Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Ok, I've got permission to post this and a picture so I'll tell you about the nice girl that Leiya's become friendly with. Here again, just thinking about differences in culture again...

Stephanie is 17 and will be a senior in high school from September. She's off on summer vacation and she drove over (her own car) to spend a couple of days with Leiya. Stayed the night, went shopping together, watched DVD's etc. We got to talking about some of her classes in school and she said she'd taken a class in forensics. For my Japanese blog visitors, forensics is a science that uses methods and techniques to investigate a crime. This means that Stephanie's class was going down to the coroner's office and studying corpses etc. Stephanie explained that she needed to study forensics since she wants to go into epidemiology. New word for me again! (Sometimes I feel like a foreigner when I'm in my own hometown!) Two summers ago she did some volunteer work at a local hospital and she came across the epidemiology lab in one of the corners of the hospital and after asking questions of the people working there she suddenly knew that this is what she wanted to do with her life! Study what causes diseases; research all the factors, environmental, hereditary etc. in figuring out why the person is sick. The field has to deal with science of course, but also with laws and politics since a lot of the research is connected with public health and preventive medicine. Stephanie has practical plans laid out for checking out what colleges offer the best opportunities, for taking science and law classes, for improving her research and writing ability. I'm sorry if this doesn't seem extraordinary to American friends but again, I don't think a young person in Japan would have put so much thought into their future at this young age. Most high school students in Japan are mostly concerned about getting into a good college, and they don't worry about anything else until after they have been accepted somewhere. Anyway, Stephanie was great fun to be with, quite into make-up and fashion, ate large quantities of food and bubbled and laughed and had lots to say on almost every subject. A very delightful young lady.

Here's a picture of the sleep-over. No one ever made it to a bed. If you look closely you can see four bodies spread out on the sofas. Stephanie, Leiya, and my niece and nephew. (You can only see his arm.) Looks like a wild night!


JudyL said...

Looks like two of them (is that Stephanie & Leiya?) are packed like sardines on that love seat! Oh . . to be a teen again and be able to curl up and sleep anywhere!

Shelina said...

Stephanie seems to be quite mature and industrious even for American teenagers. They just think of college too. Of course, she might just change her mind next week, and want to be something completely different.

teodo said...

ciao Tanya
today I went on your blog thinking that you were back and I have still written from California and so I 've a lot of posts to read about your holidays.
ciao ciao
enjoy your days in the USA