Monday, January 28, 2008

Where am I? Who am I?

Simmons College
Why am I here?

Let me give you a summary of the events that led me to become a student at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

I'm a Japanese American girl from Orange County in Southern California (trust me, it's nothing like TV producers would like you to think). Grew up in a typical suburban setting, leading a very typical suburban life. And then I went to college at UC Berkeley where I spent four of the best years of my life. GO BEARS!!

Hamamatsu Board of Education
After graduating from Cal with a major in Japanese, I went to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka prefecture in Japan on the JET Programme.
I spent two years as an ALT, planning and teaching English Conversation classes at junior high and elementary schools. I spent my third year as ALT coordinator at the Board of Education, organizing meetings, keeping the flow of information smooth, helping ALTs with things that may seem simple but are difficult without knowing Japanese, and offering whatever support I could give to our ALT supervisor.
It was a great experience. I made a lot of great friends from all over the world. I learned a lot about myself and about people in general.
But after a year of being ALT coordinator, and because of the three year maximum on JET contracts at the time, I ended my JET life and spent a little over a year living with my grandmother who lives very close to Hamamatsu. I relaxed and traveled and decided what to do next with my life.
East Asian Library: Reading RoomWhile I was at Berkeley, I worked in the East Asian Library for three years. It was wonderful. I love that library. Even the simple jobs, the tedious, repetitive jobs, were so much fun. I loved being with the books and helping patrons find what they needed. Saying goodbye to Berkeley was hard, but leaving my job at the EAL was probably the hardest part.

Years later in Japan, I still had the desire to go into the library field. It never went away. I feel comfortable surrounded by books and information. There's nothing else that comes close to it. So I applied to the GSLIS program at Simmons, choosing an East Coast school for another change of scenery. And I got in.
Snow on the Quad So here I am in Boston. Where it snows. (Yeah, go ahead, laugh at the SoCal girl.) And where I seem to be experiencing more culture shock than I did when I first moved to Japan. Just getting settled into my new home in the dorms (I have a spacious single room. Well, spacious as dorm rooms go.) and into my new life as a graduate student.
Not entirely sure what to expect, but I'll take on whatever comes my way because I'm pretty sure this is what I want to do. What I'm meant to do. To somehow learn whatever it is that I can here and do my part to make this a better world. And enjoy myself as I do it.