Second-year Japanese, Summer 2013
“On Sunday, June 16, our Japanese class had its first dinner together in the cafeteria. The instructors were talking with us in Japanese. I sat there smiling and just nodded when they asked me a question. Then my classmate sitting next to me asked, "What did they say just now?" I kept the smile on my face and answered in a low voice, "I have no idea!"
Thus began my CLS experience.
One morning in the latter half of the program, I said “おはよう” (good morning) to my instructors and classmates. At noon, I said “はい” (yes) when the food server in the cafeteria asked if I ordered a sausage. Later, I said “ありがとう” (thanks) to a Chinese instructor after she did me a favor. And that night, I had dream in which I was talking to my parents in Japanese. Suddenly, I realized that I had fallen in love with Japanese.
On Commencement Day, I hugged my instructors and shed tears on the stage. It was sad to say goodbye to my classmates and instructors, but the saddest part was that there was no word in Japanese for "I'll miss you."