Video Clips From Google Hangout Sessions (Host Erik Ponder)

Sydney – I just thought it was amazing that we were able to talk to someone in a different continent in the first place. It’s so amazing to me how far we’ve come with technology and it’s times like these that technology seems so useful and good for our society. I thought it was so interesting to hear about the post- apartheid world in South Africa, and how life has been there since that time. It wasn’t surprising to hear that things are still segregated and race is still touchy there. Even just in the media, you can see how the representation of South African people is mostly white. I would love to talk to someone who’s been living there their whole lives, to see how they think the society has been changing and how it’s been shaped by its history.

Emma – I thought that it was a really fun and unique thing to do! I remember Skyping with a neurosurgeon in eighth grade with one of my classes and this reminded me a lot of that. I especially liked getting answers from a person who has firsthand experienced South Africa. It also really made me wants to visit SA, not only because I had a dream last night that I went to SA to try and stop post-apartheid racism. The man that we Skyped with seem very cool and I hope that I will be able to do something like that another time, whether it is in this class or another class. I think that getting firsthand perspectives are a really good thing for kids who are just starting to figure out how to shape our opinions.

Maya – I thought that it was really interesting to talk to someone that is currently living in South Africa, and learn his perspective and hear his responses to our questions. I thought his response to Matthew’s questions about the similarities between South Africa and the rest of Africa vs. South Africa and the western world, and which region was more alike to South Africa was very interesting. I didn’t really know about the relationship with South Africa and the rest of Africa, but after listening to the man talk, I got a better understanding of how the rest of Africa views South Africa. After talking to the man, I wish I had asked him questions about the stigma around AIDS/HIV in South Africa and also about how black foreigners are viewed by South Africans. Overall, I got a better insight of what it’s really like to live in South Africa.

Leslie – I thought it was nice being able to experience this. And kind of get an insight look on something more than just reading the book on the issues of South Africa. I feel like we got to know South Africa more by the questions that our classmates asked. It was nice to get a point of perspective from Erik because he also lives in Evanston and he can compare and contrast the difference between our lives and people lives in South Africa. He made us get a better view on South Africa and help to shape how we feel on South Africa.

Leah – I found the discussion very interesting. I really didn’t know much about what life is currently like in Johannesburg, so it was really cool to learn more about post apartheid South Africa, especially from someone that was from Chicago. Even the most simple comments he gave, on say the weather in South Africa gave me a new and better understanding of what that place was actually like. What I found very interesting is how there are still clear divisions between racism, and not all apartheid problems have been resolved yet. It really reminded me on how in America, we don’t have slaves anymore, but racism is still a large problem all across the country. I also found the response to Mathew’s question really interesting. The question was on how South Africa relates to the rest of Africa and the Western World. It really bettered my understanding of South Africa to learn that they think of themselves as separate from the rest of Africa, and a more progressive country, yet they still have a lot of problems both social and economical. Overall, the discussion today was really able to expand my views and knowledge on post-apartheid South Africa and on what life in Johannesburg is like today.

Dylan – I found the discussion to be eye-opening. It was cool to hear about post-apartheid South Africa from the perspective of a real person, rather than a staged and scripted movie. Not that the movies depict it wrong, just that it is interesting to hear about it from someone who is actually there, because we got to hear about the little details and facts of life there, such as the nature, weather, and what the kids are like. I also found the comparison between South Africa and America to be very interesting, I had no idea that South Africa was like that before today. I’m glad I got the chance to hear from him.

Ellie – I thought the discussion we had with Erik today was very interesting and knowledgeable. Most of what I have learned about South Africa has been about Apartheid and that period of time. The questions that people were coming up with for Erik today were about South Africa post-apartheid, which I thought was really cool because I had been wondering a lot of the same things as my classmates. It was very interesting to hear about what South Africa is like today, from the weather to race inequality. I want to explore this topic more and really see what people’s lives are like now, especially race and how race really plays into their society now post-apartheid. Overall this discussion really gave me a lot of wonderful information that I did not know before and opened up a lot of questions and areas of study about South Africa that I would like to explore in the future.

Ryan – I really enjoyed the conversation with Erik today, and I find it awesome that he is chasing a PhD. Receiving a PhD is a huge honor, and is a great tribute to your hard work. Getting that out of the way, I find it extremely interesting how in just a month, Erik was able to find out the opinion of the “people.” Also, his ability to analyze, and grasp the problems that South Africa had to encounter is pretty incredible because again, he was only there for a month. Lastly, the questions asked were pretty great. I thought Matt’s question was sophisticated, and really brought our conversation to another level.

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