Brian Keele 22

Brian Keele

Class Year

’22

Hometown

Germantown Hills, Illinois

Major(s)

Japanese

“Carthage gave me the chance to study abroad in Tokyo, Japan for nearly a whole year. I view this opportunity to live, study, and grow in Japan as one of the greatest chances ever presented to me.”

Brian Keele, ’22

Career goal

“Upon graduating, I hope to become an English teacher in the Tokyo area of Japan. I am still a bit undecided as to which grade level I want to teach, but it is my dream to someday help teach students the English language so that they can be successful in their future endeavors.”

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

Professor Yan Wang not only treats students with great kindness and respect, but she also provides students with numerous opportunities to immerse themselves in the world of foreign language. She is always there for me whenever I have questions or concerns about classes or examinations, need help with a particular section in our Japanese textbook, or am interested in a certain aspect of Asian history. Prof. Wang was the first teacher I ever met at Carthage, and I am honored to be under the guidance and tutelage of such a kind, intelligent, and hard-working professor.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class(es) so far are the Oral Japanese classes. In these classes, I was able to practice my speaking and social skills in Japanese, and I was also taught by one of our hard-working Target Language Experts (TLE). Being able to interact with my fellow classmates in such a small class was incredibly enjoyable and even quite relaxing.”

Campus involvement

The extracurricular activities at Carthage provide great opportunities to meet new friends and to lessen the stress of the college lifestyle. As for me, I am currently involved in Carthage’s Japanese Club and Pep Band. I also hope to join Alpha Mu Gamma, Foreign Language Honor Fraternity once I return to America after my study abroad expenditure.”

Toughest class

“When I was a freshman, I severely underestimated the difficulty of Western Heritage. I was caught off guard by how difficult and busy the class truly was. I still did well in the end, but I found that the class was much more difficult in comparison to the other courses I was taking at the time. Just prepare for it, and you’ll be fine.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Carthage gave me the chance to study abroad in Tokyo, Japan for nearly a whole year. I view this opportunity to live, study, and grow in Japan as one of the greatest chances ever presented to me. The sheer exposure to the city, the people, and the language is reason enough, but I also had many opportunities in Japan to further my knowledge of the history and culture of the country itself!

“I will be forever grateful that Carthage has allowed me to take such a giant leap forward in my future endeavors by allowing me to study abroad. I absolutely do not take it for granted.”

Scholarships

“When I was an incoming freshman, I was one of the two recipients who received the College’s Japanese Modern Language Scholarships. This scholarship is both a great honor and a great responsibility; however, I have to work very hard to not only keep my grades up, but to also be an ideal representative of the department and Carthage as a whole.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“One of my most enduring memories is the time I participated in the Pep Band march during the Homecoming Parade my freshman year. I was playing the flute alongside my fellow Carthaginians, and I loved how we were representing our school colors! 

“The second greatest memory I have is when I went with all of the Japanese students to the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee to compete in a Japanese poetry and speech competition. It felt great winning the first prize in my division and representing Carthage alongside the other students in the program!”

Favorite spot on campus

“Behind Johnson Hall and The Tower lies a little stone bench with a pair of red binoculars looking out over the vastness of Lake Michigan. Whenever I feel like being in a place of pure calm and bliss, that spot immediately comes to mind.”

Biggest surprise so far

“My biggest surprise has to be how surreal it all felt once I was officially living in my dormitory. I always knew that living away from my family and going to school would be difficult, but I was surprised by how natural it all felt. As adults, we all leave home to pursue our own dreams and goals, but it is definitely a rough change of pace. I always missed my family whenever I would wake up the next day, but at the same time, I always knew in my heart that I was ready to tackle whatever college could throw at me.”

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

“When I was a child, I always wanted to be a microbiologist. Microscopes, bacteria, and topics related to science fascinated me, so I decided that I would become the greatest microbiologist the world had ever seen! But time changes us. Seeing the path I have chosen for myself as an adult would most certainly cause my 8-year-old self to wonder how my dream field managed to change from science to foreign language.”

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

“Actively spend time with and talk to the other Japanese major students as well as the Japanese teachers. The small class sizes give students ample opportunities to make new friends, ask questions about Japan or the Japanese language, get advice, and even learn about the history of the College. I spent a great deal of time talking with my professors and friends in the Japanese program. Because of this, I have not only improved my language skills, but I also made the most of Carthage’s small, but connected, class sizes.”

Why Carthage?

“There are many reasons why I decided to attend Carthage, but the main reason is its inclusion of a Japanese major, not just a minor.

“Among the numerous other colleges to which I was interested in applying, none of them had the opportunities that Carthage has provided me. Seeing how passionate Carthage is about their Modern Languages Department ultimately made me make the decision to attend the school.”