A GOOD AMERICAN

Civics 101 by Rich Paschall

Most of us are Americans because we were born here. We did not have to meet any special requirements. We did have to learn about our history and our government, however.  When I was in 8th grade we had to take a Civics class. Basically, it taught us how the government works, or how it is supposed to work anyway. We were told if we did not pass Civics and a test on the Constitution, we would not graduate from Elementary School. We studied hard. Never underestimate the power of a nun tapping a three-sided ruler on the palm of her hand to put the fear of God as well as the fear of not graduating in you. You certainly did not want to take 8th grade twice with Sister Angela Rosary. Yes, I went to Catholic school.

In recent years you might wonder if they still teach Civics. There are a lot of people with very little knowledge of our history or our government. Even some of our elected officials have demonstrated a remarkable lack of knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. What if they had to pass a test to be an elected official, or even to be a citizen? How many of them would fail the test?

Those who wish to emigrate to the United States to become citizens will learn that the process is long, hard, and expensive. In the end, you must demonstrate you are a good citizen and pass a Civics test. There are a hundred questions, but you will only get ten. You must get a passing grade to become an American. OK, class, get out your Number 2 pencils and get ready to take your test. These are actual questions asked by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). No, I did not steal them. Practice tests using the actual questions are on the website for applicants to study. Will you become a citizen today?

01. How many amendments does the Constitution have? a). 27  b). 10  c). 23  d). 21
02. Name one problem that led to the Civil War.  a). westward expansion b). slavery c). oil d). sugar
03. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?  a). 9  b). 10  c). 12  d). 11
04. Who did the United States fight in World War II?  a). Japan, Germany, Italy b). Japan, China, Vietnam c). the Soviet Union, Germany, and Italy d). Austria-Hungary, Japan, Germany
05. What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?  a). U.S. diplomat b). the youngest member of the Constitutional convention c). the third president of the United States d). inventor of the airplane

A flag over the Mumford.

06. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?  a). because the stripes represent the members of the Second Continental Congress b). because the stripes represent the original colonies c). because it was considered lucky to have 13 stripes on a flag d). because the stripes represent the number of signatures on the U.S. Constitution
07. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.  a). Korean War b). Mexican-American War c). World War I  d). World War II
08. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?  a). freed slaves in most Southern states b). gave the United States independence from Great Britain c). ended World War I  d). gave women the right to vote
09. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?  a). James Madison b). Abraham Lincoln c). George Washington d). Thomas Jefferson
10. Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?  a). Civil War b). Spanish-American War c). Vietnam War d). World War II

Bonus Question:
Who is the current President?  a). Barack Obama b). Joe Biden c). Donald Trump d). Harry S. Truman

Put your pencils down and pass your tests forward to the angry-looking nun in the front of the room. Please note that if you picked an orange politician for the Bonus Question, you fail even if you got the 10 questions right.

Arriving at Chicago O’Hare

You may have met my friend John right here at the SERENDIPITY gathering place. He has been the subject of a few articles you may have read, although I may have just referred to him as “roomie” or roommate. He was also the inspiration for various characters that have appeared in my stories.  I also used pictures of John to illustrate some stories. Some of the pictures for a series of South American short stories were shot from the roof of John’s building in Medellin. He waited thirteen months for a visa to come to America. I collected him at Chicago O’Hare on the day he left his country for good.

He spent years learning English and assimilating into our culture. He had just one goal. He wished to become a US citizen.  It was a difficult journey.  After his application was accepted last November he studied the 100 questions while he waited for his interview and that Civics test. He was given an appointment in May for an interview and a test. By the time he went, he probably knew history and government better than some Americans. We had discussed many of these events, institutions, and politicians as we waited.

One day the letter finally arrived. John had a date at the Everett Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. On June 17th he became an American. Would you have passed the test?

 

US Citizenship papers

Answer key: 1. a, 2. b, 3. a, 4. a, 5. a, 6. b, 7. b, 8. a. 9. d. 10. d.



Categories: American history, Government, History, Rich Paschall, U.S. Constitution

Tags: , , ,

10 replies

  1. As a non US citizen who has never studied anything about your country, but learned a fair amount from travels there and TV, I’m quite pleased to have got 7 out of 10 correct (I got 1, 3 and 5 wrong). But you don’t tell us what a passing grade is so I have no idea if I have passed? Btw, I didn’t choose an orange politician for the bonus question, that one I was sure of!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you passed. I can’t imagine getting 4 wrong, especially if you studied. On the other hand, if you came here knowing little about the country and you were very nervous you might get sent home or deported. Since your visa extension likely expired by the time you go for the test, you might immediately become an illegal if you fail.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I got the answers except the one about the orange president. I’m a little hazy about that. Also, isn’t Earth flat?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations to John.
    I got 9 right but one was a guess and one I was dithering between a and b so technically only 7 but I didn’t study.

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks

  1. So, You Want To Be An Aussie? – Our Other Blog: Two Sisters and Two Points of View

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Light Motifs II

Paula Light's Writing Site | The Classic Edition

Soul N Spirit

Seeking happiness in the psalms of life……

Touring My Backyard

Rediscovering Singapore

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

Travel with me

Travel snapshots from Toonsarah

Thoughts & Theories

My Personal Rants, Ravings, & Ruminations

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Light Hearted Mysteries

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.

musingsofanoldfart

Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns

Sparks From A Combustible Mind

EMBERS FROM SOMEONE DOGGEDLY TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL...

THE SHINBONE STAR

NO LONGER ENCUMBERED BY ANY SENSE OF FAIR PLAY, EX-JOURNALISTS RETURN TO ACTIVE DUTY TO FIGHT THE TRUMPIAN MENACE!

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

ScienceSwitch

Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

%d bloggers like this: