My Journey

I started my journey thinking, “How bad did they treat black people in South Africa?” This is a story about my journey in english class. I hope you enjoy!

This was when Ms. Cox showed us images of people in South Africa during apartheid. She showed pictures of toilets being separated, how horribly the blacks were treated, people who were carrying their child who died because of soweto uprising.
That got me thinking.

Then, Ms. Cox put us into research groups. I was with Ayaka, Pia and Totah. We got the topic apartheid. I wanted to do Nelson Mandela because I knew somethings about him, for example he saved the blacks. But I didn’t know the small details. I didn’t want the topic apartheid because I didn’t know anything about it. But as I researched, I learned a lot of things. I thought, “This topic might not be that bad after all.” As I learned more,  I liked the topic even more.

After we researched, we started to do things separately . We needed to write a magazine article. I didn’t know how to do it, and I didn’t know if  I had enough information to do that, and I am not the creative type. I asked Ms. Cox, “How long should it be?”

Ms.Cox replied, “It can be as long or short, but it should have the information about it.”

As I said, I am not the creative type. I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t have any idea about it. I didn’t have an idea, but then, our teacher gave us things we should write about. That saved me from thinking what to write for a long time.
Then, I started writing. Then lots of ideas popped into my head. I just kept writing. After I finished writing, I picked the best idea that I could think of, and used it. It ended up like this.

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But it wasn’t the end of my journey.


We watched the movie “Invictus” as a class. We watched about half, then we watched it after winter break. I learned a lot of things watching Invictus. For example, I learned that the blacks cheered on the team that was going against South Africa, that they played soccer because you only need a soccer ball, and it doesn’t cost a lot of money.
After we watched Invictus, we read Journey to Jo’burg. When I first looked at it, I thought that the book was easy, because the number of pages and the font size. After I started reading it, I thought that it might not be that easy. It was because it used some vocabulary that I didn’t know, for example tar road. Also, I thought that it gave me a lot of information, that I thought that I might want to do my apartheid article again, but with much more information.

Then, we rewrote the Grace’s Story, Time of Fire, but we wrote it with more detail, present tense, and in first person. I think I did pretty good on this because I was pretty creative in ideas, and I tried very hard to make it in first person.
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I thought my journey was finished, but after a few weeks, I heard from Mr. Fedley that his friend from South Africa was going to visit Japan, and also visiting our school. His name is Shane. We thought of questions, and we wrote it down in our english notebooks.
When Shane came, he talked about his life, and how he felt, etc. One thing that I was surprised was that he was forced into the army, even though he was a white. I never thought that whites were also forced to do things too. So I asked the question, “Did you think of moving to another country?”
He answered, “Yes, but we didn’t have enough money, and I went into the army wishing that there is a day that I will get out of here, and apartheid will end. I learned more things, for example…

  • Apartheid made South Africa rich.
  • The whites were taught that Nelson Mandela was bad.
  • Some white people want apartheid again.
  • Some people were not even old about apartheid.
  • The government were hiding lots of things from black and whites.
  • The government during apartheid had lots of things under control than Nelson Mandela.
  • Nelson Mandela was not allowed to give a speech with certain information.
  • Because they were white, didn’t mean they were rich.

But the most shocking thing was that graduating in a black school was the level on a 4~5th grade education in a white school, and most black people couldn’t even graduate because they had to work to support their families. Hearing this, I felt bad for both black and whites because I thought that the white people were not forced into doing anything, and they were all free, but now, hearing that he and some more blacks were forced into the army, I felt bad for both.

That was the end of my journey. I hope you enjoyed!

2 thoughts on “My Journey

  1. I enjoyed reading your reflection on your learning Ayano. It certainly seems you learned a lot about South Africa and Apartheid during this unit. Did you take time to reflect on the impact of racism and how it affects people in the world now? What happened in South Africa seems so far away from our lives here in Japan. I enjoyed reading the work you completed and thought you organised your ideas well in your post. Thanks for sharing your journey, I do hope it continues.

  2. This is an extremely thoughtful response to your journey. It was heartening to read how you felt more and more creative during some of the later tasks. Your use of media helps your readers have a visual understanding of both writing you produced and the film and book you learned from. It would improve your post even more to check any hyperlinks are integrated (made part of your main writing, instead of listed separately).

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