2012年2月7日火曜日

奨学金を申し込んだ

昨日、「Evergreen」という大学の奨学金を申し込んだ。Evergreenに転校したい。そのために、奨学金をもらわなきゃいけない。全部の授業 料を払う奨学金を申し込んだ。本当に大事な奨学金でしょう。もらう自信がある。以下の記事は僕の奨学金のエッセイだ。本当に長いけど、よく読んでね。英語 のエッセイなので、勉強になるかもしれない。

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Several years ago, I came to Washington with my parents after my father lost his job in Texas. When we lived in Texas, I had a job working as a helpdesk technician. When my father found a job working in Washington, I had to make a hard decision. My parents are Jewish, and I was Jewish as well (although I have since gone my own way). I had to decide to stay with my friends and keep my job in Texas, or stay together with my parents and move to Washington. I made the decision to move with them and try to find a job, but it was just the beginning of the financial crisis back in 2008. I have not been able to find a job since then. However, I decided to be productive with the time I had without a job and started to learn Japanese on my own. During that time, I made the decision to become a teacher and to go to college to reach that goal.

My academic goal is to get a Master's in Teaching and teach English in Japan. I have used every class I have taken to help me reach that goal and also help others reach theirs. My experience studying abroad in Japan during the fall quarter has also helped me further my career and academic goals. With the help of Evergreen scholarships, I hope to continue towards my goals, both through classwork and additional study abroad opportunities.

My English classes helped me advance my writing and research abilities and gave me many opportunities to help non-native English speakers. During Winter 2011, I helped no less than 12 non-native English speakers with various kinds of classwork, including three students in my own English 101 class. Now, I am volunteering as a teacher's assistant in some ESL classes. I help students learn English inside and outside of class, and I have helped provide in-class material.

The intercultural communications class, along with two East Asian history classes, made me more culturally aware, both from a personal and historical perspective. Those classes put me in contact with Asian classmates and allowed me to communicate intelligently about a wide variety of topics with them. I was also able to teach them about American culture during our conversations together.

The Japanese classes at SPSCC have helped me in unexpected ways. Besides helping me advance my Japanese skills, participating in Japanese classes has given me other opportunities. This quarter, I am volunteering to help a deaf girl learn Japanese through note-taking and out-of-class tutoring and advising. Last summer, a group of students came to the US from Japan for two weeks, giving me the opportunity to volunteer and help them during their many field trips. My family hosted one of the students, and has since been the host-family for another Japanese student. The experience has not only been rewarding to me, but to my entire family. Later, when I studied in Japan during fall 2011, I visited both those students' families in Tokyo and in Hyogo (near Osaka).

During my study abroad experience, which was made possible by the Gilman scholarship, I had an opportunity to help others with class work, immerse myself in Japanese culture, and build valuable relationships. One older classmate often needed assistance in and out of class using her computer to do classwork related to photography. Japanese students whom I befriended frequently came to me for help with English. Besides making friends at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology, I was also able to meet and stay with friends I had met while studying Japanese over the internet. One friend, who has studied the American accent with me for over a year, has already put me in contact with one of her former English teachers who has given me invaluable advice on becoming a teacher in Japan.

My major career goal is to change how English is taught in Japan. I want to teach American/Western culture, the American accent (not "accent reduction", as it's called, but "accent replacement"), college level writing skills, and conversational skills. Part of the cultural element is teaching Japanese how to make logical (to a Westerner) arguments (according to another Japanese friend of mine, Japanese people typically don't learn this kind of skill even in college).

My main purpose is to teach English to those that want to learn, and to take advantage of the current trends in Japanese business. Japanese businesses have recently begun internal campaigns to encourage or force the use of English as a business language in order to compete in the international market. I want to take advantage of that current trend. Mutual understanding is the key to good intercultural relationships, and I believe teaching Japanese business people American culture and the English language will help cultivate such mutual understanding.

Once I'm successful at establishing a school in Japan, I hope to influence the way English is taught in Japanese public schools. Young Japanese often spend 8-10 years studying English in school, yet can't use English in any practical sense. They learn grammar and translation, not conversation. I'd like to change that.

By now, I believe I have demonstrated my financial need, college career thus far, involvement in my college community, study abroad experience in Japan, and career goals. Since the beginning of my college education, I have focused on achieving my goals, and I have taken every opportunity available to gain valuable experience teaching English.

At Evergreen, I plan to continue studying Japanese culture and to study abroad in Japan. For my first year at Evergreen, I plan to take Harumi Moruzzi's classes which include philosophy, sociology, literature, moving image, cultural studies, and history aspects. In these classes I will not only learn Japanese culture, but I will also compare it to Western and American culture. Both are important and relevant to my planned career path. I will also continue my own individual Japanese language studies as I have done for the past three years.

In my second year with Evergreen I plan to study abroad in Japan. Whether I engage in individual research abroad or take intensive Japanese classes, my plan is to begin teaching English while in Japan. At any of the universities Evergreen's study abroad programs provide, there will be students that wish to learn English from a native speaker. My hope is to engage in individual tutoring or volunteer as a teacher's assistant in an English class. In doing so, I will gain valuable experience relevant to my career goal. I will also have the opportunity to build relationships with Japanese and non-Japanese living in Japan, making connections which may be valuable after graduation.

With the combination of my personal and academic history, along with the demonstrated focus on my goals which I will continue at Evergreen, my hope is that Evergreen will give me the ability to continue my education and become an excellent English teacher and ambassador of American culture in Japan. If Evergreen is interested in a student with passion that will make valuable contributions to Evergreen's academic community and to the wider global community, then I'm your man!
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