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02 December 2007


Benjamin Rosenbaum

One of my favorite things about Switzerland is that Aviva can walk to school by herself. In fact all the kids are supposed to walk to school -- the teacher threw a little fit at back to school nite about kids coming on self-propelled scooters, which then end up in a pile that he has to clean up, but part of the fit was predicated on the notion that by not walking to school they are missing out on an important formative experience.

It isn't actually, statistically, that much like it supposedly is, even in America. It's just that in a country of 300 million people, one stranger abduction somewhere is worth millions of dollars of media play, whereas the Swiss don't think that crimes in France -- never mind Moscow -- are particularly interesting.

Jackie M.

Ben, I think the playground pictures you were showing a few months ago really tell us everything we need to know about this particular cultural gap.

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Susan Marie Groppi

  • Susan Marie Groppi is a historian and an editor, currently living in Berkeley, California.


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