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As a young child, I was, for some reason, obsessed with the idea of learning French. I tried a couple of languages, including Finnish at some point, but kept going back to French. I have no idea why because I was never exposed to the culture or the language itself at that age. I doubt I even knew anything about the country itself. I think I assumed learning French would make me sound smarter but, joke's on younger me, I have no skill in French and never have. In fact, I tend to struggle with romance languages in general. When I was in high school, my friends and I petitioned to get Japanese language classes. Up until that year, my high school only taught Spanish, French, and Italian but because the students really wanted it, they gave in and got us a Japanese teacher. I did pretty good in Japanese and finished the two years of classes the school offered but, because I was in an academic track at school, I had to take three years of language. So my last year of language study in high school was spent struggling through Italian. I grew up with older relatives who spoke Italian and English, mixing them together without a thought regardless of the younger relatives in the room who had no inkling of what they were saying in their native language. I thought that because I was Italian and I had family members who spoke the language a little bit, I would have an easier time with it than I had when I tried to learn French as a child. It helped that I liked the language more than Spanish or French. I was right that it was easier but it was still much more difficult for me than learning Japanese was even though it is ranked as an easier language to learn. I liked Japanese so much better, in fact, that I chose to major in it when I went to college. I decided to go to a small, private school when I went to college because I liked the Japanese program and Asian Studies department it had, as well as the study abroad opportunities. It even had a special housing for students studying Asian languages and foreign exchange students to live together in the hopes that they would become friends and help each other better their languages skills. I loved my teachers because they took the time to teach us using things the class found interesting, which was fairly easy because the classes tended to be small. Even when I took the higher language levels, we used topics like the history of instant ramen to practice because it was funny and educational. One of my teachers even told me that he became a Japanese teacher because of an English teacher he had in middle school and that was what inspired me to try teaching English myself. I want to inspire people to love learning languages like I have my entire life.