I was sick and homesick, did not want to go to the first day of grade school. But my mother forced me to. The diligent child that I am, I went to school in San Jose. I expected to be isolated; but my expectations were incorrect because I was welcomed by the entire school. People did not see my differences; they gladly accepted me. I was happy finding myself in the company of new friends, one of whom was Corey Tucker. It was lunchtime; I sat alone on the bench, crying. Someone suddenly reached over and stuck a chocolate-chip cookie in my mouth. The boy opened an interesting conversation.
When I told him I came from Japan, he was excited, incessantly asking questions. With awkward smiles, I answered each of his queries even though I knew my English was not so good. By the time the lunch ended, Corey and I were best friends. He soon introduced me to his friends and was easily accepted to the school and the society I did not quite understand. They made sure I knew where the bathroom, canteen, library, clinic, and classrooms were and tutored me in the language; good thing I learned fast. As we matured, my friends did not only teach me English but also American culture, lifestyle, beliefs, and values.
They have been very positive influences, especially Corey, who was always there for me and have remained my very good friends. Because of them, I came to love and appreciate life in this country. Homesickness and tears were all wiped out because I started being integrated into the society. I would come home from school tired yet happy. Thus, my parents enjoyed seeing my bright disposition, realizing I have adjusted successfully. In high school, with much proficiency in English, I persevered to perform well in my studies, regarding every course essential in my pursuit of knowledge and meaning in life.
Truth is, I got disappointed whenever a classmate argues about the unimportance of studying math or physics because he or she sees no point in spending time to learn something that will not be of good use in the future. I hated this line of argument, as I deem every aspect of education as an essential tool in our lives. There is a reason why math or physics is in the curriculum and why we need to learn it. Whenever someone contends that a certain course or field of study is useless, I heat up, compelled to demonstrate the fallacy of such argument by providing specific examples from my own life or everyday circumstances.
This is the world I came from. Much of what I know today, I owe to the friends who have guided me, the teachers who have taught me beyond what the textbooks said, and my family that has stayed intact and happy despite problems and difficulties. All these people have shaped my dream and aspiration to pursue a degree in math or physics. My friends knew that I am most passionate about physics and math. They have encouraged me to take this passion to a higher level. They have always joked that one day they will gladly see the Japanese friend they used to tutor become a physicist. I knew they will be happy if I pursue my dream.
There is no better way of showing my appreciation for the years we have been together than showing them that the newbie they have welcomed has grown up to be a successful man. Moreover, the school world I came from have taught me not only factual knowledge but also values I need in facing bigger tasks in a bigger world. I want to make them proud that I, who was once a crybaby, feeling left out on the first day of school, am now successful in my own field and able to make a difference in others lives. Furthermore, the world I came from will not be the same without the family that sacrificed leaving Japan just to better provide for my needs.
My aspiration of pursuing math or physics, practice it, and put into good use is largely for my mother and my father to show my appreciation for their efforts and sacrifices. Since America is my world now, I aspire to realize this here in the land I have come to call my home. I have always believed that the measure of learning is its application. Therefore, I prepare myself and try to achieve holistic development. I continuously hope that the education I have received and will receive can be used for the betterment of my world.