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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

HHS welcomes a Brit to the Bulldog round table

Gavinn Swann
Erin Thompson teaches girls’ PE. She married math teacher Cooper Thompson over the summer.

Every year at HHS the school gets a few new faces, and this year is no exception to the occurrence. On the first day of school, Principal Scott Dewar introduced us to physical education aide Erin Thompson with several other new faculty members.

The new girl’s PE teacher, Thompson has garnered a lot of attention, to say the least. I got the opportunity to sit down and talk with her and her husband, math teacher Cooper Thompson. 

“We met in college; she was over here on an international soccer scholarship,” C. Thompson said. He went on to explain how the couple travels to England every summer and every Christmas. “It blows students’ minds when they find out I go to England every year.”

At HHS, all students have the same requirements for graduation. All junior students will take a standardized college acceptance test, in our case the SAT, but according to E. Thompson, it isn’t like this in the UK.

“ I don’t think school is that much different,” said E. Thompson, “We don’t have SAT, instead when you turn 16 everyone takes a test and you decide if you want to go to college or sixth form.” 

 In the US, sixth form would be equivalent to grades 12 and 13 respectively. 

In Sixth Form, students would study and earn their GED. They could opt to go to college instead and study longer thus earning a higher degree.

But school is not the only difference in culture between the US and the UK. E. Thompson went on to explain what she feels is one of the biggest differences between the two countries. 

“One of the biggest differences is the food. In England, you have things such as sausage rolls and pork pies, but here you have your stereotypical ‘American’ foods, like burgers and fries.” 

She emphasized American food because there’s really no such thing as “American” food. Burgers are German, and fries originated in Belgium, not France or America.

Americans typically love sports. Here at HHS, any time the Bulldogs take the [insert playing surface here], they do so with the pride and support of a district behind them. But in the UK, and all across Europe for that matter, school-sanctioned sports do not exist. 

“America has a massive school sports culture, but over there, it’s clubs, club sports that are pretty well detached from school,” C. Thompson said.

Thompson went on to elaborate, “At my high school level, we didn’t play soccer in school; we played in a club outside of school.”

According to. E. Thompson, moving from the UK to the USA came with a few challenges.

“The hardest part of moving to a new country was leaving my parents. I’m an only child. My mom flew out to help settle me, and leaving them every time we have to come back gets harder every time.”

Thompson also noticed the number of people here in the US who haven’t traveled out of the country. The English Isle is about a five-hour drive lengthwise, but in the US, it isn’t uncommon to see people drive 12 or 13 hours to vacation on the coast.

“When I arrived at Union (University), the biggest thing I noticed was a lack of passports,” E. Thompson said.  ‘What do you mean you don’t have a passport?’ I asked one of my friends.”

Some students at HHS have said that they’re “obsessed with Thompson’s accent.”

“The normal question when it comes to my accent is ‘Can you say something?’” E. Thompson said. “I obviously hear it, but I don’t think that I have an accent. I’m not actively doing it.”

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Gavinn Swann
Gavinn Swann, Staff Writer
Gavinn Swann is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is his first year on the Purple Clarion Staff. He participates in History Club, Future Educators Club and plays trumpet in Concert Band, Jazz Band and Marching band. He cares about the arts and the finer details in life.  Gavinn also cares about education and aviation. In his spare time he is always learning, and aspires to be a commercial pilot.  “Student journalism is important to me because it helps develop your writing skills while giving your work a platform to be judged upon.” 

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