“Wait…We Actually Have to Go to A Classroom!?”
By Sarah Staelgraeve
Today was a blustery and rainy day in London, England. I was awake and ready to start my day at 8:30 AM sharp. The group ventured through the tubes to an ACCENT classroom (a program we are doing here in London). “Class” began at 9:45 and were out by 10:45. During that hour, I learned a lot about British culture, diversity, people’s opinions on politics in the UK, the connection to American politics, and of course the media.
One of the points that stuck out most to me is American’s way of accepting that we are a melting pot. Everyone knows their heritage and they usually embrace it. I am of Polish, Belgium and Scottish decent. In England, it is harder for them to accept that they are from different back grounds, and they like to be considered just English or “white British” (well some people). Over 300 languages are spoken in London. That certainly shows how diverse the city is. It was great to learn specifically about London and to gain some background knowledge on the city. I have noticed all different kinds of people as we have explored the city (different skin colors, accents, languages, clothing, cultures, etc.). I love embracing all the differences that I am experiencing.
Something else that struck me as important was when the guest speaker discussed terrorism. He noted that, obviously, terrorism is real and a terrifying fear that everyone should have. He went on to explain that terrorism attacks aren’t common and they aren’t all being done at the hands of Muslims. In the British newspapers there are always protests against the Muslims- he said it is always the same 20 to 30 men who are in these protests, but the media portrays it like that’s not the case. It was interesting to me to learn that fact and it made me realize how much the media can twist things and the resulting impact.
Overall, today was a great day of learning about the city that I’m currently living in. By 1 11 AM, we were out of class and the city was once again ours to explore. My friends and I got lunch and did some shopping to avoid the rain.