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Learning & Changing

Oct 22, 2016American, Canadian, Education

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Are you a very different person now than you were five years ago? In what way do you think you will change in five years from now?


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José Cruz: Have you ever seen a kid – like if you’ve ever had the chance to teach a kid from first year, “kid” I mean student – (Mm-hmm) uh, a student here at the university, grow uh, from 18 years old, until maybe about third year or fourth year and have them display like a real change over those four years. Have you ever noticed a a phenomenon like that?

Danny Minn: Well, in general you knowDanny says this very quickly, so it’s hard to hear. (0:22) we can see it. They come in as freshmen. Uh most of my classes are uh with first year students (Mm-hmm) and they – you just see that they’re – just appearance-wisehyphenating “wise” to another word makes the meaning “in terms of”. (0:35) right? They’re – a lot of them dye their hair and have these interesting haircuts (yeah) and fashion and then by the third and fourth year they’re – you know, become robots with the job-hunting.

José: but is that, but is that of personal volition? (No) The dyed hair in first year (yeah) and the crazy clothes, yeah you finally want topronounced “WANNA” (1:02) shed that horrible woolen militiary style uniform that they were forcing you to wear at uh at high school and suddenly you get to wear your own clothes, yeah that was volition. But to change into you know some of these – putting all their hair back an dressing like a crow (Mm-hmm) They all look like penguins to me you know, because they’re all wearing that – the same shirt with the same black suit when they go off to um to uh, hunt for jobs here in Japan. I don’t know if that’s volition.

Danny: No, that uh. They’re on this uh train, this locomotive. And hehe they they’re just riding it.

José: Um, and that’s Japan, but thinking about America, you spent most of your university years in America right? (Yeah) So how would you put that in perspective, you know, “Japanese kids are this, Japanese kids have to deal with this, and so their uh- their line of thinking is thisto mean, “such-and-such” (2:05),” Is it different in America, you think?

Danny: Oh definitely, Uh, I mean uh, it’s it’s quite famous, right and well known that uh Japanese kids, uh have to study so hard all through high school just to get into university (Mm-hmm) right? And they didn’t have maybe enough free time (Mm-hmm) And then once they get into university, they ha- they have these three or four years of this freedom, so I can I can kind of understand why they do what they do, but in American universities it’s not like that at all.

José: It’s the reverse I would say.

Danny: Right right. You don’t declare your major until your second or third year, or whenever you want. Or you can change your major, (Mm-hmm) right?

José: Oh you’re talking about American kids now?

Danny: Right. (OK) American universities. (Mm-hmm) So that time period is seen as this uh time to find yourself.

José: It’s seen as a time to find yourself, but at the same time you have to find yourself through- wi wi – without ignoring or being diligentJosé should have said “NOT being diligent” (3:19)
about your studies. (Mm-hmm) Becausepronounced “KUHZ” (3:21) if you spend all your time trying to find yourself and you keep getting “C”s that’s going to chase your grade point average all the way down the hole and you’re not going topronounced “GUHNA” (3:25) realize it until, you know it’s too late I would say. (Hmm) I mean that’s the talk that I got. Uhh It’s that, Yeah you know, you don’t have to declare your major but you’re far better off to declare it as soon as you can. To to spend as much time as you need to figure out what you want to do in your life but do it as soon as you can (Mm-hmm) or else it’s going to hurt you. You’re going to have to spend another year at university to make up the credits or to make up the GPA .

Danny: And that’s what a lot of American students do. Not- (yeah yup) probably most students don’t graduate in four years, they take five or six years…

José: Well to be honest I didn’t (yeah yeah) I I graduated in four and a half years (Mm-hmm) But I was taking my time too, I wasn’t taking the full five-class-a-week workload. (Mm-hmm) I was doing the minimal um full-time status workload which was four classes a week. Helped me do, you know, um focus more on my studies and allowed me to do two part time jobs, so I could pay for everything, (Right) so it took a little extra time. (Yeah) I actually liked university.



How is university seen in your country? What is your image of it personally?

What time in your life did you change most?

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GoldFish Audio cover


José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia

Danny Minn image

Danny Minn


Portland, Oregon


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  1. Everyone wants to be happy. I think so too. However Japanese job-hunting system make us robots or penguins. It migth lead us to unhappy life. Then the most important thing which we chose job or something is what we want to do in the future. I want to find what I really want to do in the future.

  2. I didn’t think about a view of other country’s people.
    Exactly, most students graduate in four years in Japan.
    Many people including me think that it’s a normal.
    Job-hunting like penguins is normal in Japan, too.
    Maybe I’ll become a penguin.
    However, I have to change my way of thinking to become happy.

  3. I think we aren’t robots or penguins because we wearing same clothes , our opinions is not same. Cetainly we know the situation is funny but we must obey this. I hope japanese culture changes.

  4. I just heard that it is easier to enter universities in America than in Japan. But instead, it is really more difficult to graduate from universities in America. And what I surprised from this conversation was most students in America don’t graduate from universities for only four years. They take more time. Why I surprised was even if it is difficult to graduate, they can graduate from universities for four years. Normally in Japan, most student graduate from universities for only four years. And I agree with the idea that high school student in Japan do not have enough free time as they get older. It is because most of the student study to enter universities even night at school. Maybe this is incredible for American.
    Actually I do not agree with this idea, because it is so hard thing for 16~18aged student.
    I think American style is better, because 18~22aged student can think what they should do. Most of the 16~18aged student have no choice to listen to their teachers and parents and do what they make the student.


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