Tsunagi Middle School
An English proverb states: hWhere there is a will there is a way.h Do you have dreams? Have you ever tried to make them come true? If you were to ask me those same questions, I could answer with a confident gyesh. I am going to tell you about how my dreams came true.
It began when I was 11 years old. My mother and I began studying English. My real opportunity came when I went to junior high school. It was there that I met Ricky, my new English teacher from Canada. At first I didn't have the confidence to speak to Ricky. However, I gradually noticed that Ricky ignored my mistakes and that we were communicating. By talking to Ricky I began to learn about her culture and the may countries she has visited. It was then that my desire to travel and see those same places came to be. But, my wish and my actually going were two very different things.
Ricky calls me determined. She says that when I have an idea, I am determined to see it through. So when I decided I wanted to travel, she knew I was determined to succeed. I approached my parents and although they were nervous, they told me to follow my heart. It was my parent's encouragement in me that gave me confidence. Then, I learned that things don't always go smoothly. Ricky was going home to visit her family, and I knew that would be my opportunity. This became my first challenge. You see, Ricky was excited about the idea, but she began to worry. One worry was that due to my age. I might get homesick and feel overwhelmed in Canada. Another worry being, that I would have to travel there alone. But like Ricky says, I am determined. So I stayed up late one night and I wrote a letter in English. I listed all the reasons why I wanted to go and what I could learn from this experience. It was difficult, but I was determined and my dictionary became my best friend. Ricky came to talk to me after reading my letter, but she then tried some gscare tacticsh. She said that I would probably have to fly through New York, and I was scared, because of the terrorist attacks there. When I told her I would be fine, she tried to tell me it would be better to wait until I was older to travel so far alone. I told Ricky it wouldn't be a problem. That I had arranged to have a gsky buddyh take me all the way to Canada. Ricky smiled, called me 1 determined girl, and it was then that my dream started coming true.
I only got to stay two weeks, but I will never forget the things I saw and did, the people I met, or even the food I ate. Ricky's family welcomed me into their home and hearts. In the end, none of Ricky's fears were a problem, in fact I think I could have stayed a lot longer and traveled a lot more. As I now felt that I was an expert world traveler. So I studied harder, spoke to Ricky whenever I could, and probably any foreigner I happened upon, just to be ready for my next big adventure.
That adventure came this past summer. I got to travel to America, where I spent one month in San Francisco, California. I am a very lucky girl who has great support and encouragement from the people in my life. I have learned a lot from them. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is to trust myself. I have had wonderful opportunities but my wish isn't over yet. I will continue to try and make my dreams of traveling come true. For if it is 99% no, you still have that 1% chance of a yes. So I end with trust yourself, be sure to challenge yourself and forever keep your dreams alive.
(2-33 Speech in 55th Contest, 2003)
(C)JNSA FUND/the Yomiuri Shimbun
All of the speeches are copyrighted material of JNSA FUND and The Yomiuri Shimbun, and are protected by the Japanese copyright law.