Journal 5

At first, I was so nervous. I worried about speaking and listening English. Other students could speak English fluently. So, I felt inferior. But, I was forgetting my uneasiness over time. I had a good time and many precious experiences for only two weeks. When I arrived at the United States, everything was my first experience. I have never seen 7 lane highways, squirrels, many memorials and so on. I have never experienced bumpy roads. I didn’t know how to use the metro. My first impression for the United States was so scary. An immigration officer seemed to be so strong, and I felt that he was blunt. However, as time went on, my perception of the United States changed. People in the United States were very friendly. When I went to a restaurant, I asked a clerk where the bathroom was. He answered that there weren’t any bathrooms. I was surprised and believed what he said. Then, he started laughing and said he had lied to me. In Japan, clerks don’t lie and talk to me. However, in the United States, clerks make a funny joke and scare me. I think this is a good point because when I am tired, this behavior made me smile.  I could loosen up a little through this experience.

Through this program, I thought that the most important thing was not to be afraid of making mistakes. This was so difficult for me. I felt that making mistakes was a bad thing. However, this way of thinking was wrong. If I couldn’t make myself understood in English, I tried to communicate again and again, and they understood me. I gradually talked freely to my roommate, Kyra and the times when I started to talk to other local students increased. I was a bit shy, but I could change myself. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. It’s ok to make mistakes. That’s how we grow.

I have one word which I must not forget. This is what Ms. Khanh said. Human beings are often separated by physical features, nationality and race. Also, specific persons are made trouble for and discriminated. This is “segregation”. Segregation is the like hazing. We know that segregation must not be promoted. We often watch a program about segregation on TV. In America, which is often compared with Japan, White, African-American, Latino, and Asian has gotten together and has formed its original culture. I thought that the image of them given to us was “White is cool. African-American is scary.” At least that was what I thought when I was a child. However, this image was wrong. I have a word about it which still inspires me while I joined this program. In dialogue class, our teacher, Ms. Khanh, asked us how many races there are in the world. I thought that race is separated by skin color. So, my answer was 4. However, she said, “Race is the only one. Race isn’t real. Human beings are born from the same gene. It is very ridicules to separate human beings.” I was so surprised. I didn’t realize that I might segregate. Like that, discrimination might happen. In Japan, Tokyo 2020 will be held, and many people will visit from various countries. Then, we need to understand the difference, for example skin colors, sexual orientation, language, and so on. Japanese aren’t discriminated by racial difference because they belong to the largest group of something in the world. Also, we don’t have many chances to meet all other races. The reason is because Japan is consisted of only Asian. So, we don’t have a chance to think about the problem. By our unconscious discriminatory action, people from foreign countries hurt their feelings and our country will be internationally criticized. Even if no offense is meant, being discriminated is something to bother them. The most important thing is education to end discrimination. Then, what can I do when I started working? I knew accurate knowledge through this program. I can tell my children about it. Also, if people around me discriminate others, I can correct their attitude. In other words, what I can do is only to pass on accurate knowledge. However, if nobody will tell it, nothing will change. I hope that my behavior will be one of prime movers.

I want to say thank you to all of members who join in this program. I was glad to have been able to meet you all. The two weeks I spent with you was filled with valuable memories that could not be replaced. I had a great time staying with you!!

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