Alumni Network Former International Students

Cathy Anatra

Dear Masahiro Hoshino san (and others at Nanzan's Center for International Education),

My name is Cathy Anatra. I am a 2010 alum of Nanzan's study abroad program. I enjoyed reading your message about your area of study. I cannot recall if we met while I was at Nanzan. I apologize. However I am happy to write to you now. Your studies sound very interesting and I agree with you that one's international experiences as a student greatly influences one's life. I definitely feel that my time spent in Japan was crucial for me and my goals for the future.

I miss all the kind faculty and people that I met at Nanzan. This past year I was able to see Machida Nanako sensei again during a reunion dinner in Chicago. It was so nice to meet her again and to meet fellow Nanzan exchange students from generations past. There was an alum from the 80s, the 90s, the 2000s, and the 2010s! I hope I can attend other reunion events in the future as well.

Among my fondest memories of Nanzan is the memory of taking sadou in the traditional tatami room. Walking to that class was like being transported to another era. I remember walking past the Center for Japanese Studies Office building (I think its location has changed since then) and then up a hill with trees shading it from one side. Stepping into the tea classroom was like going back in time. The instructors would be there to greet us always wearing traditional kimono. We would sit on the tatami and wait to take our turn in the ceremony. The formality yet simplicity of the ceremony never failed to move me.

Since graduating from the University of Rochester this past year I have applied to the JET Programme in Japan. Today I received an email informing me that I have been accepted into the program. I am absolutely elated. The JET Programme is such a wonderful program. I want to be a part of cultural exchange and internationalization. I feel that there is no higher calling and I hope I can make a difference in my students' studies and lives just as I have been so fortunate to have had many teachers make a difference in mine.

I will not know exactly where in Japan I will be placed until May or June. No matter where I am placed though, I want to make a trip to Nagoya and visit Nanzan once I am settled into my new position. I hope I can meet you in person later this year. I hope I can see all the Nanzan staff again too. Please let me know if I can share any other memories with you or help the Nanzan alumni network in any way.

Cathy Anatra
University of Rochester