Inspiration

On Saturday, November 3rd, our Japanese Plus class was visited by Mr. Yuuki Shinomiya of Septeni Global (formerly of International Student Conferences), Mr. Hiroyuki Takai of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas and the Japan Commerce Association of Washington, DC, and Mrs. Aoi Takai.

By Asa Marshall

Today we had visitors in class. I was super excited because we heard about their arrival during our Wednesday class. I knew I was going to enjoy whoever came and I made sure to bring my camera to class that day.

Class went normally, and tension rose in me in anticipation for their arrival. When Eshita-sensei announced it was time for us to practice our self-introductions, I felt my heart drop. I knew I could introduce myself, but I felt more nervous that I would make a mistake when it was my turn. I practiced to myself and recited to Katie hoping I wouldn’t stumble over my words. Then when I thought I was super prepared, I saw them come through the door. Everything that I was going to say completely escaped my mind. My focus was on getting my camera out, so I could help Sally take pictures. I took deep breaths as Maria and then Lucca did their self-introductions and soon it was my turn. I stood up and I was frozen. I struggled to remember everything that I planned to say, but then I closed my eyes for a bit and focused. “Hajimemashite Asa desu…” I was able to give my introduction. I sighed a breath of relief when I sat down.

As each of our guests spoke I felt so encouraged to continue to study Japanese, because they all talked a bit about how knowing other languages can help you understand other’s cultures and the way they think. It inspired me, and I felt determination to study harder and continue to do my best, because I want to connect and understand others’ perspectives, especially if I get to visit people in different countries and gain a deeper understanding of myself in the process. As class came to an end, I was happy to be going home to eat, but I hoped they could continue to share their experiences with learning English. I hope they come again. They spoke so well and were fun to listen to and were my favorite out of the guests we had so far!

This picture I took was probably not the best quality, but I connected with it because when I took it, I thought of a student’s perspective and it seemed inspirational, and I felt it expressed the wonderful environment we are in; where we get to learn and discover new things.

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