On February 19th, I went with the student group OU Cousins to watch the OKC Thunder play against the Dallas Mavericks. I had a great time getting to know my Japanese Cousin and friend Mizuki better on the bus ride there and back as well as at the game itself.
I had never been to a Thunder game before, so the experience was almost as new to me as it was to Mizuki! The stadium was a happy chaotic mess, with loud and intense basketball fans packing the seats and walkways. Mizuki and I are not even big fans of basketball, but the excitement was contagious! Of course it also helped that the Thunder were victorious, winning out over the Mavs 104-89.
At the game, I got to tell Mizuki all about how the OKC Thunder have positively affected the state. She really liked the fact that the players are like a family, and take care of each other and love the community. Sometimes, because of the fact that the US is the melting pot of the world, I think it’s hard for foreign citizens to understand the American culture. Some would even argue that the country doesn’t really have a culture! Although it is far different and nowhere near as specific as the culture of most countries, I believe it has a culture all its own. It is simply very wide, and instead of being rooted in old traditions, is rooted in different people of various backgrounds working together for a common goal.
Mizuki also shared some aspects of Japanese culture with me. In Japan, every year there is a huge job-hunting season for new graduates, and it can be incredibly stressful for people to land full-time jobs. This mass-hiring ritual occurs every December, and young adults searching for jobs may send in over a hundred applications, go to various job presentations, and attend interviews with tens of potential employers. The pressure in Japan is very high to land a good job right out of school, because rarely does an employee leave or change companies in their working lifetime.
Mizuki is hoping to graduate after one more semester at her University in Hiroshima when she leaves OU, so she will be experiencing the anxiety of the new class of job-hunters this year. In fact, she is already pretty stressed and worried about the situation. However, I know that she will be successful!