What was your favorite class and how has it influenced your further course of study?
The Japanese classes that I have taken at Haverford have been one of the most unique and enjoyable experiences that I have had in my educational career so far. The friendly professors, interesting courses, and just seeing my Japanese skills improve has pushed me to take every Japanese course at Haverford College.
Why did you choose your major/minor/concentration? What influenced you to pursue this course of study?
Originally, I did not even intend to choose to minor in Japanese. I began almost arbitrarily taking the first-year as it is apart of the language requirement at Haverford. I enjoyed it so much that I decided can squeeze in another semester of it. Then I had to take the next one, and the next. In the end, I found myself in the second and final semester of Advanced Japanese. Some students take courses to get the major or minor, but in this case, I took Japanese because I genuinely enjoyed it, and will happen to end up with a minor in it as a bonus.
Did you have a summer experience (research, internship, travel) that was connected to your classwork or thesis project? If so, how did that experience change what you thought about your course of study or influence your plans for the future?
My major of Astrophysics requires a heavy and particular course-load along with doing as much research as possible, so all of my undergraduate years and summers were dedicated to Astrophysics, which in turn did not allow me to visit Japan. Hopefully, in the next leg of my career, I will be able to have the chance to go visit the country.
What surprised you most about your course of study or what would others be most surprised by about your course of study?
I was surprised to see how quickly I was picking up on Japanese. As the courses go on, you begin to talk about some very detail and in-depth discussions about the many aspects of life. The first year or two worked around outlined conversations and simple readings to help students become comfortable with the topics. Using those skills as the foundation, the students transition into much more serious dialogue, such as race relations, the creation of the modern woman's identity, and the impermanence of life. I sometimes find myself talking about things in Japanese that I would barely be able to describe in English!
What do you hope to do after graduating from Haverford?
After graduating from Haverford, I do intend on joining a PhD program for Astronomy or Astrophysics. In addition to this, I plan to continue using Japanese on a somewhat regular basis at the institution I attend, assuming there is a program that I would be able to work with. On top of that, I would love the ability to be able to visit Japan in the near future.