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Japanese at Carthage

Student Voices

  • Mira Parker '23

Mira Parker ’23


De Forest, Wisconsin




Business Administration and Creative Writing

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on Campus is the grassy area around Kissing Rock. The lake view from there is absolutely gorgeous. Every time I walk to my classes, I always end up looking over at the lake and admiring the beautiful view.”

Career goal

“I hope to become a Japanese translator for either an American or Japanese company. Along with that dream, I am also an aspiring writer. So after graduation, I hope to be both a translator and an author.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“Carthage faculty members are super nice. My first-year advisor, Professor Yan Wang, helped me figure out my four-year plan, so I could graduate on time. Without her, I would have no idea how to figure out what classes I needed for graduation. Prof. Wang also teaches some of my classes. It is easy to talk with her and get advice on the best classes to take. She is also a great person to go to for resources such as scholarships. Since my relationships with my advisors are more family-like than business-like, it is super easy to reach out to them with any questions I might have.”

Favorite class

“My Japanese language classes are my favorite. They are fun and exciting, and since they are small, I get to know my professors better. The small class size also allows the professors to cater more to my individual learning needs inside and outside the classroom.”

Toughest class

“While my Japanese language classes are my favorite, they are also the toughest. Japanese is fun and exciting, but it is still a foreign language that is drastically different from English. Each lesson is a challenge and forces me to think, but they are good challenges that push me to be better.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I’ve had the opportunity to perform in a Japanese speech contest. It gave me a chance to practice talking in Japanese. Also, starting this year, the Japanese Department started a monthly newspaper, and I am one of the journalists. Every month, I get to write an article in both English and Japanese. This has given me an opportunity to practice translating, which will help me for my intended profession.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved in two clubs on campus, Velocity and Japanese Club. Velocity is a student-run consulting firm on campus that helps businesses. The org focuses on potential business opportunities, marketing, branding ideas, and so much more. Japanese Club is just a fun club for those interested in the culture and history of Japan. I am currently the secretary for Japanese Club as well.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

Carthage Activities Board bingo is definitely one of my favorite activities. Bingo at Carthage is a huge deal, and the games are always fun and lively. Another memory would be traveling to Mitsuwa with the Japanese Club. Mitsuwa is a Japanese Supermarket in Chicago.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise for me is how nice everyone is on campus. I really haven’t had a bad interaction with any faculty members or students. All of my professors have been nice and helpful, and people will hold the door for you nearly 100 percent of the time.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would think I was absolutely insane right now. When I was eight, I wanted to be a marine biologist, and I had no interest in learning any foreign language. I also hated writing back then, and English was my worst subject. I would probably think that there was no way I could be a translator or writer. However, I absolutely love the career path I am heading in and am really excited for my future.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Japanese is a very hard but fun language to learn. If you are thinking of learning an Asian language, I highly recommend Japanese. The Japanese Department is a tight-knit, almost family-like group of students and faculty. Within this department, you not only learn the language, but you also learn the rich history and culture of Japan as well. If you do not make it a major, I highly recommend minoring in Japanese.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …