城西大学附属 城西中学・高等学校

アメリカ長期留学 上野さん 5月レポート

アメリカ・オレゴン州のBlanchet Catholic Schoolに長期留学中の上野さん(高2)の5月レポートとなります。プロムや吹奏楽部の発表会、テニス部の授賞式とたくさんのイベントを通じて、自身の成長を感じています。


 There is one month left in my study aboard, and I feel a mix of emotions. On one hand, there’s sadness that many of our activities are over. On the other hand, I’m eager to make the most of the remaining time.

 The highlight of this month is undoubtedly the prom. The American high school prom is held every year at the end of April to beginning of May. It serves as a graduation party where students learn about etiquette. Typically, only seniors attend, but I had was able to join because a junior friend invited me. Additionally, I attended a church prom. After I had dinner at my friend’s house, we headed out. The venue was fabulous, complete with karaoke and a sweet bar. As the music played, everyone danced, and I joined in, moving like everyone else. After that, I saw the comedy movie at my friend’s house. I was completely exhausted, though it became a great memory.

 Another memorable event was our school prom. I arrived early and was filled with excitement. As my classmates gathered, they looked fresh and ready for the festivities. I recalled my early days of study abroad, when I had few friends. However, this time, I was surrounded by friends from tennis and the medical club. The scene before me felt like something out of a drama I saw when I was an elementary student—a dream come true. Unfortunately, the magical time passed in the blink of an eye.

 During a conversation, I shared my reason for coming to America: I wanted to experience a prom just like the ones I had seen in American dramas long ago. To my surprise, my friend didn’t dismiss it as ridiculous. Instead, she explained that many Americans long for prom experiences. Juniors nowadays can attend, unlike in her time when only seniors were allowed. I felt thrilled to be part of an event that is so important to American students.

 Last spring, I participated in a band concert, which turned out to be the highlight of the year. Despite catching a cold a week before the performance, I was determined to give it my best shot. The guest seats filled up with both visitors and fellow students. When the spotlight hit me, I took my place and began playing the drums with unwavering momentum. As the performance concluded, cheers erupted from the audience, and I felt a sense of accomplishment. At the end of the concert, our coach called out the names of the band members, and we each received a diploma. The early morning practices had been hard for me, but I realized that they contributed to my growth as a performer since September.

In another episode, I visited my friend’s uncle’s house. His family members all shared a love for Japan, so they were so kind as to take me to various places, including Japanese restaurants and famous sights in Oregon. To show my gratitude, I decided to prepare Japanese curry for them. While slicing potatoes for the dish, I noticed the kanji character “刃” engraved on the knife. Curious, I asked my friend’s uncle if it was made in Japan. His response surprised me: “My Japanese-made items aren’t limited to just this knife. Take a look at these!” He pointed to a cup with a sumo wrestler design on it and a dish featuring a maiko-san (geisha apprentice). I couldn’t help but blurt out, “You probably have more Japanese stuff than I do!” We both shared a good laugh. With my friend’s assistance, we carefully controlled the heat while cooking the curry, and the result was delicious. When I asked their opinion, they exclaimed, “We loved it!” Their appreciation made me feel truly happy.

 During a recent visit to my friend’s house, we decided to play Taiko-no-Tatsujin on the Nintendo Switch. As she invited me to join, I couldn’t help but think that she was a true Japanese enthusiast. Although she was a beginner, she played remarkably well. The mystery of her skill level remained unsolved.

 On the drive back home, we engaged in a fascinating discussion about the cultures of our respective countries. Unlike our usual school subjects, this serious conversation felt refreshingly different. Our mutual appreciation for cultural diversity led us to consider a unique idea: why not switch places and experience each other’s worlds?

Curious about Japan, I asked my friend about its advantages. She enthusiastically replied, “Japan has it all! From affordable and delicious food to high-quality stationery. But what truly stands out is the respect people show toward one another.” As expected, my friend, the Japanese culture enthusiast, elaborated on this topic more than I did.

In contrast, I highlighted an advantage of American culture: the ability to express opinions directly without reading between the lines. “In America,” I explained, “we can speak our minds firmly.” Reflecting on both cultures, I realized their fabulous qualities.

 Interestingly, my English skills improved during these cross-cultural discussions with my American friend. Later, I had a similar conversation with my Argentinian friend. She observed, “Most Americans seem quiet, don’t you think?” It struck me that cultural norms on the other side of the Earth could be quite different.

 The tennis season had come to an end. Unfortunately, due to a cold, I couldn’t participate in the final match, but I did attend the closing meeting. Our coach treated us to a generous meal of Italian food, and we enjoyed it buffet-style. Afterward, we received our diplomas, along with the coach’s warm words and a playful joke.

 When it was my turn, the coach said, “She may not know all the tennis rules, but she asked plenty of questions and put in a lot of effort. You’ve improved significantly.” We shook hands and took a photo together. In that moment, memories of the entire season flooded back. Honestly, I’ve never been particularly skilled at sports, and my mind was always preoccupied with hitting the ball. Sometimes, I missed entirely, feeling completely abandoned. But then I’d hear the encouraging shouts of “Go, Mao!”—especially during the first match when the coach praised my performance. Somehow, this season felt incredibly enjoyable.

 Later, we held an award ceremony for the “Most Improved” category. The winners were determined through a survey, and four deserving members were selected. Lost in my thoughts, I imagined this story unfolding in another world. Unexpectedly, the coach called my name first. My mind went blank—I assumed there must be some mistake. But as I looked around, everyone’s eyes were on me, so I stood up. Although I felt undeserving compared to others who played better, I took pride in my effort. When I received the trophy, it felt like winning a match, and I nearly cried tears of joy. Despite holding them back, the tennis club activities came to an end. The three-month term had been short, but it reaffirmed that the most important thing is simply to try.

 As my various activities came to an end, I had the chance to assess my personal growth. Looking back, I realized how far I’ve come. Next month is the final leg of my study abroad journey, and I feel grateful for this opportunity. I want to cherish these memories with everyone who has been part of this experience.







 テニスシーズンが終わりを迎えました。シーズン最後の試合は風邪の為参加が出来ませんでしたが、最後のミーティングに参加することが出来ました。コーチがイタリアンレストランの料理を大量に注文し、バイキング形式で食べました。その後、一人一人に修了証書とコーチのジョーク交じりの温かいお言葉をもらいました。私の番が来ると、コーチは「真緒はテニスのルールすら知らなくて、怒涛の質問をされたけど、ほんとに努力していたし、物凄く成長したね。」と言ってくださいました。最後に固い握手を交わし、写真を撮ってくださいました。その瞬間、今シーズンのことを思い出していました。正直、スポーツは苦手な方で、テニスも球を打つので精一杯でした。時には全く球が打てず、投げやりな気持ちになった時もありました。しかしいいレシーブが返せるようになった時のメンバーの「Go Mao!」という声、初めての試合でコーチに褒めてもらった時。なんだかんだ楽しかったのではないかと思っています。その後、今年成長したメンバーの授賞式がありました。これはメンバー内で調査を取り、この賞に値する人を4人選ぶものでした。私は完全に他人事だと思い、ぼーっとしているとまさかの一番最初に私の名前が呼ばれました。その瞬間頭が真っ白になり、何かの間違いだと思いました。しかしみんなの視線は私に向いており、その時間違いではないことに気づき、すぐさま立ち上がりました。私よりも上手いみんなを差し置いてこの賞を頂くのはなんだか気が引けましたが、自分の頑張りを少し認められました。大会で優勝したのかというぐらい大きなトロフィーを手にした時、涙があふれそうになりました。しかし、そこはぐっとこらえてテニス部の活動は終了しました。三か月という短い期間でしたが、なんでも始めて見れば良いことがあることを再確認できてよかったです。



城西大学附属 城西中学・高等学校

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