Syanne Thompson

Class Year



Albion, Illinois


Japanese and Mathematics

“The Carthage Japanese Club teaches some supplementary content given in presentation form by the upperclassmen. This club really helped my studies as well as my interest in Japan.”

Syanne Thompson, ’22

Career goal

“I would like to be a math teacher in Japan when I graduate. That goal will likely be hard to obtain until I am more fluent in Japanese, so I will try for an English teaching position or an interpreter. I have always really liked math, so I would like to combine my love for math and my love for the Japanese language.”

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

“Everyone in their respective departments is very willing to help me when I ask questions. I appreciate being able to ask questions without having to worry about whether or not I will get a straight answer. Because of this, I feel like I have been able to do my best in all my classes.”

Favorite class

“I like all of my Japanese classes. I come from a small town that only offered Spanish as a foreign language learning opportunity. I had no interest in learning Spanish, so I never took a foreign language until I came to Carthage. It uses another part of my brain, which is really fun for me.”

Campus involvement

“I am a member of Purl Jam and the Carthage Japanese Club. Purl Jam is a knitting and crocheting club that meets to share in the joy of creating things. They also help with some mission projects by making prayer shawls and baby hats to name a few. The Carthage Japanese Club teaches some supplementary content given in presentation form by the upperclassmen. This club really helped my studies as well as my interest in Japan.”

Toughest class

“Abstract Algebra has been my toughest class. My teacher was very helpful, but it was difficult. I just could not grasp some of the topics because it is a higher-level math class that is mostly theoretical.”


“I have received the Carthage Academic Honors and Queckenstendt Family scholarships. Without these, I probably would not be going to Carthage. To achieve my dream of working abroad in Japan, I felt like I had to study here, so I am forever grateful for receiving these scholarships.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I attended a math conference when I was a freshman. It reaffirmed my interest in math and showed me another route that I could take with it if I so desired. Another favorite memory of mine is the time the Carthage Japanese Club made Takoyaki in the lower level of The Tower. We made a Japanese dish to enjoy while we practiced speaking Japanese. It was a ton of fun.”

Favorite spot on campus

“There are usually red chairs set up near the path that leads from The Oaks Resident Halls down to The Tower Resident Hall terrace. The chairs sit halfway up on the hill and provide a good vantage point of the lake. It is very nice to just sit there a while to take in my thoughts and watch the lake.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I think the year 2020 itself that has been the biggest surprise so far. I am really glad that we were able to continue to have in-person classes.”

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

“Math is an interesting subject in general. It is used for a lot more than one would think. During my freshman year on campus, we hosted a math conference, and one of the talks at the end had a section about the number of mathematicians that are hired on at Disney. Math can be used in so many more ways than most people think, and that is amazing to me.

“Japanese has been fun to learn. The classes are taught in Japanese as well, so one gets the full experience when trying to learn. The Japanese Club also speaks about several different cultural topics as well, so there is always supplementary material to be found there. If you are even remotely interested in learning Japanese, I would suggest taking it. I have learned about so many different things just from my language classes.

“My advice to people who pick either of these majors is to stick with it if you like it. Do not give up just because you are struggling. There are so many people who are willing to help you succeed.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose to come to Carthage because I heard nothing but good things about their study abroad program. A lot of the other schools I was looking at did not have a study abroad program or they did not offer up much information about it when I asked.”