Journal entry 5
For two weeks, I learned a lot of things in the United States with my CI, PA and groupmates. Most of the experience in the program was for the first time for me. I had much difficulties dealing with these things, but those things made me better.
Before the program, I had never been to the United States. I did not know about it well and I had just some image for it. For example, big land, fast food and the most sophisticated country in the world. However, some of the image changed during the program. I thought the United States has the greatest power in the world, so all the cities are also developed and sophisticated. I was really surprised when I arrived at William and Mary College in Williamsburg. There was much more nature than I expected. Actually, I only knew the urban cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington. Those cities have few nature and a lot of buildings and transportations like Tokyo which is the most familiar city for me. Unlike Japan, the United States has a lot of nature and huge land even though there are many people living there.
In addition, I would like to write about discrimination in the United States. Before going to America, I thought the discrimination had already perished in the United States. I learnt about it in history classes in Japan and I knew it is the biggest problem in the United States. In fact, the discrimination has still existed especially for black people. In the lecture of the program, we learnt about the strong relationship between poverty and discrimination for black people. I felt so strongly while staying in the United States. Most of the blue-collar jobs are done by black people there. I visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington. There were a lot of security guards and all of them were black. What is more, we often went to supermarkets during the stay and I found that most of the staff were black people. On the other hand, when we visited the American company and studied at the William and Mary college, many of the working people were white people. Blue-collar jobs have low salary and are not stable. White-collar jobs pay well and are safe. Racial discrimination exists in jobs. In Japan, only Japanese people live. Our skin, eyes and hair are same color. We cannot see and tell the difference between people directly. While in the United States, there are a lot of kinds of racisms. For example, American, Asian, Jewish, African and so on. People call it “melting pot”. I have not seen such a situation in Japan until now. However nowadays more and more foreign people are coming to Japan to find their jobs. Now we have to get along with them who have different racisms, religions, culture and languages from us. I believe we should learn a lot from the history and now of the United States.