Harford Community College
TITLE: MY PERCEPTION OF THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO MY ARRIVAL IN AMERICA AND HOW MY VIEW HAS CHANGED DURING MY STUDY IN THE U.S.
Perceptions are as ambivalent as the information upon which they are premised. In my country Guyana, successive socialist governments had pursued an anti-capitalist agenda. The stated owned radio churned out daily doses of anti-capitalist propaganda. Ordinary Guyanese had little or no access to television and the State controlled over eighty percent of the economy. It was little wonder then that my perception was biased against the United States. I felt that Americans lacked solid moral values and were only interested in material gains. In my mind, I viewed the average American as working slavishly to fuel multibillion dollar industries.
Then came the era where the Guyanese masses could afford television. All the "vices" that I had been hearing about capitalism now seemed highly desirable to me. American culture had such a pervasive influence that thousands of Guyanese "voted with their feet". Today, there are more Guyanese living abroad than in Guyana. In New York, there is "Little Guyana"- a community for Guyanese that is a home away from home.
Years of socialist indoctrination conflicted with what I was now exposed to on television. My mind was in turmoil. Was America a fast paced society bent on exploiting the labor of the working class or was it a land where people could be all they could be?
Then came 911- I watched aghast as the twin icons of capitalism disintegrated in a blazing inferno of concrete, steel, flesh and blood. America, I decided was much too dangerous a society for me. I would rather live in the relative safety of Guyana. Little did I know at the time that the very next year, I would be in America seeking political asylum.
Guyana was now rocked by its own brand of terrorism. Insurgent forces loyal to the main opposition party were kidnapping and killing persons they felt were supportive of the government. As the Executive Director of Guyana's premier Chamber of Commerce, I was a natural target. I was kidnapped and brutally tortured. After what can only be described as a miraculous escape, I fled to the United States no longer willing to risk my life by staying in a country where an entire race was being persecuted because of their ethnicity and perceived political allegiance.
I entered the United States with a lot of trepidation. Through television, I had seen persons with my phenotype being assaulted by mainly white Americans in retaliation for 911. Was I jumping out of the "frying pan" into the "fire"?
As the lengthy process of political asylum dragged on, I decided to fulfill a vow that I had made to myself while awaiting death at the hands of my captors. I swore that if by some miracle I survived, I would dedicate my life towards helping the neediest of the needy. Thus, I enrolled for studies in special education.
As I lived and studied in the United States, I began to appreciate that the American lifestyle is really a conglomeration of many different cultures and subcultures. Caucasians, Hispanics, Blacks, Asians etc. all contribute their unique cultural values which manifest as American culture. Despite their differences, Americans have shown that they are one people in times of crisis-for instance, when they rallied behind President Bush in the aftermath of 911.
No country is a Utopia. America has its share of drugs, homicides, terrorism and other crimes. However, the rights of every U.S. citizen are protected by the constitution and ordinary people have recourse. The numerous checks and balances in the U.S. justice system provide for fair play. This is democracy-the right to justice, the right to enjoy the fruits of one's labor. Coming from a socialist state which advocates the equal division of unequal earnings, America is like a breath of fresh air. Moreover, the United States offers a way out of poverty and ignorance. Once an individual is determined to better herself, chances are that she will.
I no longer believe that America is only about increasing productivity at the expense of its citizens. There are so many Federal and State programs which provide grants, scholarships, loans and other forms of assistance aimed at improving the quality of human lives. In my case for example, I benefit from on-line classes with interactive software. This arrangement allows me the flexibility of working and studying. Medical science has restored my face from a mass of cigarette burns and lacerations to what I looked like before my ordeal. My teeth were cracked and the alignment shifted during the same incident. Advanced dental surgery has restored my teeth. Paradoxically, the country of my birth had threatened my life; the United States has given it back to me.
The fact that I am in America has helped me appreciate how dangerous propaganda is. None of my preconceived notions about how I would be treated as a non-white student ever materialized. I was just another student getting good grades for good work and poor grades for mediocrity.
The care and compassion that I have experienced in this country have crystallized my perception of the United States as being a truly great nation. The U.S. stands out as a beacon of hope to other countries. This is a nation that can transcend the political divide and rally as one in times of crisis. This is a nation willing to fight for what it believes in, yet caring enough to dole out billions of dollars in international aid to developing countries. This is a nation where its people can dream, and if what their minds conceive, they truly believe, they will someday achieve.
I am thankful that I eluded death, but I am even more grateful that I have a chance at a second life in the United States. The fear of death is perhaps even worse that death itself. Living in Guyana for me would be extremely stressful. The society seems incapable of rising above partisan politics. From my vantage point in the U.S., I get a feeling that despite how hard one tries, the Guyanese system is stacked against the ordinary man. It is a feeling tantamount to running up a "down" escalator. In this country, I have the opportunity to utilize my ability in order to realize my potential. As the American military puts it-be all you can be.
I applied online. I interviewed at Challenger School.
First written test,impossible to complete in the given duration,second one not time bounded.Don't know exactly what they are looking for??After giving written test,one middle aged person came,asked about how can I fit this position etc..Person after talking for 15 mins,said you need to meet another person...also I would be called to give a teaching demo,which I never was called for..They take a very long time,may be a month or so to inform about the status, that you are not selected,and your resume is on file for 60 days,if any thing opens suiting they'll contact! Please don't have much hope,that the interview is very simple..u never know why you are rejected before even giving a demo..Just give a try,without much expectations!!! Read one sentence view about socialism!!
- How do u fit for this position,if you don't have experience teaching young children,very very simple and straightforward questions,but u never know what answers they are looking for?? Answer Question