Sleep talking in my second Language?

I have a roommate, and she tells me that I talk in my sleep. I sometimes speak in full sentences, such as “the Jacuzzi was good,” or I mumble. When I wake up I don’t remember what I talked about at all.

Photo Credit: frontiersin.org

I’ve heard that people dream in the language they are most comfortable speaking. My roommate says I speak in both English and in Japanese. I was speaking mostly Japanese until I was 16 years old, but I’ve been using more English these past three years. I thought I was more fluent in Japanese just by the number of years I’ve used it in comparison to English, but it seems like now I know English just as well.

I was trying my best not to speak in Japanese, not to read in Japanese and not to watch Japanese T.V. shows for the past three years in order to be more fluent in English. But I never thought I would be as fluent in English as Japanese. So I am very proud of myself for achieving my goal of being bilingual.

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Becoming Bilingual

When school starts back up after Christmas break, it will mark two years of living in the U.S. for me. I’m from Japan and went to a Japanese-speaking school most of my life. Since my father is an English speaker, my English listening skills were perfect when I came to America, but I couldn’t express myself verbally.

I came to the U.S. when I was 16, and I knew it was my last chance to become truly bilingual, since 16 is the age you start losing the natural ability to learn a second language. So I made a strict rule for myself: I couldn’t speak any Japanese to anyone at my school (since there are Japanese students.) It was very difficult to stop using my first language all of a sudden. When a Japanese student would start speaking to me in the language, I would ignore them. It felt awful. At first it was very difficult both emotionally and physically, but because of my strict rule, my English improved very quickly. For four months I followed this rule, until the school nurse reached out and told me to relax, and not to be so strict with myself. I took her advice and started speaking Japanese and making Japanese friends.

There was a period of time when I felt I couldn’t speak any language, since I was trying to improve my English but at the same time was losing my Japanese. After getting through that, I finally can say I can speak both Japanese and English. It was worth the struggle.

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Palindrome Week

From May 10th – May 19th in 2015, the dates are the same forward and backwards, exciting mathematicians and systematic people alike. Because May is the fifth month and the year is 2015, the number 5 lines up perfectly.

See for yourself:

5/10/15

5/11/15

5/12/15

5/13/15

5/14/15

5/15/15

5/16/15

5/17/15

5/18/15

5/19/15

They’re all the same, whether you read the date forward or backward, therefore epitomizing a palindrome. A palindrome is usually used in terms of words or a phrase which is spelled the same forward or backwards. For example, “Hannah” or “racecar”.

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A palindrome can also be a phrase, and the longest English palindromic phrase is said to have 17,259 words. It is jibberish though – for it doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to be the same forwards and backwards! The longest single palindromic word in the English language has 12 letters.

Interestingly, single letter words such as “a” or “I” are also considered to be palindromes.

This “palindrome week” phenomenon is set to happen again in June of 2016, beginning with 6/10/16.

F.I.N.A.L.S.

It is that dreaded time of year again, finals. 

After a full semester of work all I have to show for it is a bunch of pieces of crumpled papers in the bottom of my backpack and the ink my teacher puts on my test telling me how I did in their class this semester.

This time is stressful for all, and I try to not get caught up in the stress, but there is just no way around it.

Honestly, most finals for me aren’t too hard.

Math? Easy.

Science? Easy.

English? Easy

History? No sir.

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AP Week and My Mom

Sometimes, I think my mom should’ve been born my little sister. I love her to death but sometimes she can be very dogmatic.

This weekend is Mother’s Day and my mom has been meaning to come up and take me away for Saturday and bring me back on Sunday. However, the thing is the weekend that she wants to come is the weekend between the two AP weeks.

Furthermore, that weekend is a packed weekend for me. Friday, I would have just finished my APUSH exam. Saturday, I would have taken three SAT II tests. That Sunday afternoon, I would be taking a AP Biology final just to take a AP Biology exam the following day.

My mom wants to take me out to dinner and stay at a hotel with me during this hectic week, only to make it more hectic and taking time away from studying. The funny thing is, this is the first time that my mom has wanted to take me out for Mothers’s Day while I was away at boarding school. The one time that she wants to take me out is the busiest time of my academic career.

I told her I cannot do this weekend. However, she refuses to understand the pressure that is mounted on my shoulders.

Sigh.

My OVS Awakening

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Just past the halfway mark in my senior year and reality is starting to kick in. Going into my 11th year at OVS , I have just began to appreciate how greatly it has influenced my life.

The school has been the most steady home I have always had. Who I am today has been developed and impacted from my life at Ojai Valley School, from the people who have shared their knowledge with me, and more than that, their friendship with me.

Coming home from finals last week, I was anxious to see what would come next in all of my classes. I was pulled aside by Mr. Weidlich, who encouraged me to switch out of his English 12 class and into the AP English class. I was happy to challenge myself and move on to a new opportunity for learning. It was that experience, along with several other experiences with faculty members, that made me truly take a moment and think about how lucky I am to be in this place.

I want to thank Mr. Weidlich for being my advisor through my upper campus experience and always pushing me to challenge and tap into my writing abilities. It is to him that I owe my passion for writing because it was created when he shared his passion of writing with me through his English classes.

He has taught me a lot and I really look up to him as a person. Through thick and thin I will always love Ojai Valley School and it will always be a place where I have felt safest and will certainly be a place I will love to visit in the future as my life unfolds.