Class of 2013
Jackie Blair Seibert '85 Japanese Language Award
I have always been fascinated by the Japanese language. I grew up watching Japanese anime, and later I became especially interested in Japanese pop music and drama series. I always wished that instead of relying on subtitles and translations, I could feel the emotions in the songs directly and deeply understand the subtle meanings in the characters’ conversations. I believe that every language is a reflection of that country’s culture. Japanese is unique in its own right, and learning Japanese would be an essential step towards better understanding the country and its culture. Therefore, I embarked on my journey of learning Japanese starting with my freshman year in Mount Holyoke College.
As a Physics and Math double major, it is not easy to fit in the daily Japanese classes into my class schedule. However, learning Japanese turns out to be a lot more fun than I thought, and Japanese class is always one of the classes that I look forward to in a day. During my Japanese language learning, I was fascinated by the grammar structures and the interesting combination of characters. As I became more and more comfortable with the Japanese language system, the Japanese classes in Mount Holyoke guided me towards a higher level of language learning. I started to appreciate the Japanese cultures and traditions, and became interested in understanding the Japanese society and technological development in Japan. I am feeling an immense sense of achievement as I am becoming capable of reading and learning Japanese on my own. My joy in learning Japanese goes far beyond being able to watch anime without subtitles. I feel that learning Japanese has opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and knowledge that I was not even aware of in the past.