The thing I’ve learned

<What I learned from this American Studies class>

As a student who is majoring in International Relations, I always have been interested with different culture. Due to the characteristic of International Relations, there are many different students from various cultures and countries in my home university, my department, even though Korea is not racially separated. Before I came to the United States, I just studied about political, economic, and diplomatic background about international affairs. However, when we deal with it in reality, the most essential thing is to interpret each country’s culture and unique way of thought below superficial meaning, likewise they all have own identifiable diplomatic strategies which are reflected the culture. In this context, what I learned from this class in this quarter is really informative and valuable to expand my knowledge academically, historically, and culturally. All of the subjects such as history, culture, identity, and government were interesting. I have studied about American Studies in Korea, and there were several overlapped topic, but the point of view and the way of approach were completely different. By comparing and contrast between what I learned from Korea and here, I can upgrade my insight of America which has super-hegemonic power all over the world. Thank you professor!

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What I learned from AMS 30

I truly learned a lot from this class throughout this quarter. I initially decided to take this class just because I thought I didn’t know much about America, and finally I got to prepare myself with some knowledge about America, thus satisfying my first goal. However, beyond that, I also learned how America is being socially and politically perceived around the world through the construction and circulation of its image. I was able to come up with only the image of “Coca cola” at the beginning of the course when I was asked to write down what can represent America the best. However, now I have so many complicate and diverse ideas and thoughts that I can present confidently to my other friends when I think about America.

“Coca Cola” was proved to be the only one aspect of America. Beyond that concept of consumer culture, nationalism, violence, resistance, social movement, national identity and Native American are the great sources that can also explain how America works. Personally, I was truly interested in learning how American people built up the national identity through “playing Indian”. This is because how people who have diverse ethnicity background are able to form a community and live all together was one of my big questions that I had about America. Knowing the political implication of Native American and its influence that still exists in America society was academically interesting enough to catch my attention. Also, learning the image of Vietnam War and CNN effect of Gulf War was a good opportunity for me to know what political process did America go through in the time of the War and how did that connect to the rest of the world.

These things will remain in my mind even after the 10 years from now on, and keep influencing how I look America and how I interpret the future image of America.

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Spring Quarter with Some Pretty Cool People

When reflecting on this past quarter in American studies, one word sticks out to me: Diversity. This class has broadened my horizons through the many international students that we had in this class. I have never had a class where the American students were outnumbered, but I have to admit, I have enjoyed this unique class dynamic. Because of the different perspective that this class receives literally from all over the world we are able to view American images in a different light. This class has taught me that an image of an American flag means something totally different than someone from say Japan. The Manifestos were a prime example of this. When assigned this project, any student could literally pick any image because it is so broad. I found it really interesting to see the different images that the different students chose. No two images were alike. I enjoyed seeing some of the international students images that were unexpected because they never see things like it in their home country. It made me take a step back and realize that some everyday items may be brand new to other students. In ten years, I will look back on this class and remember all of the new international students that I met and the wonderful teacher that was so excited to be there everyday! Thank you to everyone in this class for making it a great quarter! I will truly miss you all 🙂

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10 years down the road

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would remember about this class in 10 years.   But probably what I will remember most is about how diverse this group of students were.  We had people in this class from several different countries and several different continents.  It was interesting getting to hear from people who weren’t originally from the United States and hearing their opinions about how different and similar it is to their home countries.  It amazed me about how people viewed different aspects of the United States that felt were very common or just standard, but I found out that many aspects of my life that I felt would be universal in most countries are not common at all.  This was very beneficial for me because I have not spent much time out of the country but the times I have been out of the country I have traveled to are very typical American tourist locations so I do not know what really happens in these other countries.  But now I have a better perspective about United States and how everywhere has different opportunities and provide different experiences.  I feel I will be thankful in 10 years that I took this class.

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My memory of AMS30

Before I came to the USA, all my knowledge of America is: this is a country of freedom, a country of fast-development, a country of imagination, a country of dream and fantasy. However, these impressions were all too abstract.

I didn’t have a clear impression on the real America at that time. Then  I got the opportunity of studying abroad in America.  I have become an exchange student of UC Davis. In the Spring quarter I found there was an interesting course introduction of the America study course called Images of America. Without hesitation I chose this course to study.

The first went to class, I remembered the teacher let us to draw something I thought about America. I just drew a logo of Mcdonald’s. Maybe at that time the first idea of America was just fast food. However, this class taught me a lot of things about the USA. I had read a lot of reading materials about the American cultures or history. I saw some videos or images in this class. Now if you let me draw one thing to describe the USA, I will feel a little hard to make a decision, because there are so many images or pictures or objects in my brain, they are all belong to America.

Time goes so fast, the course will be ending in next Monday. However, all the things I have learnt in this class have become something like one part of my brain and I will remember them last long.


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Homework Assignment

It will be the last time that I can study American Study in the Unites States of America. I would remember this class with my first America life, because it is not a common opportunity for a foreign student to study ‘America’ in America. Not just learn from the books and videos, I could learn from the outside of the classroom by experiencing directly. I met ‘wonderful teeth’ in Baudrillard’s reading. I could find of other aspect of the America as I learned and experienced. I cannot imagine how the America would change in 10 years later, but I would guess how they change from their past. I already know or learned about some parts like Andy Warhol’s works or the Vietnam War. The newest part to me was prison part. What I know about the U.S’s prison is all from the dramas and that was all I know, but it was surprising that there is actually lobby group for prison benefit. Also, I learned about how the America still got through the racism against non-white people in crime penalty. It may be hard to remember specifically, but many of other America’s news or phenomenon will remind me this class. This class had many readings and assignment, so sometimes I was tired. However, anyway those materials helped me understand the U.S.

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What I will remember 10 years from now.


What I will definitely remember in 10 years is “elbow space”. When I watched the video about “elbow space” for the first time, I didn’t understand what it meant at all. This means that American people pursue as many spaces or rooms as possible. This was very impressive for me because this way of thinking people in the U.S has had in common is self-evident if we look through the long history of the U.S. The first immigrant came to this New World to get their comfortable place and after they settled in America they started exploring even more places by persecuting Native American. In world war era, they invaded all over the world. In addition, after the big war ended, the U.S found other places to conquer, which are other planets. For example, in the cold war era, they made a great number of efforts to make spaceships by competing with the Soviet Union so as to go to the moon. They are trying to find other planets where people can live now. I learned various things in this AMS, such as cultural imperialism, representation of the U.S, overconsumption, the problem of prisons and all of them are quite interesting for me. But, still, this “elbow space” was the most interesting for me. I learned that this way of thinking has been rooted in American people’s mind.

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What I learned from this class

As an International student, this class is actually pretty hard for me. Even though sometime I found the readings and material difficult to understand, looking back the whole quarter, I really learned something and got interested in some part of the course.

Most of the time we were talking about images and I think what I learned from this class most is how to interpret images from different aspects and to search more information related to the images to enlarge my knowledge. Besides, I also got the chance to take a brief look at some important events about the U.S., for example, the Gulf War, Andy Warhol and the prison things. I also learned something not about this course, this is my first time having class with American students, listening to their opinion was what I really enjoyed. And I also improved my writing ability through this quarter.

I think what I will still remember 10 years from now should be the most impressive images for me in this. Several images are unforgettable, the American Progress one and the puppet one created by Andy Warhol. And I think I would also remember Andy Warhol for his unique. Moreover, every time I buy Coca Cola, it reminds me of the article about Coke and consumer democracy. Only if I still buy coke, I would not forget those posters and creative advertisements.

English: Andy Warhol

English: Andy Warhol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Oh I remember….

10 years from now, when I look back to my one year adventure studying abroad in UC Davis, I would say “Oh, I remember that AMS 30 class!” The last class of AMS 30 was officially my last class at UC Davis, and AMS 30’s final exam will be officially my last exam.

Most courses I took here are economics, statistics and math. I would say I probably could barely remember any sophisticated theory or mathematical formulas after ten years. But AMS 30 is different. This was my first time took any social science class in UCD, and it was the only class that I had a lot of different feelings about. 

I felt challenged when I tried to finish all the readings and papers. I remember those endless nights that I spent on readings and on editing my papers.

 I felt shocked by the class materials every single time, especially those visual materials. I would remember the painful face of the Vietnam girl with napalm on her back. I would remember the happiness of Donald Duck’s being an American citizen. I would remember the song “Love and Hope” asking for equality.

I felt uncomfortable and frustrated sometimes when I face with cultural shocks in this class. I had to deal with my own stereotypes about America and tried to correct them. Moreover, I had to face other people’s stereotypes about China and tried to tell them what was truly happening in China.

I felt…

Those feelings are what I will remember. Just like Rob Thomas saying in the song “Little Wonders”, “in the end we will only just remember how it feels.”

There is no other class that can evoke my emotions so much like this one, but I love it. And I appreciate it. Those controversial topics made me to think critically and those images stuck into my head. As I spend more time thinking, I feel I know who I am better.

One quarter is too short. Thanks to the encouragements given by the professor. Thanks to all the friends I met in the class. I feel pitiful that I don’t have chance to talk to so many other classmates, but thank you for sharing your thoughts in the classes and blogs. I appreciate being a member in this class.

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     A Challenging Class

AMS 30 is really a challenging class for international students, but it is a good opportunity for us to improve our English learning skills. After I attended in this class, I find United States is not only the most developed country, but has its own rich culture. Though I major in Finance, I never heard about Consumer Democracy before. I know Coca-cola is popular around the world, but I don’t know it has its own special consumer perception, and I believe it is a new inspiration in my following business life after we have a deep talk in the class. Actually I’m not a history lover, so I never read history books on my own initiative, and I usually keep silence awkwardly when my friends are chatting about history. But AMS 30 forced me to read a lot of articles about America history, and I find it is not so boring as I thought before. I am glad that I am able to participate my friends’ history talking in the future. The most important thing I have realized is nothing is impossible to a willing heart. Most time I cannot achieve what I want is because I am afraid to try, for example I avoided reading history books was because I was afraid I could not understand, but i will overcome my own fears and try new things.

Of course I improved my reading and writing skills. The articles are long and have large vocabularies, I had to spend lots time to read a article, but I did it. At last, I found I improved my reading speed and able to understand articles more  accurate. And about the writing, I really appreciate professor that she helped me to edit my papers.

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Memory fragments about AMS 30

I wrapped up my exchange year in UC Davis by AMS 30. I expected it serve as strengthening my memory and impression about this country, but it helped me far more than this. I learned a lot about American history, status quo, American culture, and this society’s most concerning issues. What gave me the most impression is Andy Worhol’s art works, because it shows me the diversity and the energy of this society. The fierce color he drew for Marilyn Monroe and Chairman Mao will perhaps last in my memory even ten years from now. About violence issues, We saw a bunch of iconic pictures of this nation, like the Vietnam girl, and these pictures will keep reminding me that though the environment for us is peaceful and harmonious, there are still some parts of this world that have fights and unstable threats. We should care for them and help them. This serves as an ideology for me and I believe this would last in my memory, too. I will have my POL 001 final on Monday, and I have to say that this course have a lot help for me on my pol 1 study, too. This is because of the Boston tea party and related history moments we learned. I’m very thankful that I took this course.

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My memories of AMS30

I have learned so many things from this class. I remember on the first day we chose one image of America and drew a picture of it. I drew a picture of an iPhone but I had not thought about what the image meant to me. Throughout this whole class, we saw many different kinds of images of America and how the images influence society and us. One of the most impressive images to me was an image of Coca Cola because I hadn’t known how Coca Cola contributed to World War II itself and troops at that time. Moreover, the clip `Elbow Room` helped me understand the history of America; the song of elbow room lingers in my heart. This quarter was my first quarter and I am very glad that I could see America more deeply. When I was in Japan, I took a Japanese class which was taught by a professor from America. The class was very interesting to me because I could see my own country’s culture from the perspectives of an American. This class was also for international students and UC Davis students, so I could analyze America from different perspectives of people from various countries.  I am sure that this class broadened my horizons and helped me understand America more deeply.

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What I will remember from this class.

Being a biological sciences major, it was a nice change of pace to be able to take this class and learn about something completely different. In fact, this whole spring quarter has been something very different for me. This was my first quarter which has been almost completely removed from science. This was the first quarter where I was not required to calculate any equations or participate in any lab since attending UC Davis. The classes I took were this AMS 30 class, a philosophy of BioSci class, and an Entomology class. Each one of these classes has been something completely different than anything I have ever taken before. My philosophy class had us challenge scientific methods what try further define what even constitutes as science. My entomology class (yes it is technically still a science class) had me learn all about insects which is a topic that I was apparently very ill-informed about.  This AMS 30 class was something completely different too. Never had I taken a cultural studies class before this one and the fact that the class was full of students from an international background I was exposed to many different perceptions of America and even the whole world. This is probably what I will take away from this class and the quarter as a whole. By studying the world through so many different lenses (especially in AMS 30) I have learned a great deal about the world we live in. The ability to see something from a different perspective is what I have gained through this and all my other classes this quarter and is probably (hopefully) what will stick with me the longest.

Thanks for a fun quarter,


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What I Learned

I have learned a lot of very interesting and sometimes seemingly random information in this class this quarter. Ten years from now I will remember how to do in text citations in MLA format. I had learned how to do them before but I have never had to do as many as I have in this class and this quarter in general. I will also remember all of the different perspectives I heard about America. Being from the United States, I had never really considered what truly represents this country before. On the first day of class it was interesting to see all of the things people came up with such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds. I believe on my drawing I put a picture of the White House, but I think I missed the point of the assignment because I truly couldn’t think of what represents this country I’ve been here too long! Seeing  most of the images that people drew come up in class discussions was interesting because that meant that not only do the people in this class find them to be representations of America, so do a lot of really smart people. I really enjoyed hearing from the students who are not from the United States and seeing how they viewed different topics.

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What I will remember 10 years from now.

What I will remember 10 years from now? The first answer must be some classmates who I am familiar with and the cute teaching assistant Christina. It is the first time for me to make friends with foreigners, like Rumiko from Japan. She is a nice girl and even visited my home in Davis. It is also the first time for me to listen to an American teacher’s lectures, which is totally different in styles and content from China. The teacher, Christina, also gave me a lot of help on the papers after the class. I am very thankful for her patience.
The second thing should be the skills that learned from the class. How to writing a paper must be the most important one because before I came to the U.S., I had never wrote such long and specific required papers. To be hard-working, careful and sharp minded are very significant in writing. All the writing experiences do me a great favor now and will also in the future.
The last thing is the content of the class. Maybe I couldn’t accurately remind of a specific article, but I will keep in mind that, if you want to learn another country, you must come to the country by yourself. Every nation has its unique and complex culture.

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