Susan’s class

As you know, I like writing. My daily writing habit dates back to my childhood and to my college days.

In my elementary school, students kept a diary called Sensei Anone (Dear Teacher), and gave a presentation to the class every morning. This ritual lasted for four years, and it was long enough for me to develop a habit of writing on a daily basis.

In college, this habit revived when I took an English Speech & Writing class with Susan, who was an American lecturer.  She was enthusiastic about language education. The first thing she told her students to do was to keep a journal in English. We had to fill at least one page a day, but we could write about anything. I wrote about many kinds of things, such as friendships, music, and my dream for the future. She collected our notebooks regularly and corrected our grammar. It must have taken much more time and energy than it took us to do our assignment. In addition, she gave us feedback on each page, some of which I still remember very well.  She was always there when I was struggling as a college student. I deeply appreciate her devoted guidance.

Here is another episode about Susan. She forbade her class to speak other languages than English. If she heard a student speaking Japanese, he/she had to pay a 10-yen fine. I was talkative by nature, so I had a high risk of accidentally speaking some Japanese words. The Japanese word that slipped out of my mouth most frequently was “えっと(etto).” I should have said “Well…,” instead. As a result, I paid a 10-yen fine many times. In the last class, she threw a small party and brought us some cookies she had bought with the fines she had collected from students. Of course, we enjoyed the party!

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