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[YRP Students' Essays] Looking for Myself, Ran

The essay is written based on the novel, "Looking for Alibrandi" written by an Australian woman Melina Marchetta, about a girl in her last year of high school who is trying to find her identity.
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Comparing my life to the girls Josephine's, in the novel Looking for Alibrandi, I can see that mine is way more boring and dull. I think it's myself, making it that way.

I have never cried in front of my ex-boyfriend like Josie did. I think she is an honest girl. She really talks a lot but I think that is because she wants people to know and understand her. I am so opposite and I rarely talk about myself or insist on my opinions or feelings. I think that being honest also makes you a lovely person.

Josephine's family had immigrated to Australia from Italy a long time before. I think that to take traditional events and the spirit of your culture to a new country is such a treasurable and precious thing.

My family is more religious, though it is similar to Josephine's family. I am a Buddhist. In the morning, we have to change the water on the household Buddhist altar before using any water in the house, such as in the bathroom, etc. During summer vacation in elementary school I had to go to the temple every morning to read the sutra. I hated it so much because my legs got numb from sitting up straight. I sometimes felt that I wanted to get out of the religious customs, just like Josephine who hates what she calls "National Wog Day".

Josephine hit a girl in the face with a science book because of the girl's discriminative words against her. I have experienced that kind of discrimination. At school in the U.S. American people assumed that I was Chinese or Korean, and when I told them that I was Japanese, they mostly said "Oh! But it's the same!" I remember getting so annoyed because that happened often. So I always told them that America and Canada were the same country. I don't know why but they discriminated against Canada too. I felt so uncomfortable there because it was such a Caucasian world, even though it is the United States of America!

Just like Josephine, who was looking for her identity, I've been trying to find mine for the last few years. I don't know if there is a right answer.

Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Ran Mizutani, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.
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