By Arjernae Miller

On Wednesday night, November 28, I had the pleasure of being able to sit and listen to Ms. Shanti Shoji who talked about her connections with Japanese culture and the Japan Information and Culture Center (Embassy of Japan). She mentioned that she grew up around a lot of Japanese culture in Portland, Oregon; it felt like Japan was next door. She spoke really good Japanese, even after saying she was “rusty” at it. I wish there were more Japanese culture throughout DC, like it was where she grew up. Even with all of the valuable information she gave us revolving around her connections and programs, there were a few tips that I felt spoke to the class as a whole most.

“Follow your heart and keep knocking on doors” to me means I have a chance to accomplish opportunities that come my way. Always find chances and never give up, especially when you knew from the start that you could do what you put your mind to.

Another useful phrase that Ms. Shanti said in her speech was to “take risk.” Which in other terms means to jump at any and all things coming your way. Not to be afraid of doing things you really want and know you can do.

It’s amazing what words can do and how people don’t realize how words can impact a person’s life. Her words are quotes that I feel can change someone’s day in just a few seconds. I was glad that she left her information for us to contact her for opportunities in DC related to Japan. That way we can celebrate the culture more than we do now.

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