad (Megsdad) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 08:46 am: Edit|
"as a northerner who was taught to disdain the South"
There is is... in a nutshell.
We sent our daughter north to Wellesley this fall. I fully expect she will continue to use the terms she has always used, such as "yes, ma'mam and yes, sir."
She was taught, as were many generations before her, that this is just a part of polite conversation and a means of showing repect, especially to our elders.
My daughter has laughed that some of her northern classmates are now saying "you all" in their conversations.(DMd 77) Hearing this will probably increase your disdain for southerners!
Don't worry....we rednecks won't corrupt your flawless English.
|By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 09:27 am: Edit|
>>>It is a southern custom, and while it has a great deal to do with upbringing, it has nothing to do with being encouraged to be an unthinking dimwit.
Casey~ Amen! As a Southerner, I will take it a step further. Yes, it is about showing respect. I also think it goes back to a person's word and handshake being all that is needed to seal a deal and the body language that accompanies being able to look someone directly in the eye, shake their hand and show them respect by saying yes sir or yes ma'am. Quite to the contrary of Dmd77's feelings, it is a confirmation that the information was heard and processed.
|By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 09:31 am: Edit|
Dmd77: I believe I understand what you are saying but think just maybe you are misinterpreting. IMHO knowing when and where to "ma'am and sir" is sort of like knowing when to use formal and familiar forms of "you" in a foreign language. It has nothing to do with anything but manners and I think (though maybe this is wrong) that the point of manners is to make others comfortable. "Ma'am and sir" aren't appropriate in situations where they are offensive to the audience. JMHO. Although I have never lost my southern accent I have had to adjust my manners (not always as successfully as I would have wished!) for many different geographic areas.
|By Mdcbk (Mdcbk) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 11:07 am: Edit|
I find this conversation very enlightening. I was raised in the northeast and not taught to say ma'am and sir. Having lived in the South since my college years, I've often thought that that my parents must have failed me by not teaching me these manners. The great majority of parents here in the South teach their kids to use these terms of respect. Now I find its just a cultural difference, and my parents did OK after all. I guess this is why people look at us strangely when we return to the Northeast for visits - it's not just my acquired twang, but my politeness.
Although I would never consider sir and ma'am offensive, I agree with Emptynester that they do have their place. I think its always appropriate for a child to use them toward an adult. It's a sign of respect, as long as it isn't used sarcastically. Then again, I also prefer to have kids use Mrs. or Miss before my first or last name, rather than call me by my first name only. I was taught to do that, even in the northeast.
As an adult, I would not use the terms with a teenage waitress or clerk at the store. But they certainly are appropriate down here when I am dealing with a person of authority, such as the policeman trying to give me a ticket Does this mean I shouldn't say "sir" if I'm pulled over up north?
|By Massdad (Massdad) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 01:24 pm: Edit|
Mdcbk, given that many cops are former military, it's a tough call. Most of them would have been enlisted, and an EM on active duty should take offense at being called "sir", which is reserved for officers. Most em would reply "don't call me sir. I work for a living."
In the civilian world, saying "sir" to a cop would imply that you are either from the south, or were in the military? Either should be a plus. Remember, us yankees only dislike the politics of the south. :-) We love the weather, the food, the countryside etc.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 02:14 pm: Edit|
>> Remember, us yankees only dislike the politics of the south. :-)
That's OK. Southerners dislike ya'll wearing black socks and sandals on the beach at Hilton Head!
|By Megsdad (Megsdad) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit|
Popular bumpersticker seen in the South.....
"We don't give a damn HOW you did it up north!"
|By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 02:49 pm: Edit|
Hey y'áll, is this thread evolving into a "two Americas" thread or a North-South debate?
|By Megsdad (Megsdad) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 03:43 pm: Edit|
We're jus pickin at ya, is all!!
|By Dke (Dke) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 04:00 pm: Edit|
I ran the "yes, ma'am, no sir" question by a few of my southern friends.....they said that they were raised to say it as children with the understanding that as adults they wouldn't use it.....all of them (from different parts of the south) considered it to sound subservient.
|By Searchingavalon (Searchingavalon) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit|
Tlaktan, I think that if you're most comfortable saying yes/no sir/ma'am, then you should just go with it. It's part of who you are now. If you want to mention that you respond that way because of military discipline, then go ahead with that too. I think it would be stressful to try to avoid a habitual speech locution. And I don't think anyone needs yet another thing to stress over during interviews.
|By Megsdad (Megsdad) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 04:15 pm: Edit|
No one bothered to mention that to my grandparents (in their upper 80's). They still use both terms("yes ma'am,no sir") on a regular basis, and to all age groups. Most people in our area of the country do the same, never giving a thought about another person being subservient to them.
I could not imagine answering my parents or grandparents without using a "yes,ma'am or yes sir." I would get a very hard stare over their bifocals!!!
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