JET Essay Contest: Honorable Mention

455325_carpI lived in Japan for three years — in Sapporo for two years and then on the island of Shikoku for one year. When my plane landed in Sapporo, the only Japanese phrase I could summon from my one year of study was: “Takemoto-Sensei no tsukue wa Olin no san kai ni arimasu.” (Professor Takemoto’s desk is on the third floor of Olin Hall.) Chances were I wasn’t going to need to inform anyone I met that my Japanese professor’s desk was on the third floor of Olin Hall, but I clung to that phrase as if it was a life raft and I was adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

In Sapporo I taught English as part of the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program, assisting as the native speaker for Japanese teachers of English. My experiences in Japan were life changing. I am forever grateful that I took that leap of faith and moved to another country. I learned so much about the Japanese culture and language, made lifelong friends from all around the world, and gained a better sense of who I am because of my experiences in Japan.

Each year the JET Program has an essay contest for current and former participants. After ten years, I finally submitted something. And, I won an honorable mention! Out of the foreign language category, there were 193 entries, so I am very honored by my award. You can check out my essay, What Is the Kanji for Brother? here (in the .pdf, on page 182 in English).

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2 Responses to JET Essay Contest: Honorable Mention

  1. Sunni says:

    Oh! Without even reading your essay (yet) my heart ached for Hokkaido. Good memories. So funny that we both lived in such an interesting place, so far away, so close in time (and barely missed each other) and that now we are friends here. 🙂

  2. Congratulations! I loved your essay, especially the title and your son’s enthusiasm. Well done 🙂

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