Monday, January 16, 2006

Winter Vacation Diary Entry

This last week, I have been grading a lot of winter vacation English diaries and essays. 99% of them are about going shopping, watching movies, the cold weather, eating Christmas cake, and going to school on their days off for sports practice. Nothing unusual and nothing all that interesting. Every student writes about the same stuff!

However, I got one diary entry that was a little different! In the 18 months I’ve lived in Japan, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve talked to my students, friends or acquaintances about WWII. I know it’s not a fun topic of conversation but it is a really significant one. And honestly, I’m surprised it doesn’t come up more often! I know anger and resentment exists, but it isn’t publicly displayed. Feelings aside, it just isn’t discussed. So, I was pleasantly surprised to read this student’s diary entry. Not only did the student decide to bring up a topic that is usually left in the closet, he did it in English! Here is the entry, before my corrections!

I visied my rerative to listen a story about World War II. It’s social
studies homework. He was in Japanese navy from 1943 to 1945. When he
was 16 years old, he volunteered for navy.

It didn’t volunteer, everybody say “He is a fool, he is strange, he is the enemy of
Japan.” He must volunteered. He had a very strict training in the
navy, but he didn’t go to a battlefield.

War is finished before start his attack. He came back to Toyama. But Toyama has the U.S. terrible bombing. He came home somehow his family were lived. They
welcomed him very much!

He said to the end, “We must guard the country, but we mustn’t make war.”

He is 77 years old already too.

The men who has experienced war are decreasing now.

I wish I could go and talk to the grandparents in this area and listen to their stories. I love listening to my own grandparent’s stories! There is so much to be learned from them. We all need to take the time to listen! It’s one of the things I miss most about being away from the grandparents I have left.


Linea said...

not to take away from the purpose of the post, but gee, I wish my students could write that well!!

I miss my grandparents too :(

mystery meat said...

that is amazing that your student wrote something like that. the most i ever get out of my students about world war II is the "mother's lullaby" story in the third grade new horizon textbook. it's too bad you have to sort through the first hundred diaries to get to that one, tho.