Personal Narrative: A Colorful Origami

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Colorful origami paper cranes greeted me as I opened my eyes. It seemed to already be midday, and I wondered if I was late for school, until I realized that in Japan the sun rose much earlier than in America. After my mother checked that we didn’t forget anything, my two sisters and I were out the door.

Yet being prepared did nothing to hide my bubbling anxiety for my first day of sixth grade in a foreign country. What were other kids going to think of us? Would we be able to fit in?

As we were walking to school, the leader of our block group asked, “Ha-fu (Are you half)?”
I paused to think what the question meant.
The leader saw my confusion and added, “Otoo-san to okaa-san (Your mom and dad).”

Suddenly two light bulbs turned on in
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The students in this “second home” taught me numerous values that I still carry with me today. One activity I remember clearly from the local Japanese elementary school is the daily cleaning time, when we swept our own floors and took out our own trash and cleaned our own bathrooms. To keep the school clean, we wore indoor shoes and took care of every piece of trash, even our eraser shavings, because we had built a strong sense of ownership for our school. This experience sparked my interest in learning from different communities and sharing alternative…show more content…
Talented at both Latin and English, she told me that in most European countries, people were expected to know at least three languages. I felt lucky that we Americans only have to know one language since English is so universal. Nevertheless, I felt that Americans were missing an opportunity to connect with other cultures. Wanting to understand the students and cultures of other nations, I was motivated to continue studying Latin at school as well as Japanese at
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