Thursday, May 15, 2008

Painted by Amedeo Modigliani

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"On the Beach" is accepted by Slipstream #28 2008 spring/summer!


I burn the upright piano

blazing plumage of the sunset

My fingertips are scalded but I must finish
my rhapsody

sand of primrose shells

the eggshells

The yolk, veins of a medium boiled egg
I hate it; I want it

in your eyes
Your eyes: a waning star

My brain: out of tune

I smell the strings smolder
the chair scorches and my skirt

The ashen feathers fly
these white pieces return to home
home toward the horizon

The sun will be gone in seventeen seconds

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Preface

Empty Suitcase:
A First Day of College Life

Spring 2004 was my first semester, “Hello, South Bend!” I was an excited international student from a warmer city, Nagoya, Japan. I wore a matching white hat, scarf, gloves, jacket, and hiking snow boots just like a miniature marshmallow sumo wrestler, who landed on the moon; perhaps, my first class, W130, an English composition class. The composition class was hard as hell— introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion— the English writing style is very different from Japanese writing. The class discussions gave me a headache and stomachache. For class participation, I spoke up, “Is George Eliot a man or woman?” I even had no idea how to finish writing more than five pages with the MLA style. “What is MLA style?” was my first question in the class, being buried under piles of homework.

If I received C+/B-, I quietly celebrated my achievement with a glass of orange juice—after 21st year old birthday; I celebrated any kind of occasions with bottles of beer at The Oaken Bucket, Club Fever, the Landing etc— in my nearly empty room in college housing. There was nothing but two big suitcases and myself. I did not have any courage to talk to my roommates nor classmates. They busily flew from classes to classes and work to work so I never had a chance to talk to them with my slow English.

I used to stay in my room, had dinner at China House, and received tons of C- or incomplete grades. I was the queen of incompletes as an English major. I excused that I never had experience using a computer in English classes and students typed on their keyboards like Beethoven. While I typed three words; perhaps, the professor’s name, they typed a whole conclusion or hopefully meaningful sentences. To be honest, I did not know how to log into the computer and I even did not know my password.

So I visited the main computer office at Wiekamp to ask how to log in and what my password was. Every office showed hospitality to the freshman— the miniature marshmallow sumo wrestler— and they helped set up my laptop for internet access and downloaded other necessary computer programs for classes. I started studying outside of my room. With cups of coffee from the Courtside Café in the Student Activities Center and sandwiches from the Grille in the administration building, I finished typing a paper about how to be a critical thinker for the W130 class in the library at midnight.

I am Japanese without the DNA of an abacus in my blood. The math tutoring center in Northside Hall, the general tutoring and writing centers in the Administration building were always supportive for my math homework and proofreading papers in early English courses.

Following summer 2004, I took W131, which is a required class for almost all students and I just finished taking W615 last semester, spring 2008. Now I know what the differences in MLA, APL, or OMG are—I consider them as achievements in four years at IUSB— I am constantly meeting wonderful friends, boyfriends, professors, and people who come and go though my college experiences. Good luck for the first day of college. Only a bright future will wait for college life at IUSB!

Moving Out...

1014 Bellevue St.