I was truly amazed yesterday at how fluent the PCC and U of A students were who competed in the 8th Annual Japanese speech contest, put on by the Southern Arizona Association for Japanese Education (SAAJE). This event was held at the lovely PCC Northwest Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Road. Besides the speech contest, there were numerous Japanese cultural exhibits and demonstrations as well (ikebana, go, koi, anime, origami, taiko, aikido, calligraphy, furoshiki wrapping, swords, etc.)
For more info about this annual contest, click here for my previous blog article announcing this event last week.
The 2010 winners were:
Category A (1st semester)
1st Place: Amanda Hansen, University of Arizona
2nd Place: Claire Tatman, University of Arizona
3rd Place: Gabriel Williams, PCC West Campus
Special: Emmanuel Aceves, PCC West Campus
Category B (2nd semester)
1st Place: Zhuyan Li, University of Arizona
2nd Place: Kiyono Bernier, PCC Northwest Campus
3rd Place: Michael Cavalier, PCC Northwest Campus
Category C (3rd and 4th semesters)
1st Place: Patrick Murphy, PCC Northwest Campus
2nd Place: Samantha Sharp, University of Arizona
3rd Place: Clinton Wester, PCC Northewest Campus
Special: Alexis Bruce, PCC Northwest Campus
Special: Jared Pettitt, PCC Northwest Campus
The Special awards were given for particularly creative or difficult pieces. All winners received a trophy and a package of prizes. Many contestants spoke of having visited or lived in Japan, with life goals to do so again.
Congratulations to all these winners (and to all who dared to enter), their instructors, and to Chair Yosei Sugawara, for such a well organized, cultural and language art event.
All I can say is that these students put Sansei (3rd generation Japanese Americans) like me, who have studied a little Japanese, to shame. These students had to stand up in front of a large audience and speak memorized Japanese (and many did it fluently). I doubt I could have done that in Spanish while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Sayonara– till the 9th annual speech contest.