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Sheridan, Montana

Adding Japanese Culture
by Nancy Banister 
December 12, 2002 issue of The Madisonian


Shizuko NakaIt was a big culture shock for Shizuko Naka when she left her native city, Kyoto, Japan, and started student teaching in Sheridan. "Living in a small town has its benefits, too. I am able to drink water out of the tap and the view is beautiful." She does miss the hustle and bustle of the big city though she is working hard to bring a little of her country here to Montana. 

This experience in Sheridan has been enlightening for her and the community. She loves the eagerness of the American students in the quest to learn, yet she is still getting comfortable with them not wearing uniforms. Shizuko realizes that the English language is not as proper on paper as it is in spoken language, but she is learning much from the people she is in contact with every day. She, in return, has given the community so much more. She has shown a videotape of a famous Japanese sport, Sumo wrestling. She has also demonstrated Origami, a special tea ceremony, Japanese food, calligraphy, music, dance and geography of her homeland. 

Shizuko majored in English at Kansai University for Foreign Language and yearns to teach English to others. She came here in October and will remain until January. She will then move to Kremmling, Colorado (125 miles north of Denver) to finish her student teaching.

Copyright Nancy Banister and The Madisonian, reproduced by permission. Photo by Linda Browne.

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