Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So, I switched around final project subjects... A lot. Here's one of them: Sparky's Ice Cream. I have some good shots, I just couldn't find a strong final subject. I hope you want to eat ice cream after viewing these. I do.

Back in Black (& White)

Okay, so I realize it's been over a month since I've put pictures up, and I do apologize for that. The past month has been nuts though, and updating the blog was lower on my list of priorities. So, here is my final project. It's not that great, and I know I'm missing some good shots, but I only had about a week to do it because I can't do anything in a timely manner. Nonetheless, enjoy.

Hiroki Aoyama moved to Columbia, Missouri from Aichi, Japan three years ago in order to attend the University of Missouri to study International Studies. He found MU through a study abroad agency in Japan and was given his choice of universities in America. Aoyama has adapted to American life with relative ease (except for the food). This being his first trip outside of Japan, and the first of his family to come to America, he was very shocked culturally when he started his college life. "College life in U.S. is more difficult than my country," Aoyama said. He's grown more comfortable with the lifestyle of the American college student during his time here though.
Contact with his family back in Japan is rather complicated. The only time he usually speaks with his mother or father on the telephone is when he needs them to send money. Any other conversation is held via email.
Aoyama has found friendship mostly with students from other countries, mostly Asian countries. His experience with Americans, however, has been only friendly. Aoyama noted that people in Japan don't compliment each other on their clothing or little things like that, but Americans do; something he found intriguing and very friendly of Americans.
Verbal communication is a big barrier for him, but an even bigger barrier for Hiroki is emotional communication. Aoyama explained that in Japan, he doesn't have to explain how he feels, his behavior alone can explain to his family and friends how he feels. In America, everyone has to be told how he feels, he can't feel down or lonely and have those emotions seem apparent to his American friends. That is one thing he misses about home, as well as, of course, speaking Japanese. The only way he can continue to speak his native tongue in America is to gather together with other Japanese students.
Another characteristic that Aoyama noted about Americans is their "vision". He said that every American, "has their own vision" or set of goals in life. This is a habit he has tried to adopt for himself and said he can go back to Japan with a clearer vision of his future. Hiroki said he has also learned time management during college days in America. Upon his graduation next spring, Aoyama plans to return to Japan to find a job.