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The Quindecim has 115 articles published.

You move forward like the seasons, I move forward like Greyson Chance

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Zhang (left) and Chance (right).

Since 24 hours before the concert, anxiety, excitement, happiness, nervousness, expectation, fear, all different kinds of emotions mixed together in my mind. Grey has been my idol for the past eight and half years and is my initial motivation to study abroad here. I was worried for myself that at the moment of meeting him, I might lose my destination for the future and not know where to go, since I would complete a goal I’ve had for a long time.

However, I found my new hope today.

I used to think, today is the time to say goodbye to “the old me,” and let him only belong to the past; nevertheless, I found a new destination and goal from him. Besides the tears that dropped at the moment I saw him, after the whole concert, I felt from a strong and peaceful belief and power. There’s no “foreignness” that I used to worry about. He is really like a real old friend. He’s always on his way to becoming an excellent, comprehensive and special musician, and I’ll be as good as him, and sing together with him on the same stage. I’m also on my way.

His serious attitude and hard work for music, and all the efforts behind the stage, were all shown in this one hour of performance.

His “silence” for these years finally turned into his powerful songs, which became the steps of his great return today. The concert exceeded my expectation, powerful and impressive. His confident demeanor and dances, skillful and mature way of singing, meaningful lyrics, the “just right” melodies, with his special high and low voices. All the moments of this concert were painted with his own color. He has already polished himself to a pure jade, not too dazzling as other diamonds, but the shine only belongs to him. Tender and peaceful, but strong and undaunted.

I can see something pure and clean inside of him, no matter how time passes.

As for his kindness and honesty, I think it’s from his humble hometown, and education and love from his family.

He knows what is right.

His lyrics are from the heart. He writes the conversation with his favorite person, he writes to encourage his friend who’s feeling low, he writes his thoughts about everyday life.

He said he experienced “love” for the first time last year. He has never had those kinds of feelings before, and he wanted to get married and raise kids. But when the guy said he didn’t want to stay with him anymore, he was heartbroken. So he turned this desperation into power, and wrote this new album called Portraits, which is going to be released on March 15.

One of his new songs is about how his mom used to tell him she hoped that if she left someday, he would rather be a good man. Once when he was young, he was saying bad words in public, and was criticized seriously by his mom. She said only boys do that, and she wanted to raise a man.

He said one of the best things about growing up is developing the perspective of how life works. It’s constantly up and down.

He said f–- your Instagram. This society only judges people’s success by the numbers next to their name (followers and likes), and that’s nonsense. The value of self should not be defined by these numbers. Don’t be drawn into the world inside of the screen; love yourself, your friends, family, and enjoy the sunshine every day, because life is so short.

He, who said these words above, finally became a glass of wine that was distilled and fermented by time. Discarding the unkindness of society, he smiles as peaceful as a breeze, and sings his own stories without inhibitions.

He was betrayed and discarded, but he finally got back on his feet. When he was questioned and doubted, he proved himself.

Suddenly, a sentence written to me by one of my friends came up to my mind: “Being aware of pretentiousness but not being pretentious is the kindest way of growing up.”

I’m so proud of you from the bottom of my heart, and very honored to have you as my idol for my entire youth.

He didn’t sing any songs from his early period – maybe he thinks that belongs to his past, and he wants to convince audience by his new works. Just like he wrote in his lyrics, “I’m not looking back, to rewrite my f–-ing past.” He has already chosen to walk forward; why am I still entangled in the past?

Since today, he is the new Greyson Chance. As for me, I like this new him. After I saw him work so hard and serious, I’m more sure than before that he will continue to be better and better by his own efforts. And I’ll also work hard and try to be closer to him step by step.

After meeting with him, I suddenly felt that there’s nothing hard that I couldn’t endure. I’ve already met with the person that I want to meet so eagerly. For things and other people that I used to have hard time with and thought that I couldn’t handle, they are not big problems anymore and are all gone with the wind. All by myself, I’ve made my childhood dream come true that used to be most impossible, and now I know that by keeping faith and moving forward in one direction, someday I will reach the destination. It’s just a matter of time.

You move forward like the seasons,

I move forward like Greyson Chance.

Our story goes on.

2010.10~2019.2.22~future

BY YUWAN ZHANG

 

Marijuana in The South

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Photo Credits: WBUR.org

Marijuana is the new hot topic in the United States. Whether it’s medicinal or recreational, states all over the country are legalizing cannabis. But there is a clear line on the map where cannabis hasn’t been able to enter the scene. Some call it the Bible Belt, some say it’s the Mason-Dixon line, but no matter what you call it: there’s no legal cannabis the South. The conservative rural south will always exist, but what makes these southern, hard-working people opposed to cannabis legislation? Is religion playing a part in people’s distaste for cannabis? Has a deep fear been ingrained into Southerners’ heads? Or is it that Southerners just don’t want to smoke weed?

Smoking cannabis first became popular in America in 1910. It was introduced to Americans by Mexican refugees who were trying to escape from the Mexican revolution. Its popularity wasn’t only with Mexican immigrants but also in the African American community (Mcnearny). With racism still in full swing and Prohibition repealed, white lawmakers targeted marijuana and criminalized “the production, sale, possession, and consumption of the drug” (Warf, Reefer Madness). According to an article by Alison McNearny, “twenty-nine states had outlawed marijuana by 1931, and in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed, essentially making the plant illegal in the United States.”

Marijuana propaganda began showing up everywhere. There were informational signs, movies, and pamphlets made that showed different ways of cannabis ruining lives. This scared the white working-class American people and instilled a deep fear into society. Reefer Madness was one movie made to strike fear in Americans. This 1936 film depicts characters using marijuana and, subsequently, going insane. These false depictions of marijuana and its effects permeated society creating urgency and fear in the hearts of the American citizen.    

Though lawmakers have been opposed to marijuana for a long time, there has always been a push from other parties to prove that marijuana isn’t the “devil’s harvest” (Propaganda Ad). Medical personnel have consistently found marijuana not to be as bad as lawmakers make it out to be. One person who consistently ignored the medical field was Harry Anslinger: the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), and its head for the next three decades. Anslinger repeatedly rejected clinical analyses that concluded marijuana did not induce violent behavior or lead to the use of more addictive drugs (Warf). If he had listened to the doctors, maybe more patients in pain could be healed.

Take the case of Charlotte Figi. Charlotte was just three months old when she had her first seizure. Her parents Matt and Paige were terrified. She was rushed to the hospital, but the doctors found nothing wrong. Despite the doctor’s prognosis, Charlotte continued to have seizures. After five years of pain, seizures, medical bills, and treatment, the hospital could not do more. Charlotte’s father Matt decided to leave the army so he and Paige could take care of their girl. They began to research cannabis. This process wasn’t easy. They were repeatedly denied by doctors who weren’t sure about the effects on children or were concerned about the legality. They finally found a doctor who would work with them. They acquired marijuana that contained high levels of cannabidiol (or CBD, the non-psychoactive part of marijuana) and extracted the oils from the flower. Results were seen immediately after one dose. Charlotte went from having three to four seizures an hour to not having one for seven days. Charlotte is now doing well and the Figi family remained intact. Luckily for the Charlotte and her family, they lived in Colorado where medicinal marijuana has been legal since 2000 (Young). If they had lived in the South, Charlotte may not have had the chance to live.

Though other states are moving past it, fear and misguided knowledge has not left the South. According to DISA, a website created to inform people of their workplace rights, 10 states (20% of the country) have made cannabis fully legal, and medicinal marijuana is legal in 34 states (68% of the country). Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and both Carolinas are a few of the states where marijuana is fully illegal.

This group of states could be called “the South” or states below the Mason-Dixon line, but Bible Belt states is more accurate. The propaganda produced in the anti-marijuana age often depicted the devil with marijuana or had headlines that said “the smoke of hell! Devil’s harvest” (Propaganda Ad). In a census done by Pew Research center, it was concluded that 76% of the South identified as Christian. The propaganda created a sense of fear that smoking marijuana will send you to Hell. These Christian Southerners had a good reason to stay away from marijuana; who wants to be eternally damned? After a little research, it was clear to see that these fears are unprecedented. “The plant called hemp is proper for Christians to use for food, medicine, and enjoyment (Gen. 1:12)” (House). There are recurring themes in the Bible that state that God is ok with the use of everything that is created. That isn’t to say it should all be used without caution, but it surely doesn’t mean one puff of marijuana is equivalent to eternal damnation.

It’s time for Southern policy makers to legalize marijuana and enjoy the economic benefits. Since the legalization of cannabis, California has made over $2.75 billion in sales (DePietro). When states legalize marijuana, a boom in economy follows. Business Insider’s “Every US State Economy Ranked Worst to Best” list has seven Southern states in the top ten worst economies. Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kansas, Arkansas, and Tennessee have not legalized marijuana and all of them are ranked poorly. With a change in policy and information on cannabis, these states could benefit from legalizing marijuana. Not only would the economy boom and jobs be created, patients would be able to get their much-needed medicine and people could recreationally enjoy marijuana.  

As more research is conducted, it seems illogical to remain in a society that isn’t allowing patients to get the medicine they need. If not legalized recreationally, the Southern states at the very least need to update policy and allow these people who are in pain to get access to marijuana. By not reforming the current cannabis policies, lawmakers in the Southern states are blatantly disregarding their citizens health and well-being.  

It’s time for Southern states to journey out of their comfort zone and begin to rewrite policy on marijuana. Cannabis is not something that should be feared, but something that can be used to relax and to heal. Citizens all over will be grateful the South has caught up to the rest of the country.

 

BY ELIJA HALLER

The Problem of College Alcoholism

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Photo Credit: NPR

The general view today of college is a place of heavy drinking culture and partying all night. Many students now go to college to binge drink and party. These students and athletes are turned into a nameless face in a sea of people constantly drunk, which creates problems such as court cases, dropouts, and sometimes death. As a college student now, I have seen many instances of alcohol consumption that changed students who I’ve met so far and persuaded me to no longer consider some people I once called a friend. This has been tough emotionally to have to decide that a friend has turned into someone that I don’t want to see or be around. Even though alcohol is emblematic as the reaching of adulthood in college, many seem to climb that tower a little too early than they are meant to. Tragically, this can cause some to come crashing down and few to reach realization of their trouble before it is too late. But there are a few that see that this as just immaturity and students will grow out of it.

As I look around now, I see that I am not at a school with a strong influence of alcohol, even though it is still present. I have seen students make decisions that they regret for weeks or even months on end, while some feel, as they lay awake in a hospital bed, that they should never drink again. A year ago, a couple of my friends were partying in a room, but some kids were having a little too much, three of whom ended up in the hospital. One had to stay for two days and the other two needed to have their stomachs pumped. Many students do not see the problems of binge drinking until the next day. Students who partake in underage drinking at college just want to feel as if they are now adults and be among a higher social group. This leads them to start drinking every day, every week, becoming the ‘party animal’ that they see in movies or hear about in stories about the average ‘college experience.’ Many students who start and continue in underage drinking have a high “risk of serious social, medial, and legal problems” (O’Malley).  Many of these problems not only affect the student, but also the school that they attend. If there is a court case for drunk and disorderly conduct, it can also look bad on the institution that the student attends. This can cause scholarship losses and people losing their chances of doing something important in life.

Risks of legal and social problems are not the only problems students face. Problems also occur on campus and in classes. Constant drinking can lead to “impaired performance at school or work; interpersonal problems with friends, family members, teachers, and supervisors” (O’Malley). I have seen many students struggle in class or drop out of a class because they couldn’t function properly as a result of a party the night before. Early this year in my history class, I could tell who had been drinking the night before. This person would not be able to keep up with what was going on in class. Later, I would no longer see this person in class. After a month I had found out that the student had dropped out of school and went back home. This is really unfortunate, because the parents of this person had clearly hoped that college would be a place for their child to learn, grow, and enhance the option of future employment. Some students actually do not work and just sleep in class trying to fight being hungover from over drinking the night before. Sadly, they think that coming into class with a hat pulled down on their face with sunglasses on, trying to fight the headaches, the spinning, and the nausea that haunted them all day will not be noticed. This caused some great students to fall to the bottom of the social ladder in classes, and potentially face the possibility of dropping out of school and having to go home empty handed, not rising to their potential.

Studies have taken place all over the world trying to understand what kind of influence alcohol has on students and people. A study at the University of York shows that the police and the parole board “estimate half of all premeditated crime is alcohol related” (McDonnell). This goes to show that most of crime and uncivil accidents have been caused by the influence of alcohol on the mind of students. Most of the court cases and honor boards that happen at universities are in response to alcohol related incidents, such as vandalism, rape, assault, breaking and entering, and theft. Many universities know that this type of abuse of alcohol is happening on campus, but can’t seem to do much about it because it will happen no matter what. For example, there was an incident with a student and her boyfriend at Oxford involving alcohol and a court case. She became angry and stabbed him in the leg when “he realized she had been drinking” (BBC). While incidents like this one happen on college campuses, the girl in this case was forced to spend ten months in jail after the court case. The sad reality is that a case like this rarely deters college students, and these events do happen and most of the times involve alcohol. People who aren’t able to see how alcohol affects them are at more of a disadvantage of preventing accidents and criminal activity.

Many consider alcohol harmless and a pleasure to have while at college. Often student feel that booze allows them to let loose after a hard week or day at classes. While I can agree with the stress factors, many just put that up as an excuse to hide or avoid confrontations of serious accidents. Blame is then directed at the students for not knowing how to drink responsibly. This is a valid argument, but they don’t see what the true danger of drinking or even binge drinking has on a campus. At the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, researchers have discovered that on an average day “4 college students die in accidents involving alcohol. An additional 1,370 suffer injuries tied to drinking, the study says, and an estimated 192 are raped by their dates or sexually assaulted after drinking” (Schemo). This shows how drinking can stir trouble or even be the cause of people doing things that they never would do in a sober state of mind. Many students would blame their guilt upon the alcohol and then the schools would sweep their problem under the rug.

Alcohol has caused many problems and terrible accidents across campuses all around the world. I have seen these effects first hand. I would like to point out the common issue that causes these problems. I believe that banning alcohol on campuses would not solve the problem at hand; rather, I believe better alcohol education is the key. I share all of this to remind my fellow students to be responsible and careful with how you use the alcohol that you drink. I hope that we can come to a better understanding of the dangers of alcohol and use it more responsibly.

 

BY ZACHARY WENNIK

Pictures from Australia

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Fairy Pools at Noosa Photo Credit: Moe de La Viez
Me and a Koala at the Australia Zoo 🙂 Photo Credit: Moe de La Viez
Me with a snake during orientation! Photo Credit: Moe de La Viez
The beautiful Noosa Heads beach Photo Credit: Moe de La Viez
A drive through Rainbow Beach. Those “rocks” are completely made of sand! Photo Credit: Moe de La Viez

People of Color Disproportionately Affected by Climate Change

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In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana. The horrific hurricane killed at least 1,833 people and annihilated homes, schools, stores, and more. The residents located near this tragedy were people of color who lived in low level areas. Along with living in poor conditions, people also lacked proper resources to prepare for disasters. It is now 2019 and communities affected by this tragedy are still dealing with the effects of this hurricane. While dealing with these challenges, these people are also fighting companies that are causing pollution near their communities.

Hurricane Katrina demonstrates the struggle for communities of color (typically African Americans and Native Americans) to recover for natural disasters. These communities tend to struggle due to lack of governmental funding, which results in little resources. For instance, communities of color tend to have little resources to evacuate when disasters are occurring. If these people are evacuated from their communities, they are often left with uncertainty about when to safely return to their homes, since the government does not announce when to do so.

Not only are these communities dealing with a lack of funding, but many are also dealing with companies who are producing pollution near their homes and schools. Studies have shown that polluting companies are disproportionately located near communities dominated by people of color. For instance, a utility corporation named Entergy is attempting to gain an environmental permit for a gas power plant near East New Orleans. If this corporation gains a permit, they will be able to release one million pounds of toxic air pollutants located alongside many homes and schools. They will also produce over a billion pounds of greenhouse gases that result in climate change. The pollutants and toxins increase the chances of asthma and cancer within these communities.

This can explain why one in six African American children have asthma, differentiating from 1 in 10 nationally. Nearly sixty-eight percent of African Americans lived near 30 miles of a coal plant, one of the biggest carbon pollutants in the United States. Also, African Americans located in Los Angeles are more than two times as likely to die during heat waves rather than other locals living here. This is due to creating “heat islands,” which are made by lots of concrete and asphalt (which is correlated to rising temperatures). Since people of color mostly populate these heat islands, they are more vulnerable to the effects of them. People located in these areas also tend to not have resources such as air conditioning or proper transportation.

Here are a few ways to prevent further suffering for people of color communities and to eliminate further damage of climate change: properly equip people of color to prepare for natural disasters, elect officials into office that care and plan to take action against climate change, and increase investments in clean energy. Properly equipping people of color will result in less damage or better methods of evacuating. Electing officials who take action against climate change will be efficient because they can promote the idea of clean energy and other methods for the fight against climate change. The idea of clean energy is providing homes with wind, solar, and efficiency upgrades. Also, increasing investments in clean energy can provide employment for people, more so for people of color. By making these changes, climate change can stop worsening and destroying communities dominated by people of color.

Sources

https://www.theroot.com/how-climate-change-affects-people-of-color-1790895451

https://advancementproject.org/climate-change-not-future-problem-communities-color-now-problem/

BY HANNAH CLAGGETT

Argentina: A beautiful country full of friendly people

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Vista de Córdoba Photo Credits: Kate Longabaugh

From the overlook in Parque Sarmiento, this photo is above a grand old staircase that people run up and down to work out or sit on the benches and talk with friends. The old abandoned Ferris wheel sits inside the zoo and the apartment buildings to the left look like the ones I walked by every day in Córdoba that had a distinct look. 

La Cañada a la noche Photo Credits: Kate Longabaugh

A nighttime view of La Cañada near El Paseo de los Artes, a weekly artisan fair full of tempting things to buy. I crossed La Cañada every day to go to class at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and when I went almost anywhere since my host family lived right next to it downtown.

Andes de Patagonia Photo Credits: Kate Longabaugh

Monte Fitz Roy or Cerro Chaltén is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, mountains and hiking locations in Andean Patagonia in southern Argentina and Chile, so I made sure to see it before I left. My friends and I got lucky with a clear day and good weather when winds and storms are notorious for keeping people off the trail.

Andes de Jujuy Photo Credits: Kate Longabaugh

A view of the Quebrada on the trail from the town of Tilcara to the Garganta del Diablo. La Quebrada de Humahuaca in northern Argentina is known for its colored mountains, trade route of the Incas, and indigenous Quechua people.

Amigos en La Cumbrecita Photo Credits: Kate Longabaugh

Some Argentinian, French, and German friends I made in the UNC Trekking program and a local language practice group. We hiked around one weekend in La Cumbrecita, a Swiss/German village in the mountains of Córdoba.

Danzas Irlandesas Photo Credits: Kate Longabaugh

As an Irish Dancer I was excited to find a twice-monthly Irish Cultural Organization in Córdoba. Here I am with one of my Irish Dance friends/teacher Andrea when her dance school Celtic Argentina came to perform at Argentina’s famous Oktoberfest in Villa General Belgrano, a town with Bavarian roots in the mountains of Córdoba.

 

BY KATE LONGABAUGH

 

なぜ日本語は難しいと言われるのか。

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英語話者にとって、中国語、ロシア語、アラビア語は難しい言語だとよく言 われるのではないでしょうか。日本語もそれらに並んで難しいとよく言われま す。今回は、なぜ日本語が、非日本語話者、英語話者にとって難しいとされるのかについて述べようと思います。

では、英語と日本語の大きな違いとは何でしょうか。ここで3つの大きな違 いを紹介しようと思います。

その一、3種類の文字(ひらがな、カタカナ、漢字)を使う。英語ではアル ファベットという一種類の文字で構成されているのに対し、日本語にはひらが な、カタカナ、漢字という3種類の文字があります。例えば、「りんご」とい う単語書き表すとき、英語では“apple”としか書き表せないですが、日本語 で 「りんご」、「リンゴ」、「林檎」の3種類で書き表すことができ、すべ て意味は同じになります。文字の種類が2種類以上あるという概念は外国人に はなく、それらをどのように使い分けるのかが外国人にとって難しいようです。また、日本語の文字の種類が英語と比べ多いのも難しく感じる理由の一つで す。ひらがな、カタカナはそれぞれ50種類あり、漢字については、日本の学 生は小学校を卒業するまでに1006種類の漢字を学びます。

その二、1つの漢字に2つ以上読み方があることがある。英語において、発 音の種類はいくつかあるが、“A”という文字は「エー」であり、他の呼ばれ 方はありません。一方、多くの日本語の漢字は2つ以上の読み方があります。例えば、「日」という漢字。一般的に使われる読み方として、「ニチ」、「ジ ツ」、「ひ」、「か」等があります。つまりこの「日」という漢字一字には少 なくとも4種類の読み方があることになります。「3月1日は日曜日で祝日、晴れの日でした。」この文章に5つの「日」という漢字が使われていますが、どれも読み方が異なります。中国語でも漢字は使われますが、このように1つ の漢字が複数の読み方をするのは日本語の漢字のみです。したがって、漢字の 数は中国語の方が多いですが、日本語の漢字は読み方がややこしいという理由 で中国語話者からも日本語は難しいと言われることがあります。

その三、使われる言葉が、地域、年齢・性別、場合によって大きく変わる。地域による言葉の違いについて、日本語には方言があります。これはイギリス 英語とアメリカ英語の違いに似ているところがあるかもしれないですが、単語 レベルの違いだけでなく文法、イントネーション、言い方までも違ってきます。したがって一般的に外国人が習う日本語は標準語といわれ、日常的に使われ る日本語と違うかもしれません。年齢・性別による言葉の違いについて、人称 代名詞が大きく異なることがあります。英語の一人称単数の主格の人称代名詞 は“I”しかないですが、日本語には「私」、「僕」、「あたし」、「俺」、「わし」、「わい」等、何種類も存在します。一人称だけでなく、二人称 でも「あなた」、「お前」、「君」等、複数あります。これも英語に無い概念 の1つです。場合による言葉の違いについて、日本語には敬語があります。敬 語は年上の人と話すときや、公的な場面で用いられます。敬語を用いると主に 動詞とその活用が日常的な言い方と異なります。日本において敬語は重要な文 化であり、正しい敬語を使わないと相手に失礼な態度をとってしまうことにな ることがあります。態度や行動の他に、言語のレベルで相手に敬意を表すこと ができるのは日本語の特徴のように思います。

これらの他にも日本語と英語の違いは数多く存在します。英語と日本語にこ れらの違いがある理由の1つは、それぞれの言語の起源が異なるからです。英 語の起源はインド・ヨーロッパ祖語であり、例えば、英語と起源が同じである スペイン語は文法や単語において英語と似ている点が数多く存在します。一方 、日本語の起源はインド・ヨーロッパ祖語でないため異なる点が数多く存在し ます。

非日本語話者にとって日本語は母国語とかけ離れていると思うかもしれませ ん。今回は日本語と英語の違いについて取り上げてみましたが、自分の母国語 と日本語の共通点を見つけてみるのも面白いかもしれません。韓国語と日本語。中国語と日本語。スペイン語と日本語。醤油をつけてお寿司を箸で食べるつ いでに日本語に興味をもってみるのはいかがでしょうか?

BY YUYA KAWAKAMI

Why Is Japanese Difficult?

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It is often said that it’s hard for English speakers to master tonal and character-based languages like Chinese, Russian, Arabic, etc. Japanese is one of those languages. In this article, I’m going to discuss why Japanese is difficult for non-Japanese speakers, especially English speakers, to master.

Then, what are the huge differences between English and Japanese? I’m going to introduce three huge differences below.

First, there are three kinds of alphabets in Japanese, which are called “hiragana”, “katakana”, and “kanji”. In English, there is only one type of alphabet— the Latin alphabet. For example, there is only one way to describe the fruit, “apple” while we can describe an apple in three different ways in Japanese. If you use hiragana, “apple” is “りんご”. If you use katakana, “apple” is “リンゴ”. If you use kanji, “apple” is “林檎”. All of them have the same meaning. English speakers don’t have the concept of using more than one kind of alphabet, so it is difficult for them to distinguish the Japanese alphabets. In addition, since there are many more characters in Japanese than there are letters in English, Japanese is difficult for English speakers. There are 50 kinds of hiragana and 50 kinds of katakana. Students are supposed to learn 1,006 kinds of kanji before they graduate from elementary school in Japan.

Second, many kanji characters can be referred to more than one way. In English, the letter “A” is referred to as “A” and there is no other way to refer to it. On the other hand, there is more than one way of referring to each kanji character. For example, the character “日” has at least four ways of being referred to: “nichi”, “jitsu”, “hi”, and “ka”. Here is an example sentence: 3月1日は日曜日で祝日、晴れの日でした。In this sentence, there are five “日” characters but they are all called differently. How they are called depends on the context. Kanji also exists in written Chinese. However, each spoken Chinese dialect refers to each kanji character in only one way within that specific dialect. Thus, Japanese is sometimes regarded as difficult for Chinese speakers just as it is for English speakers.

Third, the way Japanese is spoken can change depending on area, generation/gender, and situation. Speaking on the differences according to area, there are many kinds of dialect in Japan. The difference may be similar to that of British English and American English. However, the difference is not only in the choice of words but also in the grammar, intonation, and expression. Therefore, Japanese spoken by non-Japanese speakers is sometimes different from daily Japanese because non-Japanese speakers’ Japanese tends to be the standard Japanese. Speaking on the differences in the way of speaking according to generation/gender, there are many kinds of personal pronouns in Japanese. In English, the first person pronoun is “I”. In Japanese, “watashi” (for everyone and formal), “boku” (for men), “atashi” (for girl), “ore” (for men and casual), “washi” (for elderly people and casual), and “wai” (for everyone and casual but not popular) are all first person pronouns. Just as in the first person, there are many personal pronouns for the second person perspective, such as “anata” (for everyone), “omae” (for everyone and casual), “kimi” (for everyone) and so on. This is also one of the concepts that non-Japanese speakers don’t have. Speaking on the differences because of the situation, there is an honorific word called “Kego” in Japanese. “Kego” is used when people talked with older people or when people speak in a public stage. When it comes to using “Kego”, verb and conjugation are changed. “Kego” is one of the most important aspects of Japanese culture. If you don’t use “Kego” correctly, your behavior sometimes seems rude. But I believe expressing respect at the linguistic level instead of with attitude is one of the beautiful features of Japanese.

In addition to these differences, there are other differences between Japanese and English. One of the reasons why there are so many differences is because the origin of each language is different. Though the origin of English is different from the origin of Japanese, the origin of Spanish is the same as the origin of English. That’s why there are some similarities between English and Spanish such as in grammar or with words.

For non-Japanese speakers, Japanese may be extraordinarily different from their native language. However, it may be interesting for them to find similarities between Japanese and their native language. What are similarities between English and Japanese? How about between Korean and Japanese? Between Chinese and Japanese? Between Spanish and Japanese? Do you get curious about Japanese when you eat sushi with soy sauce using chopsticks?

BY YUYA KAWAKAMI

Halloween (1978) vs Halloween (2018)

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Picture Source: www.frightday.com

Horror is a genre full of killers, but the real killer is familiarity. Over the past thirty years, we’ve seen Michael Myers, the terror at the center of the Halloween franchise, unsheathe his knife and kill in ten movies. Ten times he’s come back from the dead, ten times he’s killed the horniest of teenagers, and ten times he’s been defeated in a slightly more extreme way than the last…only to come back and start the cycle all over again.

But this year was different. David Gordon Green, the director of the new version, went on record saying that he was ignoring every Halloween sequel after the first one; essentially, he was making a direct sequel to the movie from thirty years ago, thus unburdening himself from the overly convoluted mythology the franchise had accumulated over the course of ten movies (two of which are technically a reboot). The star of the first one was back, as was the original director to craft a whole new score. The stars were aligned to make something great.

I should probably get into the original. Fifteen years before the film begins proper, we see an eight year old boy pick up a knife and, for no apparent reason, kill his older sister. Cut to the present day, and the boy (Michael Myers, who I should mention shares no apparent relation to the Shrek actor) manages to escape from the mental institution he’s been kept in, seemingly intent on heading back to his hometown to terrorize the residents, including teenager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends. It’s up to Myers’ psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) to stop him before he kills anyone again. Loomis had spent the past fifteen years observing Myers, and has come to the conclusion that Michael Myers is pure evil.

While watching the original again, I found myself agreeing with Loomis. Michael Myers managed to be scary in a way he never really was again, and the comparison I kept coming back to was Jaws; like the shark, Myers is barely in the movie. His first on screen kill after the opening scene isn’t until almost an hour into the movie; before that, he kills a man off-screen to steal his clothes. But he’s always there, even when he isn’t, and this is largely down to the film’s greatest asset: the cinematography. In his review of the movie for The New Yorker, film critic Pauline Kael wrote, “The film is largely just a matter of the camera tracking subjectively from the mad killer’s point of view, leading you to expect something awful to happen. But the camera also tracks subjectively when he isn’t around at all; in fact, there’s so much subjective tracking you begin to think everybody in the movie has his own camera.” She obviously meant this as a knock against the movie, but it somehow winds up being what gives the film its awesome power. By never letting up on the slow, creeping build of the camera, director John Carpenter very deliberately gives off the impression that Michael Myers could be anywhere, and strike at anytime, doing wonders for Dr. Loomis’ claim that he is “pure evil”. When he is on screen, he’s usually in the background, slightly out of focus, or in close up, with his head cut off by the frame. We don’t get a good look at him until over an hour into the thing, and by then, it’s far too late for most of our protagonists, most of whom we’ve really come to like by then.

These two things – slow-burn dread and likable characters – were the first to go by the time the sequels rolled around, followed quickly by Michael Myers’ mystique and practicality. In the first one, he stabs and strangles people, and we don’t see all that much blood. In the next several movies, he bashes heads with hammers, electrocutes bodies with Christmas lights, impaled with extreme prejudice, and, in one memorable instance, drowns/burns someone in a hydrotherapy tub. Throughout all of this, he gets killed and resurrected so much, that he essentially becomes immortal, a far cry away from the power the first film was smart enough to only suggest.

So when David Gordon Green said he was going to get back to basics, I was understandably excited. I sat down to watch it, popcorn and soda in hand…

…and thought it was okay.

It’s probably the best of the sequels, honestly. Much as I have a soft spot for Halloween II, it does jettison most of the likable characters, including Jamie Lee Curtis, who spends about 80% of the movie confined to a hospital bed, dreaming in flashbacks. The 2018 Halloween, at least, does right by her, putting her front and center again to great effect. It’s easy to say that Jamie Lee Curtis is the best thing in the movie and leave it at that, but she is really, really good. For whatever problems the movie has otherwise, you feel Laurie Strode’s pain in a way you never did before, not even in II or H20. Laurie centers the movie in her character, and gives it a weight the original didn’t have.

Which is good, because everything around Laurie is a tad lackluster. One of the key elements of the original Halloween was how direct it was, and how well the slow burn was built to a fever pitch. While there are moments of excellent suspense in the movie (I’m thinking especially of the long-take in the middle, that has Michael move from house to house, picking off random people), the overall pacing itself is way too scattershot. Scenes begin and end at the wrong place, often cutting off when things are about to get interesting. And while Laurie and her immediate family are reasonably well-defined, the rest of the characters (or, more accurately, cannon fodder) suffer from only one dimension. And where the original got away with having little brutality, the new is chock full of gore. It has one character better served than in the original, but other than that, it falls short.

BY SAM STASHOWER

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