Eh, I guess I’ll update

5 Oct

Yeah, I’m kind of dispassionate today. It’s a little weird, because that’s not like me. Really the only thing that got me excited today was the fact that I got to interview my conversation partner, Yoshiko, and finish my article. Here it is, in fact:

Japanese exchange student wishes to takes active role in breaking culture barrier

I sat in the cafeteria, just having purchased my turkey club sub from the deli fridge, for the reason that the lines were too long to wait in. That is one thing that we have in common, Yoshiko and I—we don’t like waiting in long lines.

“Hi, sorry, I go get my lunch,” Japanese ESL student Yoshiko W.(name withclosed for privacy purposes) said.

“No problem,” I replied.

Seeing as Yoshiko doesn’t speak the best English, I find it hard to directly relay what she says on paper, so observations will have to do.

Yoshiko, 22, traveled to Lacey to be apart of the Adventures in Education (AIE) program at St. Martins University. She said that she wasn’t scared when she came, because she came with a large group, and they all hope to live in a house together next year when she transfers to Pierce College.

Yoshiko is one of many students at St. Martins that applied as a conversation partner. That’s how we met—the International officers paired us up. The conversation partner program is where an international student meets with an English student every so often to do just that—have conversations.

I asked Yoshiko if she ever needed any help on her English or American Literature homework that she could just ask. I figured that I could be helpful, as an English major.

“No, just having conversation helps,” she replied.

It may be hard to believe, but Yoshiko never actually graduated from high school. She told me that she dropped out because the education in Japan is declining, so she went to private school to get more schooling. After she finished with her basic schooling, she came to America to learn better English. Even as she said that the education in Japan is declining, she wants to go back as an English teacher in Japan. Yoshiko wants to play an active role in making education better.

I asked her what surprised her most about America, and I saw that she had a hard time finding the words, so she grabbed a pen and my notebook to draw what she was trying to explain. Pictures—the universal language.

It pleasantly surprised her that America has so many different cultures and that people are so accepting. She said that in Japan, most people are the same, and that when someone is different people don’t like them. She drew a line of people and one person away from the line, and pointed at that person to distinguish. Her meaning was understandable through her drawing.

Even though Yoshiko’s schedule is very hectic—she has meetings with ESL advisors and a full schedule—she still finds time out of her busy day to meet with me for our conversations. She wrote out the times she was available to meet, because we both had to be to class in a short time. From 14:00-18:00 Mondays and Wednesdays, and 9:30-13:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays; I guess that’s one more thing that she gets to teach me, how to tell time on the 24-hour clock.

I liked it. I feel pretty good about it.

So, my sister’s coming down on saturday, which should be fun. And our friend Kelsie. But it will work, because we made our room bigger. I’m on the top bunk, and it’s the first time I’ve climbed to the top bunk in a long time. That’s what first set off the worry in my mom’s mind that something was wrong with me a year and a half ago. And last December, we found out that I really was diseased, and we spent nine days in Children’s Hospital in Seattle. I’m not really a child at all, but hey.

Wow. I really feel totally uninspired today. That sucks.

❤ Abby


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