One trademark of TCK/CCKs is that they feel very vivid, 4D worldview. Unlike many people whose international experience is limited to indirect experiences, TCK/CCKs can actually recall every sensory images related to the foreign place they have lived vividly. So, for instance, a TCK/CCK reaction to watching the bombing of Baghdad would be: “How the heck can they do that? They can’t do that, my nanny is still living there! The marketplace where I used to buy locum after school would disappear now!”
Well, who would have known that Mitt Romney would bring such an experience to me. I went to the high school where Romney graduated.
“Well, he was the son of then-governor of Michigan, and his family was affluent. Obviously he would go to either Cranbrook Kingswood, or Detroit Country Day. (two most popular and well-known private schools in Detroit area)”– was my thought. Just that.
But later, the news spread how Romney bullied a kid (and possibly more than one) back in school. In the school that I attended. In the town I “lived.” Reading that news, I just couldn’t see Romney like I used to. Romney went to Cranbrook back in 60’s: I went to the same school decades later. However, I doubt there has been much change in the school, the town and people in it. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it before, but the town – Bloomfield Hills – is just not a friendly town. Sure, I know a few people who were incredibly kind. And if you meet the people individually, I bet they are nice. But overall, the town is not kind to stranger. It’s a password locked glass sphere. You are just not part of the town unless you lived in the area for good +10 years. The school’s dean (white woman) and another teacher (black man) were married for more than 10 years, but I really don’t recall seeing them holding their hands together or doing anything that is commonly done by a married couple in public. A lot of residents send their kids to either Cranbrook or DCD from kindergarten to 12th grade, thus the locked sphere continues. When Tiffany & Co. released the famous silver chain necklace and bracelet, 80% of the girls were wearing it (note: not me). When Puma released casual snikers line, every single guys in school were wearing it. When Tory Burch released the famous flats for women, every single girls started to wear it within a week (note: again, not me). Think of the Desperate Housewives, J-Crew and Ralph Lauren. That’s the town.
As you’ve probably assumed, a lot of kids (Korean-Korean kids too) there are spoiled. A guy somehow brought his dad’s Jaguar convertible and managed to crash it into the woods. A senior kid was caught of plagiarism. He was kicked out from school, but somehow managed got the diploma. I still don’t understand. Another senior kid and sophomore kid were caught when smoking pots. I don’t know the details, but the senior kid was not kicked out; the sophomore kid was kicked out. The Korean kids, too, would just casually go to the local Armani Exchange Store and Gucci to spend good $300.
The school administration was so not helping. If someone gets into the trouble, some scholarship kid who doesn’t have rich parents or can’t make donation would get punished; a kid whose parents make a lot of donation would get by, even if they bring drugs or weapons to school (I’m serious, I heard this from then-teaching faculties. I maintain a good relationship with some of the teachers. They were great.).
So that’s the sum of the town and school shared by me and Romney. Then he has been on the “elite” track pretty much all the time. The bullying itself might not be a big deal, but knowing the whole town’s air and what the school was like, I have to admit I don’t hold a favorable opinion on Romney. Because, based on my experience and knowledge of that place, I doubt Romney has any good understanding of the world outside of his glass sphere, he actually represents American public at large. And people rarely change.