Like Tanya Gordon said in her July 21 letter to the editor (“Sad over phase-out”) and Michael Bartley said in his July 25 letter (“Save Japanese course”), Masami Schaper, the Japanese teacher at Butler High School, is a brilliant person and sensei.
I took all four years of the language course and loved each of them. Just like many other students, I found my passion in life.
I’ll be a junior at the University of Pittsburgh this fall as a Japanese language and culture major, and I couldn’t be more excited.
I went with Mrs. Schaper to Japan in 2010 for a week and had one of the greatest experiences of my life. I also was able to participate in the speech competition at the University of Pittsburgh, which always was a lot of fun.
In addition, I was the president of the Japanese Club at Butler High during my senior year.
Thanks to Mrs. Schaper, my four years of high school were fantastic.
Since then, I have obsessed over continuing my studies, which took me to Tokyo for a semester during my sophomore year of college, and I have every intention of returning as soon as possible.
The greatest blessing I’ve received through school was having Mrs. Schaper as a teacher. She understood and supported my passion and helped me excel at Japanese, and is the only teacher that my friends and I still frequently communicate with.
It’s devastating that she might lose her job, and that a class managing to bring such light to people’s lives might disappear.
Currently, there’s a Facebook group called “Help Save Japanese Class!” hosted by myself, Theresa Skal, Rene Engal and Carrisa Bowman dedicated to organizing a meeting to collect signatures to hopefully reverse the school board’s decision to end the course.
I hope anyone disappointed by the decision will be able to participate. It will be between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Aug. 2 at Shelter 1 in Alameda Park.