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승인 2016.02.15  10:55:46
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

▲ The best time with Coppin University students on campus

I had been in Baltimore, America as an exchange student of Coppin State University for two semesters from September 2014 to May 2015. Among many schools I could choose to go, the school I went was unique in terms of ethnic portion. The university is one of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Directly saying, I was the only Asian girl in that college. To help your understanding, ninety five percent of students are black, three percent are white, and two percent are from other cultural backgrounds. The reason I chose this school was from my strong desire to get to know different culture of black people because I've always thought black people are attractive since I saw Will Smith in the movie.
In this article, I would like to introduce a very impressive class I took at Coppin, which is ‘Black Literature’. I thought taking Black Literature class at HBCU would be unique and meaningful, as no other colleges but HBCU would be the best place to learn this. Honestly, it was not that easy to finish this course. The textbook was as heavy as carrying ten big stones at once and the each class went on for two and half hours. However, taking this course opened one Asian girl's eyes to understand the history of African Americans.
I still cannot forget what I felt when I first read Frederick Douglass’ essay about his horrible but challenging life from being slavery to finding freedom. I could not turn over a single page. To turn a page, I had to breathe deeply because just reading that essay gave me a vivid description of slavery and let me feel as they felt. As I read the literature of Harlem Renaissance, I moaned with the people of that time who are trying to get their real freedom even it was after the emancipation of slave.
Taking this course changed way I travel in the U.S. For me, travel was not just having a dish of special food or taking a picture at must-see place. It was an extension of understanding American history by connecting what I learned to what I see while traveling. As most tourists do, I also visited Lincoln Memorial when I was in Washington D.C. Despite the harsh winter weather, I was sitting facing the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool for a while. It is the very place where Civil Rights Movement occurred with tons of people who shouted out for real freedom in America. I was very thrilled and deeply touched by saying to myself like this, "This place I am facing now is the place where Martin Luther King Jr. gave the 'I have a dream' speech in 1963."
As you can see, two semesters I had as an exchange student at Coppin cannot be just described as a good experience, which is beyond the word good and beyond what I expected. There is a famous proverb that "You can see as much as you know". Whenever I heard this since my childhood, I thought it too stale and boring. But now I see why so many people repeated this saying. My experience, taking this unique course at Coppin, opened one more window to see this huge, wide world to me. I will never regret taking this chance to study and have fun at Coppin. Never! 

By Yoon Ye-ji, Senior, Dept. of English Language and Literature

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