i came from Japan to the United States in nineteen sixty-one. it was long long time ago. that means, I’m pretty old. i’m not a young girl anymore. hehe. and, uh, ah, in nineteen-sixties, early nineteen-sixties Japan was still, uh, in turmoil of recovering from the damage, they got from Second World War. and as soon as i came to the United State, i took toefl test, and i enrolled to the University of Illinois mathematics department, as a graduate student. well test_ toefl test, i have never taken, uh, multiple choice items. and, uh. i felt it’s awkward because, uh, it's, uh, requires a lot of different ways to, get answer. but anyway i barely, uh, passed. i didn’t flunk out. and, uh, i went to next_ i, Math department accepted me as a graduate student. so i started taking, uh, first, uh, courses, uh, English courses. and it was so elementary courses. but i enjoyed it because, uh, English education in Japan, at that time, was so bad. so bad that i couldn’t understand, uh, ah, uh, the radio... announcers were saying, "time." it said, "six o’clock in the morning." and i couldn’t catch it. and, i tried to fix my watch, and i listened to, listened to very carefully. but i couldn’t catch, the correct time. and finally i figured out, "okay, let’s go to walk in Urbana, a city, and find out_ uh, clock somewhere, haha and then i can fix my time easily" hehehe. oh that was_ so i started, you know, wandering a small town, Champagne, Urbana. and looking at restaurant, and whether or not they have a little, you know, clock there. hehehe and i found out it was very difficult to find clocks, in the stores. it is so funny. i think. so i finally_ i saw a fat, tall, big man, uh, was wearing a wrist watch. and so i ask, i ask him "i’m sorry. please help me". And he said, "yes". so i pointed to my wrist watch and said, uh, "what time it is?" hehehehe. and there i got fixed my time. and it was noon. so i spent, uh, six o’clock in a morning till noon, trying to fix my watch. hehehe, and find out the ti- right time. and that was such a shocking experience to me. but, it was not only, you know, experience.
and well i_ in Japan i studied mathematics fairly, uh, well in advanced class. so that, i had very good basic knowledge about it, so that masters, you know, or degree at University of Illinois, in math department, math department was a very easy one for me. and_ but one day i went to a class. guess what, i was almost going to faint because it was, time for little test. and everybody was ready with the pencil, pencils and waiting for instructors, give us, uh, exams, problems. and i did not catch obviously, uh, instructors announcement. and i was going to faint, and my head started spinning and, my face became, blushed and i lost_ i was almost going to faint. but, finally i told myself, "hey i missed English, probably he, he told me it was test today. and i didn’t catch it. so I have to do my best, even though i flunk out test." and so, i calmed down myself, after, told me myself, "hey calm down, and, uh, there’s no way to you know, uh, quit." so i took test and, uh, i made a B minus. it was pass. so it’s ok.
and, the second occasion was_ uh, it was a final exam. and, i studied well, studied studied, studied. and, i went to the classroom for taking, the final exam for, test. that was advanced, uh, analysis, uh, analysis course. and guess what. when i started, trying to take test, everybody has textbooks, notebooks. two or three of them, piling up on their desk. and in order to solve... answer the problems they kept referring to notebooks, textbooks. and, here i am, i didn’t have any... notebook, my notebook, and textbooks, and anything. and, i get to finish test without any references, or any note- my notebook, or my textbook. and as soon as i finished, uh, well, you know, exam, i went to my instructor and i said, "well I did not bring my notebook, or textbooks, while everybody was using them." I said "I was a little bit, uh, stupid. but, i think it’s not fair." so i asked him, "please let me re-take once more." and he said "well, well, if you pass it then, go for it. and next semester, you will be better with, uh, uh, English". and i, i said to me, "well, grades are not so important anyway". and, uh, i got B plus for that course. so that uh_ but then i decided why i_ what expression i missed. and i asked the_ my friend, one of my friends in class.,he told me it was, i missed "open book test."