Hello all, I hope all is well in America and other countries since I have recently expanded my audience to other nations. I would like to share with you the article I wrote for my school paper:
Cherish your Aggieland experience
By Jheri Hardaway
Contributor Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 Updated: Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I expected a lot of things out of my studying abroad adventure, but missing NC A&T was one of the last things I anticipated. It’s not so much the actual school aspect that I miss, not classes or anything pertaining to education to be honest with you. I miss my fellow Aggies.
When I came to A&T a few alumni told me, “Cherish your time in Aggieland, it may be the only time in your life when your surrounded by people that look and think like you everyday.” At the time seeing people that think and look similar to me didn’t seem that great, but now that I am living in Switzerland I see the significance.
While I am learning new things everyday and experiencing studying at organizations that influence the way the world works, like the United Nations, the European Union, and countless European National Governments, I struggle to relate with a lot of the students on the political issues we discuss.
I don’t think our opinions differ because of their lack of knowledge or mine either, I think our backgrounds deeply impact our thoughts to most subjects. As an African American my background and perspectives are drastically different from these students, those from the United States and those from other countries.
Naturally in Aggieland our opinions differ as well, but they are often based on the same general principles, principles that people here often over look. For example in Paris, France at a briefing with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), we discussed the promotion of cultural diversity internationally. As one of two African Americans in a group of 30 students I often notice people regularly overlooking the racial indecencies of their comments.
So as we were discussing how UNESCO promotes the protection of culture, a young man in the group from Syria asked about how the organization deals with culture in immigrant nations, in reference to the United States. The representative from UNESCO was adamant in his answer that all cultures are protected regardless of how they came about, “UNESCO provides an openness and basis for intercultural dialogue, and helps to preserve diversity.”
The young man was not satisfied with this answer. He later went on to say, “Americans are all immigrants so they are essentially the same, except for black people, but they were brought over so they really don’t count”. I had to channel my inner Aggie Pride to keep me from jumping on him. So I feel like as Aggies we must anticipate the disrespectful ‘real world’, and enjoy Aggieland while we can.