First Day of School

by Mei Asari

When I think about Japanese schools and U.S schools, I think that there are many differences.

One thing is "environment" because the policy of the typical Japanese school is always "Hurry! hurry! you must study more! If you don't study more you will not succeed!" But in the U.S., it is changed to "Well if you don't want to study, don't do it I'm not forcing you to study." I think that this is a big difference between Japanese and U.S. schools.

Japanese and American schools have many differences. For example, Japanese students wear uniforms. The schools decide the hair style. For example boys have to crop their hair, girls have braids or bobbed hair, jewelry and make up are not allowed. But here we don't. Recently, some Japanese schools are getting rid of strict rules. For example, when I went to the Japanese elementary school, this school didn't have strict rules. But this school had some basic rules, such as students need to take off their shoes, don't run in the corridors, and follow Japanese traditional rules.

In Japan, first to sixth grade students go to elementary, seventh to ninth grade students go to middle schools and tenth to twelfth grade students are in high school. Then they go to college or university. Every time we advance in the school, we go to the next level. We need to take entrance examinations. We always enter a school through an examination, and that includes college.

Roosevelt Middle

When I first visited the United States, I was in the 4th grade in Japan. We traveled to San Francisco. When I was in the 7th grade, I came here to Eugene, and entered Roosevelt Middle School. I met a Japanese boy. And his name is Genki Mine. He helped me a lot. On the first day I had to go to the science room. The class had already started. A woman teacher was speaking in the front of this class. She was reading a book. At that time, I went into this room, everybody looked at me. I didn't know much English, so I said to the teacher "Nice to meet you!" That was all the English that I knew. She said "Ok, nice to meet you, what's your name?" Now I was in trouble "What? Your? Name?" I didn't understand what it meant, But I said "Mei Asari."(it was a hunch.) but she said, "Mai?" no...

After that I studied many things at Roosevelt, I met many friends and teachers. Sometimes I missed Japan, but here it is more fun than Japan and Japanese schools, so I like it here very much!

Other contributions by Mei Asari:

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Last updated May 29, 1997