what I learned in this class

When I signed up for this class, I thought that this class would be about simple and easy topics which are just for knowing presence of the US. However, at the first class time, I found that my expectation was completely wrong. The class dealt with serious and deep questions about the problems which the US has encountered with and the image of America. I have never thought about these topics before, so I was confused at the first time.

However, throughout the quarter, I have learned many things including images, nationalism, and critiques of the US and so on. Each topic was so impressive and meaningful that this class was the best chance to re-think about the US.

Maybe I will remember the moment when all including American student and international students together discussed about what America is. It was really awesome to hear the opinion of those who really lives in America.

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what i have learned from this class

Personally i was really happy to take this class because i can learn and expose myself to several, different aspects of America as an exchange student. As an exchange student, who come to America to learn not only english but also cultural, historical and political issues of America, it was a perfect class. Also, by studying reading materials before the class, i think i can also improve my reading skill and vocabulary. I think i will remember that various things are connected together and affects each other. We mainly learn about drawing connection to another reading. I realized that there are so many things that i did not know about America and these several aspects of America help me to understand what America is and make me think deeply about America. Also it was really helpful to listen other students’ opinion from different nations and cultures. It was an opportunity to debate our opinion in a group and american students’ opinion was also very helpful.

To me, the most interesting and helpful thing in this class was writing the manifesto. I have not heard about what manifesto is before i took this class. By writing manifesto, i can deepen my own thought toward America and be creative. I am thankful that i can be creative and learn about diverse aspects of America through this class and make friends from different culture.

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Takeaways

I learned how to analyse images critically within a historic/cultural/political context. I learned plenty about the less-attractive sides of US history – notably, significant events that are remarkably close-to-home but get glazed over in history classes and media coverage (ex, “Desert Storm” and the massive problems underlying the prison system).

Ten years from now, I’ll remember the deep injustice of the prison-industrial complex and all its intricacies tied into race and class because, unsurprisingly, the good majority of my friend-group is composed of middle-class people who will likely never see the inside of a serious prison (since they can afford lawyers to defend their cases) and thus need not ever understand the inner workings of the incarceration treadmill.

I’ll remember that A Fistful of Dollars was shot in Italy and based off a Japanese movie. I’ve never watched anything by Sergio Leone, but Ennio Morricone writes good film scores and I’d always wondered a little at the non-American-sounding name being attached to a film so inherently American (but in course-end retrospect, less so).

I’ll remember Andy Warhol’s five minutes eating a hamburger in a starkly-furnished room, with New York sounds off to his left. A minute in of watching a man put processed meat and bun into his mouth, my brain decided it needed to assign a meaning to the experience, and by doing so, qualified it as art (semi-according to Hall’s essay on presentation and authorial intent).

Pretty cool.

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What I have learned from AMS 30 class

At first, I registered this AMS 30 class because it was the first time to come to America as an exchange student and I wanted to learn about American culture more deeply. As I took the class, the professor taught us with a lot of interesting materials such as images and video clips. Especially, I can still remember ‘the Elbow Room’ video and ‘Love and hope’ song. And actually, this class required a lot of reading. So, it was hard for me to read all the reading materials every class. But I learned main historical events of America as well as pop art such as Andy Warhol through this class. It was a good opportunity for me to learn pop culture and consumer society in 1960s of America. Also, I could extend my limited thinking about America and see the United States with a variety of views and perspectives.

The thing I will remember the most 10 years from now was taking this AMS class with so many students from many different countries. Especially, it was a great time to speak my own idea and compare my thought with others in discussion time.

Thank you for such an awesome class!

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Final Homework

The thought of not knowing scared me. I found myself debating whether or not I should take an American Studies class. I was not polished with the history of anything, let alone America. I’ve come to find out that I have learned more in this class about life in general, than all of my previous classes combined. Also, I learned that after taking AMS 30 I am less scared of the unknown. I discovered I am an individual of many who cannot quite put their finger on America. As soon as you think you know America, one small thing could change your thoughts, perceptions and values. One reading that will forever live with me is Andy Warhol’s “America.” I was more than happy to read on something that related so much to me. The thought of individuals being comfortable not exploring the world because of the perceptions already shared on television was great. The fact of people being comfortable in their environments and creating their own image of other places from movies, magazines and so on was intriguing. I absolutely loved my experience in this class. I would love to experience it again the same way, to try and find out if my perception on America would change all over again.

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It’s Only the Beginning [Final Thoughts]

I was really grateful that I took this class, not only did I learn a lot about American culture, I also learned a lot about myself and my own understanding of the United States.  I think one thing that really stuck to me was Baudrillard’s hyper-reality, I am really interested in the philosophy of the existence of a hyper-real world and I would probably remember it in ten years.  I feel like I would probably end up redrawing the piece of art work I did for my manifesto in a couple years, since I only had two days to work on it and I thought that it was a nice idea. In the class one thing I learned was the different perspectives people have on America and how those people effects American culture. From Native Americans to modern hip-hop I felt like we went over a large timeline but barely touched the surface of each subject. I hope that in the future I could dig deeper into some of the subjects we learned in this class. Overall this class was very successful and I am really glad with what I learned.  I am looking forward in using what I learned in other classes. Thank you for such an amazing class!

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What I have learned from this class (and in college!)

In this class, I have learned how complex America really is. We are the only nation that calls itself the “Land of the Free” yet inequalities can be seen every day. We are the nation who incarcerates a high percentage of our citizens but we still stand for freedom. What I have learned from this class, and college in general (since I am graduating in less than a week! ), is how there are multiple layers of meanings and interpretations that complicates every issue.  There are many sides to every issue and there is never an easy answer. By choosing to see only one side of an issue and neglecting the other side allows for the opposing side to go unheard and unnoticed. It is always important to question your belief in an idea or institution and always consider the opposite side before making up your mind. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask questions if a popular belief makes you uncomfortable!

What I will remember in 10 years from this class is not to call the United States simply America because it ignores all the other countries that are a part of North, Central, and South America. I had no idea of the implications of calling our country America! But now I understand why it really annoys people!  🙂

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Final Homework

In 10 years, I will remember how diverse this class was.  There were people from so many different backgrounds and countries in this class.  It was interesting to hear how the United States is different from other countries, especially because I have lived in the United States my entire life.  I am not familiar with any other type of lifestyle so it was interesting to hear what the students from other countries had to say about the United States.  This class did not turn out how I expected it to be, but there were parts of it that I ended up enjoying.  I liked the study we did on pop art, especially Andy Warhol’s artwork.  I am a Design major and I have studied him before, but what we learned in this class put a twist on what I already knew about him.  I really like him as an artist, so it was interesting to see his role in American popular culture.  I also liked the last study we did on the prison system and the war on drugs.  I think the fact that the readings included pictures really helped get the points across.  The facts that were presented in the readings were very interesting and eye opening.  Overall, parts of this class were interesting and I am glad I got to experience an American Studies class at Davis before I leave.

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Final Thoughts

This class was not at all what I expected it be.  I learned a lot of thing not specifically related to the class but useful information about myself and other countries.  I never realized how much of an “Americanized” bubble I live in.  Things that seemed obvious to me we so foreign to others in the class; it really took me by surprise.  For example, the term freedom, I never think of it as freedom itself because I am used to it.  Another example is the diversity of the United States, I live in it, see it everyday and therefore I did not realize Americans were the only ones to have so much of it.

Ten years from now I will remember the interesting form of teaching of the class and also all of the cool readings and videos shown in class.  Also, by having to write a manifesto it showed myself the importance of America and made me realize how much I love and respect my country.  I am so proud to be an American and I would not change anything about my experience in America.  I understand that there are a lot of bad things but that will happen in any part of the world.  So, when I look back I will mostly remember how this class has opened my eyes to a new point of view and the appreciation for my country!

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What I Learned

As a political science major I have taken classes and explored details about American culture all through a political lens. This class was refreshing because it showed me different sides of American culture I otherwise wouldn’t have seen in my political science culture. For example, I never would have learned about Andy Warhol or Baudrillard in any other class in my major. The thing I will remember the most 10 years from now was being around so many students from so many different countries. It was great hearing their outlook on things and it pleasantly surprised me how much of a positive image of America these students had.

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Final Homework: What I’ve learned from AMS30

When I decided to take this class in Korea, I just wanted to know about America and its culture for a try. This is just because I was going to be in the U.S. for several month. At that time, I’ve studied thing from the U.S., the center of most of the studies, but there were not that many things that I knew about it. I thought it was kind of ironic. I think that is the main reason I decided to take this class.

When I took this class for the first time, I was little bit surprised that there were many reading materials to read. As a foreigner, I think it is the hardest part of this class, still. I was challenging. Since I am a really slow reader, it takes really long time to read and understand the readings. But I think it’s much better now than before thanks for this class.

In this class, I enjoy connecting the course materials to movies that I’ve watched. I enjoy watching movies. But I didn’t use to deeply think about them within cultural and social background. I just enjoy it as it is. However, after taking this class, I watched and understand the movies that I watched again in another way. For example, I watched Factory Girl, one of my favorite, in the context of hyperreality or sometimes, Andy Warhol’s idea. It was also fun.

The other thing that I enjoyed in this class is the subjects which are unfamiliar for me, such as Prison Business or the perspectives toward Indians. In Korea, I’ve never thought about this issues, because there are only few ethnic groups in my home country and those kind of issues are not that important to us. I also didn’t know that it is important issues for american to consider. It was really new to me.

I also like that I have chance to talk to not only other international students, but also native american. I live with only Korean, and in other classes that I take, there is only a few chance to talk to others in English. Even though that I’m not a kind of person who are talkative, it still had good chances to chat with other students.

After 10 years…. I’ve talked a lot about this issue with my house mate. What are we doing after 10 years? or What will we think about now after 10 years? like this. I think after 10 years, I think this class as the starting point to understand the real America in the American’s viewpoint. I will think like, ‘Oh, at that time, I really enjoyed Andy Warhol’s reading. Maybe, that’s the time that I’ve been more interested in him.’ Like this!

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Final Homework: What I learned from the AMS30!

Before I took this class, I just had a simple and fragmentary idea about what the U.S. is. I thought America is a land of freedom and diversity, and somewhat individualistic. However, after taking this class, I found out that defining America in few concepts was wrong. At first, reading tons of articles about the U.S. wasn’t seem reasonable. I couldn’t imagine these much of concepts and ideas about a single country could come up with. This class gave me an opportunity to think of the various aspects of America; politics, culture, economy, and so on. Not only this, I could develop a critical thinking about what the U.S. is now standing for. Therefore, I was pretty astonished after reading war on drugs comic strips which contains lots of criticisms against the U.S.’s drug policies. Also, learning about popular culture was informative. Knowing that the U.S.’s cultural imperialism was interesting that in Korea, I think most of people accept the U.S’s culture such as American pop-song, Coca-cola unconditionally. Also, the example of Inca Cola was impressive how Peru accept the U.S’s cultural imperialism with critical thinking.

What I think I will remember 10 years later is that this class made me think differently about the U.S. Also, I will remember the fact that how America has diverse and various perspective regarding on its history, culture, politic and so on. Moreover, I will also remember that defining a country with just a few concepts is very dangerous as I did before coming to the U.S. and before taking this American Studies.

All the readings and the videos that I read and watched in this class was quite impressive and will last long within my memory. Learning about various perspective from other countries while discussion time was also helpful to conceptualize other nation’s opinion about America. Overall, it was priceless experience learning deeply about the U.S. in the U.S. with other people around the world.

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Final Homework

American Studies was an interesting class that helped me creates my own version of America. It was a great opportunity to study the U.S in the U.S, not just in history classes but with such diversity opinions about consumerism, hip-hop, pop art, nationalism and social movements that a class with Japanese, Korean, Chinese, American, and Brazilian people can have. Some readings were hard to understand and to create a solid opinion about them. My favorite one was the comic about prisons and drugs. After classes and discussions were pretty impressive see the topics discussed and studied applied in the day life. The news brought by this course for  me were learn that even Americans think that they are consumerists, that coca cola can bring a democratic feeling, that prisons in the U.S are more than just places to lock people that not follow the rules, but are also, a huge industrial complex and the manifest destiny. Ten years from now a lot of things can change in the U.S, but I think will be easier to understand the changes after taking this class. Thinking about what I will remember from this class, I just can think about that there is not a single truth about what is the United States of America.

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After AMS30

At first I decided to take this course, I expected to learn and understand more about America and Americans. This was my last quarter in UC Davis, but I didn’t know a lot of things about America even if I have living here for 7 months. Through the courses, I could learn many aspects of America; I didn’t even expect that I will learn about the things like the stories about the prisons in America. The unexpected topics were very interesting. However, some texts were difficult to understand, and some classes were difficult because they were somewhat deeper that I thought it might be.

I think I’ll remember several things in this class. First, I would not forget the class itself I had. It was a great experience that I discussed with students from many other countries. Actually, in other classes, it is very hard to talk with all class together. Also, I will remember some of the contents of the course. One of the most memorable things I saw in this course is the videos we have seen. I am a person like visual things than text, so they made me easier to understand and they were very interesting. Related to each text, they made me to think more about the topics. And 10 years later, if I have an opportunity to talk about America and Americans, I might use the knowledges I have learnt in this course.

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Studying New America

This class was very interesting for me to learn about America. I liked how this class introduced multiple sides of America. Before I come to this country, I had mostly positive image of it, and I knew little about it. As I take this class through the quarter, I learned not only many different sides of America, but also the concept that “having only one definition is dangerous.” I realize that I need to know as many thing as I can, in order to understand the truth.

The most interesting lecture for me was about the article written by Jean Baudrillard. It was interesting for me because I did the reading response, and I think this article had the most interesting in-class discussion we had in this quarter. When I first read his article, I was so confused and did not understand what he want to say because he does not explain his thoughts in this article. Thus, in the in-class discussion, I was able to know my group member’s different intention. Some of them were totally new to me, and I was surprised how they can come up with that. I think I will remember this lecture even ten years from now.

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