Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 14, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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3 The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Tbiirs., Nav. 14. 1974
Program Takes Sock Out Of Foreign Culture Shock
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LOS ANGF.LES (AP) What do you do when your landlord sacrifices a lamb in front of your apartment?
Get angry? Call the police0 Move out?
Those responses would be fitting enough in the U.S. But they weren’t appropriate for the newly-arrived American family who had it happen to them in Shiraz. Iran.
It turned out that the landlord had fallen from a second-story balcony the day before and suffered only a broken nose. He attributed his good fortune to the presence of the Americans, and he sacrificed the lamb for them to show his gratitude.
The family kept their cool — and enjoyed the leg of lamb.
Why? Because Hughes Aircraft Co., before transferring them, had given them a specially-designed. 18-hour course on Iran, the people and their way of life. The preparation took the sock out of culture shock.
Hughes developed the orientation program after Iran awarded it a S25-million contract last April to design and equip an electro-optical production facility in Shiraz over the next few years.
Economics and efficiency dictated the need for the course, company officials say. They had heard the business equivalent of horror stories about Americans sent to the Middle East who-could not cope with the unforeseen cultural differences and in turn soured relations with the local people they worked and lived with.
Says George W. Goebel, manager of foreign programs for Hughes: “The program requirements dictate that we have a staff of about 170 there from at least two to five years. The mort' continuity there is in the personnel, the greater the
NE Iowa Crime Unit Is Headed By Don Parrish
OELWEIN — Don Parrish, Independence. Tuesday was named chairman of the Northeast Iowa C’rime commission. which met|here to study grant requests.
Parrish replaces Walter Kyle. Waterloo, who did not seek reappointment.
Assistant Waterloo Police Chief Oil Hanson was named vice-chairman
The commission approved the following communications grants:
Jackson county, $2iUNMi; Delaware county. $40.00b, Bremer county, $40,000. Winneshiek county. $4,000: Buchanan county. $4.(KHI
The crime commission serves Allamakee. Black Hawk, Buchanan, Bremer. Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque. Fayette, Grundy, Howard. Jackson and Winneshiek counties,
IOWA CITY — Two members of the Iowa City staff are leaving the city to work for former City Manager Hay Wells in his new position in Lakewood. C olo. Ka> Maune. 24, administrative assistant. will fill a similar [Kist in I-ake-wood. Charles Gillett, building and zoning coordinator, leaves Friday for a similar job in Lakewood
efficiency and benefits to the program.”
Most companies that do a lot of business outside the I’. S. have similar orientation programs, but Hughes' is unusual in that they have chosen an Iranian psychologist to run it.
She is Dr. Homa Smbbe. who came to the U. S. 15 years ago. worked as a language coordinator for the Peace Corps and now directs a research project at the University of California at Los Angeles Of her Hughes course, Dr. Snibbe says: “I try not to select or deselect anyone. I just give them a realistic picture — not a travelogue but a realistic picture — of what it s going to be like, and if they don't think they can handle it they’ll drop out.”
Families receive 12 hours of language instruction and six hours of cultural orientation. In addition to explaining Iranian customs, taboos and lifestyles, Dr. Snibbe also tries to prepare the individual family members for psychological problems that may arise, such as bouts with homesickness, loneliness and alienation.
“In no way is the course geared to saying Iran's culture is worse or that it’s better — just that it’s different,” Goebel
“For example.” says Dr. Snibbe. “when you see two men holding hands on Hollywood boulevard it mt»ans one thing, but in Tehran it means something else.”
That’s because in Iran, physical contact between men is a sign of friendship.
Dick Hamilton, a 38-year-old bachelor who will be working in the Shiraz facility’s calibration laboratory’, took the course and said later he felt encouraged about the move.
UFO Searchers Find Flashlight
CARBONDALE. Pa. (CPI) — A strange object, said to have dropped from the sky, glowed from a neighborhood pond, alarming citizens.
Three experts on Unidentified Flying Objects were called in to examine it. Police in a rescue boat hooked a net onto the object, but it slipped back into the pond
Curious onlookers, including a number of children out of school on a holiday, gathered in a carnival-like atmosphere to watch another try at retrieval. A plan was approved to dig out a part of the lake and drain it with fire equipment. Tht» area was roped off and guarded by police and the Civil Air Patrol.
Mark Steamey of Auburn, N. Y., a scuba diver, went into the water with a rope around him and snagged the glowing object
It was a 12-inch flashlight.
Tipton Teachers Seek Base Hike
Teachers Education Assn.
askt*d a $8.OOO twist1 pay for teachers to begin next school year at the school l>oard meeting Tuesday night.
Present base salary is
The board took no action on the request, but indicated they would study the matter against available funds in the budget
The information that I got
from it gave me a little insight into the country and the people and got me used to hearing the Persian language, which should be of help when I get there.” Hamilton said
“From things I d hear I had an image of the place as a sort of psuedo-Tijuana (Mexico) type, but my reaction from the movie and slides was that it didn t look all that backward."
Hughes employes making the transfer — all of whom are
volunteers, the company says — attend small class meetings at Dr. Snibbe's home two nights a week
In addition to her instruction they have access to a variety of literature on Iran and a selection of Iranian newspapers and magazines.
Children also participate in the course since they w^ll have to make the same adjustments their parents do, Dr. Snibbe said
She says she makes a point to tell them about what the schools are like and also what
the drug situation is — available but subject to stiff penalties.
Although most of the Hughes work force will be going over next ye*r. Goebel says those who already have transferred are giving the course high marks.
There have been no major problems among the people there now and their experiences will be incorporated by Dr Snibbe as more employes go through the course, he said.
The dropout rate for the class is about one employe in IO, Dr. Snibbe said Dropouts don’t go to Iran. Among these was a man who was enthusiastic about the move but who happened to Ik* a golf addict.
“Well,” said the psychologist, "there are no golf courses rn Iran. He wanted to go but I pointed out what a big change that would be in his lifestyle, in addition to everything else. He’d have a problem with how to fill his free time. He agreed it would be too much and dropped out.”
“How do you know they're my fingerprints when you haven’t even called the F B I
Steers, Hit by Truck, Killed on Highway 20
INDEPENDENCE — Three steer* which had leaped from a pick-up truc k in which they were being transported were killed Tuesday night when struck by a semi trailer truck on highway 211 seven* mile* w est of here.
The semi was driven by William Dale OU, 22, of Oelwein who was traveling west. The driver of the pickup. . Russel Arthur Youngblood, 22. Jesup, was traveling in the opposite direction. Neither man was injured. One other steer which also jumped from its carrier was not hit
As far as Women s rights go. she s got a lulu!”
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