BY AMY JONES
Elizabeth Glasman wants the world to know that she is very excited for her new job: teaching people to speak English properly.
She finally begins tutoring ESL (English as a Second Language) students on the Puyallup campus of Pierce College this quarter, one major step closer to her dream of teaching.
Every college student knows how hard it is to stick to your major, but Glasman has attended Puyallup’s Pierce College campus for three years knowing exactly what she wants to do: teach the English language in Japan. She’s hoping to earn her Associate’s of Arts at Pierce by Fall 2014. After she finishes her Associate’s, she hopes to earn her Bachelor’s in Japanese and minor in English at the University of Washington.
She’s wanted to teach in Japan since she was 17 and has stuck to her guns, despite a few setbacks caused by poor health, according to her mother, Leann. After missing two semesters, she began to reach for her ambition again by applying for a tutoring job at Pierce. “Tutoring, for me,” she says, “is another stepping stone on my way to Japan. And when I get to Japan, then, well, sky’s the limit.”
Glasman remembers being intrigued by Japan since she was 15, when she was first introduced to the manga and anime art forms. “I tried for a while to actually draw like that, because I just thought that the lines and and then I realized that I was much better suited to writing.” She continued her interest in Japanese culture, but was unsure on how to make her passion work for her. Then she discovered that English teachers in Japan were less likely to teach students how to speak language, although most Japanese understand written English.
“So, I decided to do something about it,” Glasman says. “It didn’t make sense, to me, to not know how to speak the language. Not knowing how to speak English, even if you know how to write it, is like only having half of the language’s heart.”
After she discovered her talent at writing, Glasman decided to write a book. “It’s a work in progress, and now that I’m back in school, I have less time to write.” Her friend Abigail Karikari, who been one of many proofreaders, says that it has potential and “an imaginative spark”.
She says that she’s been looking forward to tutoring Japanese for awhile, and is grateful for the chance to help others with their goals. Her friends agree, and have themselves been the recipient of some casual tutoring.“Elizabeth is very enthusiastic about her ambitions,” Joy Lauterbach, a friend, added. “She can be extremely tenacious when she puts her mind to it.”
Her family has supported her to the utmost ability, having hosted exchange students three times since her senior year of high school, one from Korea and the others from Japan. Her father, Ray Glasman, stated that, “In a way, the entire family learned from those experiences. Each one of those girls is like family to us.”
Glasman and her family are currently hosting another exchange student from Japan. Glasman says hosting exchange students is like having a tiny piece of Japan with her -“If I can’t go to Japan right now, then it comes to me!”