様々な分野でグローバルに活躍する「普通の人々」が体験を語り、次世代の普通の人々のお役に立てればと思っているサイトです。

日本在住歴約40年のRon McFarlandと外資系勤務が長い齋藤信幸が、それぞれの海外体験を語ります。

Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.2 Ron-sanの青春

2019-11-24 10:24:48 | Ron's Life Story
Chapter #2: ENTER THE WAR AND THE COLLEGE YEARS

ベトナム戦争最盛期、高校を卒業していたRon-sanは、アカデミックなスキルを身に着ける必要性を感じ、大学に行くことを決意します。そして.......

(第2章は、2回に分けて掲載します)

今、60代、70代の人は、自分の青春時代と重ねてお読みになるかと思います。

私も79年~84年、米国サンノゼ赴任時のことを思い出しながら、懐かしく、ときにほろ苦い思いで読みました。

So, here I was, a high school graduate with no academic skills whatsoever except for maybe typing, and the US Army just loving to draft a athletics type like me and sending me off to Vietnam to fight in the war.

As I could not possibly get into any 4-year university at that time, I enrolled at the local community college and signed up for the minimum required basic classes to get a student deferment from the Vietnam War Draft that was in affect at that time.

It took me two semesters to get into a regular college English class, but I got there. Along the way, I learned that I had a lot of interests and having a simple non-thinking, repetitive job in Sacramento would probably not satisfy me over a lifetime.

As my reading, studying skills and discipline improved, I generated a strong interest in business subjects, particularly dealing with the management and motivation of people. Years later when I think about it, I got very good instruction at that school and in spite of it taking me three years to finished a 2-year Associate of Art Degree, it was well worth it and laid the groundwork for a solid academic direction. That same explorative nature I had as a small child was now redirected in a wealth of business subjects.

Through high school and right through attending that junior college I had a lot of part-time jobs. As a matter of fact, at my 35-year high school reunion I found Barbara Bennan whom I had a part-time job with. Together we worked in a Chinese restaurant when we were in high school. She was the waitress and I was the bus boy. I also was a forklift operator, a wood and lumber salesman and a telegrapher for the local railroad. The typing skills I picked up in high school got me the railroad job, and I’ve been using it ever since. Looking over my education, I recalled that I had classes on many subjects, and it turned out that only one out of 10 would be helpful and the others useless, but the one that was helpful was so useful and beneficial that I can’t complain. It did take work though to find the valuable subjects for me.

After three years at American River Junior College in Sacramento, I transferred my credits to a big 4-year school, San Jose State University. My confidence was still quite low as to me surviving in a 4-year school, so I decided to go down to San Jose and take a few summer school classes to reduce the shock of adjusting to a higher level of education.

From the age of 16 years old starting with a newspaper route, I always had part-time jobs here and there. But, to insure my survival at San Jose State University, I decided to use up savings and do nothing but study that summer as well as my first semester there.

Well, not only did I survive, I learned that the worst was behind me, as I was starting to love the subject matter and my discipline to study started to come more second nature.

The only problem was physical inactivity. I got fat, had headaches and my savings in the bank was going down all the time.

So, I decided to go out and get some kind of part-time job, which would keep me active and stabilize my finances. I got a job as a security guard at a refrigeration plant. You can’t get a more boring job than that! For insurance reasons and safety, this refrigeration facility needed security guards around the clock as a person from the local bar may wonder over to a freezer (which is the size of whole warehouses in which fork lifts can drive in and out of) walk in and freeze to death. I had to walk around the facility once an hour and had to clock-in at various locations. It took about 15 minutes per hour. There was also a weigh scale in the facility for trucks to weigh their produce, as they brought it into the storage areas. So, I weighed trucks the rest of the time. I worked from four in the afternoon to mid-night, and really had nothing to do about 45 minutes of every hour. The average person who took a job like that was about 60-65 years old. It was a mindless job, but for me, it was ideal, as I could study and get paid at the same time! I did that for about two years and came out of college with not only a degree, but also a bank account that was relatively healthy.

当時のアメリカは、日本よりもはるかに豊かでした。

私が、初めてアメリカに行き、最初に感動したのは、ハンバーガー点Carl's Jrで飲んだオレンジジュース。

本物のオレンジジュース。それまでの私は、粉のオレンジジュースと炭酸飲料のオレンジしか飲んだことがありませんでした。

IBMの私と同じポジションのエンジニアの給料は、私の約2倍でした。

クリスマスのイルミネーションもきれいでした。

豊かなアメリカ。でもベトナム戦争という暗い影もまとっていました。

IBMは、ベトナム難民の採用を初めていました。

(第二章は次回に続きます)

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