What are you most proud of?

Before winter break, we asked our Japanese Plus students to reflect on their time in the program so far, and to share what they felt most proud of. Here are they answers:

Angel: I’m proud of the onigiri that I made and improving in katakana.

Maria: I am most proud of the self-introductions we have learned.

Cyrus: I guess just being able to talk to new people and not be a complete mess.

Asa: I’m most proud of me mastering katakana but mostly gaining more courage to speak out and meet new people.

Che: The fact that I memorized all my katakana. I know most of my combinations.

Alexx: I’m most proud of my speaking abilities in terms of public speaking. I’m not very good at speaking loud and clear, so I’ve been really happy with how far I’ve come.

Gabe: I went from knowing one Japanese word to being able to introduce myself and knowing katakana.

Jazmin: I’m most proud of my speaking skills, because I’ve improved a lot since the last time Eshita sensei taught me some phrases when I was in “Japan in DC.”

Katie: I’m really proud that we finished learning katakana and mastering it. I really thought it would take a long time to learn.

Jonah: Learning katakana and meeting with new people.

Arjernae: Learning basic Japanese is what I am most proud of (katakana, introduction, writing).

Theo: Probably the feeling of mastery over a different alphabetical system to the point that I recognize meaning relatively quickly.

Sackler Museum Art

By Katie Nguyen

My favorite art piece in the Sackler museum was a Diorama Map of Tokyo. I really like how it is in black and white and the way I can see everything in a bird’s eye view. This art piece was really big and detailed so you can go up close and see actual people and buildings. This was actually created by Ino Tadataka by taking pictures all around Tokyo, printing them out on a sheet, cutting them up, and assembling them into a single composition. If you come up close to the art piece, you can actually see where he cut up parts of Japan, and it is so amazing that he took up most of his time making such a wonderful art piece and how everything looked so natural.


By Katie Nguyen

Onigiri Action is a program to help needy kids in Africa get free healthy meals by taking pictures of yourself with the onigiri (rice balls) you made and posting them online with the hashtag #OnigiriAction. This was created by a non-profit organization, called Table for Two, that speaks about the issues of hunger and obesity through a “meal sharing” program. Table for Two partners with many organizations such as JCCI NY, Zojirushi America Corporation, Tokyo Central Marukai, MUFG, BentOn, and many more. If you want to read more about this, go to their website https://onigiri-action.com/en/about/ to learn all about it.

During the presentation about Onigiri Action, I was really excited to make onigiri and I bet everybody else was too. At first, when Mayumi Uejima-Carr, the Table for Two director, and the instructor she brought in showed up, I was really nervous since they had come early and most people didn’t arrive yet. Mayumi Uejima-Carr brought in her two kids and they were really cute and fun to be with.

Once they had finished their presentation, we learned how to make onigiri. It looked easy, but it wasn’t. I put too much rice and made a really big onigiri. We had to decorate our onigiri and make it look nice. Everybody had cool and pretty designs. A person made Jack Skellington from The Night Before Christmas, while somebody else made Sailor Moon. It was really fun and was a nice bonding moment with my classmates. It was also really delicious. There were ingredients like tuna with mayo, ketchup, edamame beans, spices, carrots, rice, seaweed, and bear molds to make your rice the shape of a bear. Afterwards we took pictures of everybody’s onigiri and had group pictures. There were also big onigiri cutouts made of cardboard that we could put out heads in so when others wore it they looked cute in the photo.

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