Monday, July 19, 2010

Presenting Dear Miss Breed

On July 15, I had a serendipitous chance to talk about the book I translated Dear Miss Breed to the English Department students of Seinan Jogakuin University, a Baptist Women’s University in Kitakyushu, where I live.

I spent some weeks to prepare for an hour speech, visual presentation materials and table displays, as well as the questionnaire to see how my talk would be received by the students.

I’m glad to report today how the talk went through the analysis of the collected questionnaires.

There were a total of 100 attendees consisting of 80 students, 10 faculty members and 10 participating Kitakyushu citizens. 70 questionnaires were collected from the students.

Here are the results.

Q: Were you aware that the U.S. Gov. had imprisoned its Nikkei citizens
during WWII?
24% replied YES and 76% NO.

Q: Have you heard or read about the book "Dear Miss Breed"?
All answered NO.

Q: Was the pace of the talk too fast, too slow or about right?
3% replied too slow, 9% too fast and 87% about right.

Other questions were:
Q: What was your overall response to today's talk?
Q: How might the talk be improved?
Q: Any additional comments or questions?

Some people answered in Japanese as I told them it was okay beforehand. I have combined the responses to these three questions. They are as follows in no particular order.

1. Visual presentation was helpful to understand the talk.
2. Pictures shown were beautiful.
3. The short DVD presentation with music was wonderful.
4. Letters were too small. Unable to read.
5. Good speech. Learned things I wasn't aware of.
6. Enjoyed the whole show, talk and presentation.
7. Difficult to hear sometimes.
8. Partially unable to understand.
9. It was an interesting talk.
10. Good talk, easy to understand
11. I'd like to listen in Japanese as well
12. Did not know anything about what happened with the Japanese-Americans during the WWII.
13. Great chance to learn new experience
14. Wishing the world no more wars – War is horrible, full of sorrow.
15. War shall never re-occur.
16. War is a heavy theme. Need more time to delve into.
17. The talk opened a new road to explore.
18. We shall not forget WWII.
19. Given a good chance to learn history never taught.
20. Learned importance of learning history.
21. Surprised about the internment camp of the Japanese-Americans.
22. Internment camp scenes were touching.
23. I'm surprised there are Japanese gardens in foreign countries.
24. Learned U.S. through the history of Japanese-Americans.
25. Miss Breed is a humane person.
26. Saw a movie about Japanese-Americans but heard a real story of Japanese-Americans for the first time.
27. Now I know there are people like Miss Breed even in the country we were fighting against.
28. Feel more people should know about Miss Breed.
29. I was very surprised about the history of Nikkei citizens in the U.S.
30. It's great to see foreigners can appreciate Japanese culture.
31. I'll go buy a book of "Dear Miss Breed" to read and recommend it to others.
32. I think foreigners in Japan can get along each other.
33. Enjoyed understandable English
34. Impressed with the speaker's sincere way of English talking.
35. Not much body gestures.

It is great feedback to have, which will help me improve my next presentation. Thanks to all attendees!

NOTE: A lecture report is available from the SeiJo English Web site.

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