“I am not going to ride a roller coaster in a backward facing seat!” I said, as I chose my forward-facing seat and buckled in for the ride. No sooner did we make the first turn then the entire car we sat in began to swivel with the momentum. My sons now faced forward and my husband and I faced backward as we ascended the hill. Had they communicated to me that the seats turned, I probably would not have gotten on the ride. Information and communication truly help TCKs, CCKs, and their loved ones survive and thrive in the ups, downs, unknowns, frills, and thrills of life’s journey. In his book Arrivals, Departures, and the Adventures In-Between, international speaker and TCK, Christopher O’Shaughnessy, provides a treasure trove of helpful information tucked within pages of true, personal stories that will make you laugh.
Chris writes like he talks — humorous and genuine. His book will certainly benefit and bless most cross-cultural and third-culture students (and their parents/teachers) as he sheds light on topics such as, making, keeping, and letting go of friends; conflict resolution and communication; restlessness, rootlessness, and preparing for the future; family, national identity, and grief.
If laughter is good medicine, then this book should have to be approved by the FDA . . . and will likely cure whatever ails you. What child (cross cultural, third culture, or home grown) at some point in his or her life doesn’t feel unusual, unique, or out-of-place? What child doesn’t imagine being a robot or creature from some other planet who has superpowers or unique abilities? What TCK hasn’t felt sheer panic at the thought of saying or doing something so totally out-of-place with those around them?
Every TCK who is a junior or senior in high school should read this book prior to going off to college or life on their own.
I especially loved the discussion of CCK vs. TCK and the different ways someone can be a CCK. In the book, Chris writes:
In our changing world plenty of young people are interacting with significantly different cultural worlds as they grow up. As a result, there are plenty of ways someone could be a CCK: an immigrant or refugee child, someone who moved around a lot while growing up, someone who grows up as a racial or ethnic minority where they live – to name just a few. For someone growing up with parents from two very different cultural backgrounds, each time they visit their different grandparents, for example, what and how they eat, or the language they speak, may be quite distinct. All over the world, many local children now attend international schools where the culture and language they operate in during the day is a far cry from how they live once they return home each evening. All this variety has led to the fact that there are several types of CCK – each with some distinct traits, but all sharing a lot of characteristics in common.
For those interested in the no-frills facts, he includes helpful summarized lists at the end of each chapter.
The concept of the way a TCK is wired being slightly ahead of the times and leading the way in which our society is headed provides new and challenging thoughts for TCKs and CCKs entering the work force in the coming years.
As Chris says: “TCKs really are a preview of coming attractions.”
Tips for TCKs Transitioning to University (a guest post by author Christopher O’Shaugnessy)