half enough

"Half Enough" is Victoria's first regular column series. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Discover Nikkei.

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Japanese school memories, Part II: My Japanese names

My full legal name is Victoria Emily Mariko Kraus. Growing up, I responded to Bikki, the Japanese pronunciation of Vicki, my English nickname. My mother, friends and relatives in Japan, and Japanese family friends in the U.S. all called me Bikki’chan. (The “chan” being the Japanese version of the Spanish informal, affectionate and kiddish suffix, “ito” or “ita”, as in the names Juanito and Juanita.)

Before starting Japanese school, I was accustomed to the two versions of my nickname, Vicki and Bikki, and until starting Japanese school, I naively thought Bikki was my Japanese name. (I was seven years old.) …

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Japanese school memories, Part I

I recently had a conversation with an old high school friend reminiscing what we did on the weekends growing up. She went to Catholic school on Saturdays to prepare for her first communion and confirmation while I went to Japanese school. Since one of the aims of this website is to preserve and share the experiences of Nikkei from all over the world, I thought I would take the month of March to talk about my “Nikkei” experience attending Japanese school every Saturday for eight years, between the ages of 7 and 15. It was indeed an adventure. In part …

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Hopeless romantic semi-feminism: A follow-up on Valentine’s Day

I must reaffirm that being a hopeless romantic does not take away from me being anti-chauvinist. The fact that I demand to be treated like a lady when I’m on a date or in a relationship should not compromise how I am to be treated at all other times.

Some friends emailed me in response to the “Cross-culturing Valentine’s” piece I wrote last week. One friend said that I contradict myself as a semi-feminist anti-chauvinist because I believe that men should offer to pay for dinners, drinks, etc. Another friend (who’s currently living and working in Japan) said that what …

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Cross-culturing Valentine’s

I don’t consider myself a feminist. Mainly because I am, painful as it is to admit, a hopeless romantic. When it comes to Saint Valentine’s Day, however, my cynical nature of male chauvinism and excessively commercialized holidays comes out full force.

I’m the type of female who is generally independent, enjoys the single life, and can’t stand male chauvinists nor the females who allow such males to be chauvinists. I define chauvinists as males who treat and expect females to be subservient to them; men who treat women as though they (the women) were inferior and therefore expect them (the …

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Bad SAT/GRE genes?

I’m preparing to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to apply for graduate school. Studying for this exam takes me back to high school when taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)—the required exam for any high school student or graduate applying to an undergraduate four-year college— was the biggest thing.

I was college-bound but didn’t take the SAT seriously. I didn’t study for the exam and, I think, as a result didn’t do well. Although I took the exam three times my score didn’t improve. I went to a predominantly Hispanic (99.99%) high school, where the student body was considered …

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feminism romance Valentine's Day