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 South Africa lecture on October 26 
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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5
On Monday, October 26, I attended a seminar that was supposed to be about a teaching fellow's experiences in Uganda, but because of scheduling conflicts, the student could not present. Instead, there were two individuals from South Africa who came and spoke a little bit about the education system in South Africa-- comparing it to the United States and providing a general overview of South Africa's educational systems.
I found this presentation to be very interesting. Dee, who is currently an Appalachian student, spoke about her life in South Africa... racism in particular. She said that most of the whites in South Africa are extremely racist towards African Americans and that segregation is very prevalent in society. Dee had such a great attitude. She has personally removed herself from racist stereotypes, looking past the color of individuals' skin, while her family still holds on to their strongly racist attitudes. Dee's attitude was very encouraging and inspiring, for she decided not to simply follow the crowd in promoting segregation, but rather she overlooked racist stereotypes and adapted a mindset of acceptance for all races. I really enjoyed her part of the presentation and learned a lot from her gracious attitude.
The second speaker's name was Malanka-- Malanka is a teacher who succeeded in South Africa and has come to Watauga high school for a year to be an "exchange teacher", in a sense. It was a little difficult for me to hear and understand what Malanka was discussing because he spoke softly and with a heavy accent, but in general, he discussed segregation and the difficulties of education in South Africa.
As a whole, I really enjoyed the presentation and thought that both Dee and Malanka's message of acceptance is one of great importance. A quote that has stuck with me from Dee's presentation is when she said "see people with your heart, not with your eyes." As a teacher, it will be of great importance that I not stereotype my students based on their cultural and financial backgrounds.

Brooke Estridge

Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:55 pm

Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:53 pm
Posts: 4
I too had the chance to hear about life in South Africa. It was such a great seminar because they were discussing a topic that is also apparent in our country’s recent history. Often, Americans forget that racism is not something limited to America, but that many other nations struggle with this as well. South Africa is a country that has experienced many hardships as a result of racism and persecution. I enjoyed hearing from two different speakers on opposite sides of the racial divide, both of whom are intent on riding their country of racism. Stories like there’s are always great to hear and are such good resources for students; they spoke a message that is still incredibly relevant in our country. Students can benefit greatly from hearing about their struggles and their fight against racism in South Africa. Dee’s story about her family refusing to accept blacks, but her determination to hold a different mentality was so inspiring. Often children feel compelled to follow the beliefs of their parents and to never explore issues for themselves. Dee’s determination can be a great teaching point for students who are reaching the age of thinking about serious issues such as this. It was a great privilege to hear each of them speak; our university is luck to have them as such excellent resources.

Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:47 pm
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