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Visit by US Cultural Attache provides lively discussion

Sixth Form students at Sheffield High School recently welcomed US Assistant Cultural Attaché, Michael Prosser, who gave an interesting presentation about US relations around the world and who then answered a range of often searching questions about US foreign policy and about life in the States.

Mr Prosser gave the students a whistlestop summary of his life so far and he seemed to have lived in just about every state! He talked about peoples’ perception of the USA and the typical ‘democracy and freedom’ stereotype of Americans. Michael also reviewed America’s international relations – for example, how America deals with South America, Europe and East Asia. He also tried to dispel some of what he regarded as the misconceptions about American ideology, reminding his audience that there are many different viewpoints and policies regarding the various different states in and around America.

At the end of the presentation, questions from the floor ranged over the US role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, press reports of US funding of the Israeli military, about Michael Prosser’s at the US embassy in London and his degree studies – even about the singing of the national anthem every day in US schools!

“I found it honest, insightful and interesting,” said Head Girl Anita Chandran. “I think it was refreshing to have someone speak plainly about America’s political relations and decisions – particularly where those decisions haven’t necessarily been for the best,” she added.

Deputy Head Girl Guneet Kohli commented: “I found the talk very interesting. It was a great insight into a topic I knew little about beforehand. He was also a great speaker, very funny and interactive.”

“I thought his talk was a brilliant way to summarise America’s international relations with the rest of the world in a fun and concise way,” said Deputy Head Girl Elizabeth Swain. “He managed to capture everyone’s attention and keep it,” she added.

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