Where do you live on campus? Why do you like it?
I began my freshman year living on campus because my home in New York is ten hours away from Earlham, but I've stayed here for the tight-knit community I've so far enjoyed with the people on my floors. Living in Earlham dorms has introduced me to many of my current good friends, and has also encouraged me to learn how to cook - most of my friends utilize the dorm kitchens, and have begun to teach me, as well. Most of all, I love the fact that I remain a part of Earlham even when I am not in class (as well as how my teachers are within a short walking distance during the day.)
Tell us about your classes this semester. Which are your favorites and why?
I am in love with Japanese Pop Culture, because it has really opened my eyes toward how gender is perceived in Japan, as well as how popular culture can create a volatile rift between generations in a quickly growing and ever-modernizing country. While one might think of flashy cartoons, games, and viral trends as representative of pop culture, I have begun to realize there is a far more interesting study of the culture and people involved. I am also enjoying my intermediate Japanese language class and my involvement in Earlham's production of The Laramie Project this semester, within which I had multiple roles. It was an amazing and emotional experience, and I am glad for the opportunity to share the play's powerful message with Earlham.
Why do you like Earlham?
I like Earlham for the small and caring community it has created and continues to encourage; I like Earlham for its diverse student body and the way it constantly makes me question, discover, and explore. As a freshman, I thought I knew what I wanted to study and who I wanted to be. Earlham has helped me step back from that plan in the best way possible so that I can properly examine ALL the options available to me, rather than just one. I love that my teachers are approachable and held to a first-name basis with the students, and I have truly enjoyed getting to know the professors that I now consider my friends.
What are your plans for winter/summer break?
My winter break plans are not very exciting - I will be returning to snowy Syracuse, NY to spend Christmas with my Mom, Dad, and younger brother Cameron, along with all of our animals (we have cats and goats and chickens that I miss very much!) My summer plan is still very much in the air, but I should like to return to Japan to study tsunamis with my adviser if a certain grant is filled out; if this does not work out, then I am considering traveling to Hokkaido to attend a Japanese language school for a month, in order to keep myself ready to go abroad over SICE next semester in Morioka, Japan
What are your plans post-Earlham?
I intend to join either the JET or M-ALT program and return to Japan to teach English after graduating from Earlham. Once I am there, I will be able to decide what my next step will be, and what I am truly looking for (perhaps more education, or a securer job either in the States or in Japan.) I do not pretend to know what my future will hold for me after Earlham, but I am very excited to see where I'll go.
Tell us about an off-campus program you did and what was special about it.
I participated in the LUCE Scholars program last June, where I went to the Tohoku area of Japan with four other students and two Earlham professors. We met up with Morioka University students and set out for the coastline of Japan together, where we studied the earthquake and resulting tsunami of March 11th, 2011. It was an absolutely incredible experience that allowed me to practice my Japanese, meet amazing new people, and broaden my geological knowledge of the disaster that occurred in Japan, as well as the risk management that filled in after the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown.