Georgia Institute of Technology
Who Am I?
Georgia Tech is proud to draw students from around the United States and countries throughout the world. This unique compilation of academic interests, personal backgrounds, and various life experiences creates an exciting and inspiring educational mix. Given your personal background, what would you hope to learn and contribute through becoming part of this sort of campus community?
All my life, I've considered myself an American. Born to a Jewish-American father and a Japanese mother, I've been surrounded by two cultures in drastically unequal proportions. I never understood what it really meant to have more than one identity or to be patriotic to a single country.
Though I insisted on being strictly "American," all of the hot dogs and apple pies in the world couldn't change my features into those of the typical American. I always looked different, but I tried to mask my singularity with a false enthusiasm for American values. I used makeup to make my eyes look rounder and refused to speak Japanese to my mother in public. In elementary school, I was tormented with the desire to assimilate. That is, I was tormented until I visited Japan for the first time.
I traveled to Japan during the summer before 11th grade; before the plane landed, I felt an inexplicable, intrinsic pull to my mother's homeland. I felt a deep yearning to see the country I had seen on TV -- the modernized, futuristic cities juxtaposed with the ancient shrines and architecture. Finally, I was in a place where I would be just another Asian, another dark, short head bobbing among the throngs of natives.
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