Day1 : December 7th
We all gathered at Shin-Takaoka station on time. Our trip started! We went to Narita airport, and boarded the plane. After about a 12-hour flight, at last, we arrived in Boston! I felt excited but a little nervous. I met my host mother at the airport. After talking with my host mother I was relieved because she was a very kind and open-hearted woman. I couldn’t listen to and speak English well, but I tried to talk a lot. I would do my best!
Day２ : December 8th
I was impressed by the beautiful view of Boston. Harvard square was so big!! Before noon, we had the students of Harvard University guide us on a campus tour. They were very kind, friendly, and easy to talk to, so I was able to understand a lot about the history of Harvard University.
In the presentation class, I learned about grammar and structure. I found that discourse markers like “on the other hand” and “however” help us to make our audience understand what we want to say more easily.
Day 3: December 9th
Today, we practiced our presentation for the second time in the morning. Our group leader was Andy. He was a very cool man, and we enjoyed talking with him so much. First of all, he corrected our presentation scripts. He said that our script had a lot of confusing expressions, so we had to use more simple and specific ones. We learned that we should use expressions which can attract our audience and prevent them from being perplexed in order to tell the content accurately.
After that, we practiced speaking in front of other groups. We weren’t able to memorize the whole script. Then, Andy advised us that we shouldn’t memorize it perfectly because we cannot perform well if we focus on the script too much.
In the afternoon, we had a chance to have a concert. First, we listened to Kawai Yohei’s speech in English. He is a Japanese oboe player. He had come to the U.S. after graduating from junior high school so as to learn deeply about American-style oboe. In his presentation, he told us many impressive ideas. For one thing, he said, “Why did you come here?” This is a very simple question, but thanks to that, I realized the aim of this program again, and felt that I had to try harder. I greatly appreciate his giving us good motivation. Next, we listened to a quintet which Kawai belongs to. Most of the members were about 20 years old. That means they are almost the same age as us. I was moved and impressed by their music. Finally, a cellist named Fang played several tunes. He was 17 years old and a high school student. His performance was really passionate and showed that he loves cello very much. After the performance, he told us his big future plan. I couldn’t believe that he is the same age as us. Today was the day when we were so motivated. We will never forget this lesson.
Day 4: December 10th
Today was a holiday with my host mother. We had breakfast as usual, and then went to a grocery store in order to prepare for Tuesday’s dinner, okonomiyaki. After lunch we went out for sightseeing in Boston. Buildings in Boston were very gorgeous; beautiful and old. I had hot chocolate there. I liked it very much. After that I bought souvenirs. Then, we went skating. It was difficult for me but really exciting! This holiday became an unforgettable day for me.
Day 5: December 11th
In the morning we visited MIT! Most of MIT’s buildings were modern, and they were quite different from those of Harvard. The activity there was a lecture about the Internet. It was a little bit difficult for me because I had only a limited knowledge of the Internet, so I couldn’t answer the professor’s questions. After the lecture, I became interested in the Internet and decided to study a lot after I return home.
In the afternoon we corrected our draft with the help of Harvard students, and talked with each other about whether we should stop selling pain killers or not. I thought that not only in companies, but also in hospitals, all of us have to think about this issue more seriously.
Day 6: December 12th
Today was the last day in Boston. We gave our presentations. I got so nervous, but I did my best. What was worse, the video I had prepared didn’t work well, so I was disappointed. However, I learned a lot from Harvard University students and had a good time there. In the afternoon, we went to “Clover Lab”. We ate a vegetarian lunch. It was more delicious than I had thought. After going back home, we had a special party at night. I enjoyed a delicious dinner with my host mother, her share mate, and two dogs. I was really happy!
Day 7: December 13th
In the morning, we took a bus from Boston to New York, which took about 5 hours. I was a little sad because the program in Boston had finished. However, I was excited because we visited New York, saw the Statue of Liberty, and joined a tour of the UN. I was impressed by really seeing things which I had seen on TV. In the evening, we had a dinner with the members of the association of people from Toyama. I was able to get lots of precious experiences from their talk, and I had really a good time.
Day 8 and 9: December 14th and 15th
We left Watson Hotel in New York at 7:30 and arrived at JFK airport. We had a traffic jam, so we had little time to buy souvenirs at the airport. After departure procedures, we left America. Our flight was delayed a little because of snow.
It was a 14-hour flight. We spent our time in the plane watching movies, sleeping, studying and so on. The in-flight meals were very delicious. There was soba on the menu. I was very happy because I wanted to eat Japanese food. We were also able to eat ice cream. It was Häagen-Dazs! I was surprised and happy.
We arrived at Narita airport at about 16:30. I felt at ease because we were able to come back to Japan safely. Then, we took the Narita Express and Shinkansen. We arrived at Shin-Takaoka Station at about 22:00. Our parents and many teachers came to meet us. Mr. Kawaguchi made a speech in the closing ceremony. I saw my family after a long time. I heard that my family had worried about me. I was glad to hear that.
We learned a lot of things through this trip. I will never forget this experience!