The most important thing I learned through this program is about Gender and Sexuality on August 7th. It was not until I listen to the lecture that I was able to learn about LGBT problem. I knew the words “Lesbian” and “Gay”. But, I didn’t know the word “LGBT”. I thought “if born as a man, it is normal to live as a man, and vice versa. If not, it is funny.” before. However recently, since various people are in the world, I started thinking that it is not impossible. At the same time, I felt this was a very difficult problem. People who are man but at heart are woman (=transgender) are hard to live such as which sex they should go to in the toilet. Since the times have changed, I thought that I should think about it instead of leaving as a stranger. Then, On August 25th, President Trump agreed with document which instruct substantial prohibition of transgender people to join the US military etc. This policy is the opposite policy of former President Obama. And as I wrote in my journal 2, it has been drawing attention in Japan as well. In this way, now this has become a hot topic. So, I think that I would like to know more about it.
There are some things I noticed when I went to America. First, it is about landscape. The townscape was very beautiful in every town I visited in the US such as Williamsburg, Washington, New York and Boston. And I understand why. That is that there are no telephone poles. In Japan, we can see many telephone poles and electric wires in almost everywhere. Regarding New York, even though the litter was falling around there, I felt it was clear if I did not see the ground. When I looked it up on the internet, I found that movements to eliminate utility poles has been achieved in most developed countries except Japan. Even though Japan has not enough money to fill in the ground with electric wires and so on because Japan is one of the most debt countries in the world, I would like the government to do construction at just big cities for disaster prevention, traffic safety and landscape.
Second, I had a preconception about American food that there are a lot of fast food restaurants. I thought that American people tend to have High-calorie and fast food every day such as hamburger and sparkling. It was true but I was surprised that the price is high. While a bottle of water is about 100yens ($0.9) in Japan, it was about $3.0 in America. The price of miscellaneous goods is higher in America as well. I was surprised that there are a lot of Starbucks, deluxe coffee shop, in the Manhattan. I think American tend to spend more money than Japanese. I actually experienced that America is a consuming society that I learned from lecture.
Thirdly, I did not know what to buy souvenirs for my friends and parents. In Japan, there are various things unique to Japan such as shrines and temples. Meanwhile there are not many U.S. unique things. This also applies to souvenirs. I think because the unique culture and food of Japan has developed since Japan has long been a history. And America was made by immigrants in the 17th century, so the history of America is not long very much and culture specific to U.S. was not born and did not develop much.
I felt a lot about cultural observation of life in the United States. For example, when leaving the hotel to return to Japan, we hugged with PAs and CIs. We don’t absolutely do it in Japan and I think that Japanese will shake hands instead. And we danced happily on the day I got a lecture on American music. Other opportunity for skin ship from usual were more than in Japan. I don’t know why, but I thought we could get along well for as short as about 3 weeks since Americans were so friendly in this way. I like that in America. Also, in Washington D.C., entrance fee of almost museums was free. There are many people there and they read explanation about exhibitions thoroughly. And PAs such as Daniel know a lot of things and can speak Japanese more than I expected even though I heard they love Japan. So, I felt American were enthusiastic about studying.
The contents of lectures and listening were sometimes difficult, but I could learn a lot of things from detailed things about America to everyday life through this program. Since the President of America was Trump, there are various problems. As a result, two days before I went to Boston, there was a white supremacist rally in downtown Boston. But I could enjoy staying safety during this program. And since this study abroad was short, I thought that I would like to study abroad for a longer period next time.
Leah, thank you very much for teaching about lectures and checking my journals. It was so short time, but it was a lot of fun. When you come to Japan, please keep in touch me! See you again!!
P.S. I submitted rewrite of journal 1 with journal 2, but I didn’t receive Journal Grading Rubric of journal 1. How about was that?