Thursday, December 08, 2005


People have to make decisions sometimes, for example, when they enter schools, have jobs, get married and so on. Parents or friends can’t make decisions for them. People think and decide by themselves.
I have made a lot of decisions so far. When I was a high school student, I faced a time that I had to think about my future. Not everyone had their ambitions or things that they wanted to do; therefore, it was difficult to decide what they would do after the school by themselves. It was one of the most important decisions for me because it influences my life a lot. There are some factors to make a decision. First, I started to think about my avocations or things I like, since that helps to make a decision. I like English and wanted to work using English. In addition, I’m interested in internationalization, so I decided to go to the university, Kansai Gaidai, which has many programs of studying abroad. It was so far from my hometown that I had to live by myself; however, I never changed my mind. If I gave up when I failed the first entrance examination, I would not have a chance to study abroad, and I would regret that. I always want to be honest with myself so that I won’t regret my decisions later.

It’s important to make a decision carefully because it influences our lives directly. Thinking about myself and what I was interested in helped me to make a decision. I also had to be persistent after I mad the decision. These points supported making the important decision.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My Plan Durig the Break

I haven't thought about what to do next week yet because I’m going to go to N.Y. for winter break, so I don’t want to use a lot of money during the Thanksgiving break. However, I actually have a small plan during the Thanksgiving break. I will go to skiing and snowboarding to Wisconsin with my boyfriend and some other friends. That’s so exciting for me because of some reasons. First of all, I haven’t been to ski for many years even though my hometown is famous for having a lot of mountains, so I miss for skiing. In addition, I have really been keen to snowboard since I was a high school student. Yet, I’ve never tried to snowboard, so it will be a first time to snowboard. Next, there is some plans that I’m not sure that I will do actually. I want to watch the fourth movie of Harry Potter that comes now. Moreover, I was invited to have big dinner at the night of the Thanksgiving in a church. It’s wonderful to be able to experience one of the big American traditional events; therefore, I hope to go.

Problems of Internationa Students

Living in another country is very hard because of differences in culture, language, and many other differences between countries. International students have to be used to a new environment, so they might feel uncomfortable and also have a lot of stresses. I especially have problems with the weather, food and communication in the U.S.
First of all, there is a big difference in the weather between my country: Japan, and the U.S. While Japan has four seasons and each season continues for about three months, the temperature in the U.S. is so flexible that I can’t see the turn points of each season clearly. For example, it’s amazing for me that leaves changed their colors just in a week and they were gone in another week. In Japan, they change more slowly than in the U.S. Moreover, the temperature from the end of summer to the beginning of winter is changeable, so I have to check the weather every day. It’s difficult to adjust myself to the weather that isn’t familiar for me even though I can get some information from magazines or tour guidebooks.
The difference of food is one of the biggest problems, since food shows its own culture. For example, the staple food in Japan is rice. Most food that people eat usually is flavored with Japanese style like soy sauce, the dried bonito(a kind of fish) and seaweed in spite of the fact that many western foods have come from foreign countries. Cafeterias in a university in the U.S. have some Japanese food (tofu and rice); however, they taste too oily, spicy or salty. In addition, there aren’t enough vegetables that I used to have because Japan has many it’s own vegetables. Also, I can’t eat some kinds of fish like mackerel and sardine which are common in Japan, for many states in the U.S. aren’t surrounded by the sea. It’s not easy to make Japanese food because of a lack of Japanese materials and higher costs compared to Japan. Changing the habits of taking food makes me feel stress and that influences my health; therefore, it’s necessary for me to take vitamin supplements everyday.
I also have a problem with communication in the U.S. since it’s necessary to speak English. I had a hard time to communicate in English especially for the first few weeks in the U.S. My English was so horrible that many people could understand me. It’s difficult to speak other language without taking a special education since young age or studying abroad. I studied English for more than 10 years, so I can understand the grammar and read sentences. However, I wasn't able to speak English well because there was no opportunity to speak English before I came to the U.S. Now it’s getting better, for several reasons. First, I am fortunate to have an American roommate who is conversant to other culture and has experiences of studying other languages, including Japanese. That helps me speak English a lot. Also, trying to join some activities in which I can see some Americans and many other country’s people is not only helpful for speaking English but also a good experience for me to know different cultures. These facts are making me develop my English. It’s important to take participate in new things and try to use English positively.
There are a lot of problems with living in another country. Yet, people can solve those problems if they keep trying, and they can adapt themselves to a new environment as though time goes by. Actually, I have found some solutions to each problem, even though these problems are still bothering me to some extent. It’s necessary for all international students to try to find a solution so that they can enjoy living in another country.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Catch Me If You Can"

Frank Jr. is smart and has the good talent of fraud. When he was a high school student, he pretended to be another person for the first time. After his parents got divorced, he lived by himself. First, he made counterfeit checks and cheated people to make an account in order to earn his living. Then, he pretended to be a pilot and pediatrician. After a while, he got engaged with a woman who worked in a hospital. His father succeeded in his business before, so he respected his father and they built a good relationship. He learned a lot of things-how to make a check and the way of talk smoothly and lying well from his father. Those skills helped him a lot. Even after he grew up, he kept contacting his father. Carl Hanratty is the FBI agent and he pursued Frank Jr.. He noticed that Frank was a villain actually, so he tried to reclaim Frank by making him work in his office after he was caught. I like Brenda Strong because she believed Frank and waited for him even though she knew that he was the con man.
The movie started from the future and jumped to the past, and returned to the present. In the future, Frank Jr. was caught in France, then his father succeeded in his business and his family spent the happy time in the past. However, his father failed his business later and his parents got divorced. Then, he started to live by himself and cheat people by using the skills that he learned from his father. He made counterfeit checks and pretended to be a pilot, but the FBI agents figured out his crimes and pursued him. Therefore, he also pretended to be a pediatrician and got engaged to a woman in order to keep the FBI agent’s eyes away from him. Though, he was caught by Carl Hanratty in Christmas finally and he was forced to go back to France. Carl went to France to get Frank Jr. and he made Frank jr. work in his office. Frank jr. worked in his office for a long time; in addition, he studied and became a pilot in the legal way. Later, he had a family.
I like the soundtrack because it expresses the sophisticated feelings of the actors or actresses. I really like the design of the introduction of the DVD. It’s very stylish and nice. I recommend this movie. It is based on the non-fiction story, and I think the casts make it a good movie.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Summary of “Types of Love”

In the article “ Types of Love,” Bernard Seal says that there are five types of love: ludus, storge, mania, pragma and eros. They each have different characteristics. Ludus love is as a game, so it’s changeable and just for fun. The ludic lovers can control their emotions to enjoy their love as long as the partners are attractive. The storgic lovers develop their feelings gradually and their relationships are like friendships. They can endure long periods of time even if there are not enough dates or excitement. Manic love is intensive and also depressive. Manic lovers want to give and have constant affection, so they use their energy to keep their love. Pragmatic love is practical in some points. People think it is the most important to share similarities with their partners since that can make the rest of life easier. As a result, their relationships can’t be broken up easily because of similarities and being realistic. Erotic love is based on the people who have strong images of beauty. Erotic lovers try to make deep relationships soon because they want the partners to accept them, in all their complexity. In addition, they strongly need to receive equally valuable love from their partners.
I believe there are a lot of types of love except for these five types, and that can be changeable. I have experiences of love that mix some types of love and that are different, because the type of love depends on the relationships between the partners. For example, one of my types of love includes the characteristics of mania and eros. In this type of love, I had a hard time, which means I was worried about losing love all the time, and that made me be unstable and exhausted. Moreover, I strongly wanted to receive love from the partner as much as I gave love to him. It was difficult to keep the relationship longer because I needed to use my whole energy in this type of love. According to another type of love that was based on the characters of storge, mania and pragma, I could find the types of love changed and made a new type as the time went by. For example, I developed my affections gradually at first, so the relationship was quite the same as storgic love. After that, the relationship was similar to pragmatic love because I started to think about our future-if he could be a good husband or not; therefore, I was realistic in order to know that. The relationship was better than first one since it was so stable like a friendship that it kept longer. However, second one had also the characteristic of manic love. That was common in my types of love and made me be unstable often. The reason why that happened is related to that how I developed our relationship. Each person has different types of love, so we can share that each other and develop a new types of love. There are many changeable types of love and that depends on how people make the relationships.

Reference: Seal, B. (1997). Types of love. In Academic encounters (pp. 203-205). NY: Cambridge.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

About the Film "Catch Me If You Can"

My favorite character is Frank W. Abagnale Jr. whose role is played by Leonardo DiCaprio. He is smart, decisive and thoughtful because he decided to live apart from his parents when they got divorced. In addition, he was worried about especially his father all the time because he respected his father and loved him. He was good at cheating people, so he succeeded in his life-he got a good job and got engaged to a woman. However, the FBI agents figured out his crimes one day that means the chasing started. It will be more difficult to work without being found out; therefore, he will pretend to be someone and hide from them well next.

Monday, August 29, 2005