話說我來這邊之後念的是公立大學，也是分類中的College, 有人會叫她社區大學，不過嚴格來說應該是縣立大學，一般的公立University，通常是更多的學院組成的學校或是規模較大的州立大學。目前修的學位是Ａ.Ａ.Ｓ.，也有人稱作準學士，也就是2年制的學位。通常這個學程是比較偏向就業取向的教育學程，一方面來說是因為念書很貴而美國人經濟獨立得早，或者是再次入學進修（像我們班有過半數的爸爸媽媽...），念得久背債就多; 另一方面來看也跟美國人似乎比較不會覺得學歷跟工作有正相關有關（有益助但不是等比級數正相關），所以在美國還滿常見的。基本上個人認為這就跟台灣的二專三專學位很像，如果你問我我應該會跟你說我在讀專科。（然後就有人傻眼了...XD）
回到主題，如果他真的就是個開心的職業學校，把學生的錢收完訓練完丟出去就算了，偏偏這間據說排行全美college前十名的學校（一直到外國學生座談會那天介紹我才知道這間學校“相較之下”是條件門檻比較高的College...<-完全搞不清楚狀況的外國人ＸＤＤＤＤ）又有那麼一點野心，所以他的學生“相較之下”也期待要有相當的水準才能畢業。 基於這樣的心態和邏輯，可能也是預備以後學生如果要拿上大學學位可以平轉，除了專業相關的課程（約56學分）還有一般通識課程（約27學分）要在一併在兩年內修完。有驚無險地（被嚇大地）上完暑期的超音波概論。幾經波折之後，總算是（半）正式用學生身份開始秋季班的學程，算是正式的踏入美國在地人的教育體制裡面了。換言之，我開始一周幾天地，在美國過小大一的生活了....XD。 這感覺很有趣，有點一個學校兩個世界的感覺。今天專業課程的同學都是中年人比較多，隔天上通識課全都變成青少年。夾在這兩個年齡層之間的我，覺得這是很新鮮的體驗。 這個學期的挑戰不在我原本以為會出現的專業課程，而是美國大學通識課程 -- English 101。代號101課程通常都是基礎課程，所以English 101當然等同於台灣大學通事教育中的國文課。既然大家高中都念過國文，那麼大學來上點文學賞析閱讀還有作文當然不為過，而且預期的狀態是你已經有足夠能力閱讀分析各式文章和寫作，這很合理。相同的期待套用在英文課的時候就變得讓外國人崩潰。 我相信經過這樣的訓練，語文能力一定會更加的進步。而且更棒的是，上帝大概決定要扎實地增加重量訓練的份量，我隨機亂選的課堂教授居然是個美國人也覺得很難纏的教授喔耶!!!! 以前大學班上的韓國僑生對不起～～～我應該要多幫你一點的～嗚嗚～這對外國人真的好殘酷阿阿阿！！！～～～＠＠ 喔對，說到這，另外有個實用的小建議，直接來念研究所就可以避開這個兇惡的課程，哈哈哈。
總之，我遭逢求學史上第一個強敵，EN101。（據說李小姐除了101，還要通過102 才能畢業喔啾咪～^_<*） 下面這篇作文是我的第一份作業，要我們用三頁的篇幅描述一個生命當中重大的，逼得自己不得不長大的時刻，我才寫了一點開頭（三頁的篇幅好長阿，這裡連一頁都不到），連草稿都還沒寫完，但是不管怎麼樣，我想這篇作文寫完之後會很值得記念。 [長文警告～]
Ojijan, the term “grandfather” in Japanese, is what I called him since I was a child. I lived with my grandparents until I had gone to high school. My parents were too busy to take care of a little girl; their business had failed and they wanted to start their career over. In that time, I could barely see them. I still remember the nights I woke up suddenly, and ran to my grandparents’ room as fast as a monster chasing me. I knocked on their door and yelled, “Ojijan, Ojijan, open the door!” My grandfather awoke. He opened the door and looked at me with his sleepy eyes, and asked, “Dear, are you okay? What happened?” I cried loudly and almost could not breathe. He patted my back to clam me, and he brought me to the living room. “Come here,” he turned on the light, “Do you want some cookies?” and he said, with his gentle voice. “Where is mom? Ojijan, I want my mom.” I was still weeping, but much better now because of the sweet cookies. Then he told me my parents were busy; they were still working somewhere and could not get home before I went to bed again. “Can I stay up and wait till they come home?” I asked. “I am sorry dear, I am afraid that you must go to bed now.” Ojijan brought me to my room, and sent me to bed. “Good night, dear.” “Good night, Ojijan.”
As time went on, I went to primary school. I learned new things at school, and shared with my grandfather once I got home. We had afternoon tea, he always let me sit on his knee. Sometimes he told me his own story. He told me about the WW II and his early life when he was in the Japanese army. Sometimes, we just sat together; he would turn on the radio, and fell asleep. His eyes were closed, and his mouth was slightly opened. I still sat on his knee, and stared at him carefully. Ojijan had brighter skin color then his friends, and he did not have many age spots on his face. For me, although he was older than 75, he always looked like a man who was around 65 and just retired from his career. The clearest part I can remember was his smell. He smelled like mint and cigarette mixed together and warmed up by his own temperature. I could always smelled it, especially on his fingers. Sometimes I wear Ojijan’s shirt just because being surrounded by his smell made me feel secure.
Soon I was a high school student I lived in the dorm but went home every weekend. Sometimes I visited my grandparents with my father and mother, but I didn’t feel comfortable staying with my grandfather; we were not as close as we used to anymore. I tried to be cool, but Ojijan could not understand it. He still spoke to me like I was a little girl. “Dear, do you want some cookies?” He asks. “No thanks, Ojijan.” “Okay.” He smiled.
I thought everything would be the same way forever. One day, when I got back from school, I heard the voice message from my mother. ”Grandpa is in the hospital. He fainted in his garden this morning. Dad and I are on the way to the hospital and I will call you later.” Ojijan? Is that a joke? I know that I should be there, with everyone, but I didn’t go. It was not the weekend yet, and I had an exam tomorrow. There were classes I needed to attend, and I could visit him over the weekend. Ojijan will be okay, and he will ask me to have some cookies. I did not visit him that weekend nor the other weekends. Ojijan was diagnosed with acute leukemia, and the disease made him weaker and weaker. I always felt uncomfortable because he looked swollen from the donors’ blood. He went to the hospital a lot. I want to his house a lot, but never tried to knock on his door. I was so afraid to look at him face to face. Where was Ojijan? I tried to search for him through the window, but he was not in the house.
Ojijan was sent to the emergency room around midnight; my parents went to hospital after they got the phone call and I forced myself to go with them. Almost an instinct, I know that might be the last chance. I had to face my grandfather and the fear of losing my loved one. I tried to avoid his illness by running away, but he was still getting worse. I saw a tired old man in brown pajama lying on the stretcher. I scrupled and walked slowly to Ojijan, and sat down next to him; the unique smell of elder man ran into my nose. It was not just like the smell I was familiar with. It was not the smell always sending the little girl to a world of sweet dreams, but more like a smell of an old man who was dying. His eyes were closed, and I stared at him. His face was white, but the cheeks were pink because of blood allergy. He was slightly sweating; the sweat made the light reflect on his fore head, and age spots on his face became so clear and easy to be seen. He was no longer the Ojijan I remembered. My grandfather heard our voice and opened his eyes. He turned his face to me and said something. I could not hear his voice clearly, so I moved forward to him. He smiled and said, "Dear, how are you?" with his gentle voice, but much weaker now, “Do you want some cookies?" Water came out form my eyes; a bitter taste from the water went into my mouth. He looked at me and wanted to comfort me as he always did. I realized-- Ojijan was here.
He could not go home; I am glad that I was there with him in his last few days. Though the death of Ojijan was like a charcoal drawing line on the ground; it separated the age of my childhood, which smelled like mint and cigarette mixed together. However, I know he is still with me.