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Lucas Kushner

Japanese

Email: k10lk01@kzoo.edu
Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI
Majors: Physics, Computer Science
Minors: Japanese and Computational Mathematics
Study Abroad: Tokyo, Japan
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Vanilla with Balsamic Vinegar drizzled on top
Best Adjective to Describe You: Outgoing


In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Japanese gives you a novel perspective on language and culture.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I was initially drawn to take Japanese because I was strongly considering studying abroad in Japan. After my first quarter, I found Japanese to be a remarkably interesting language, and decided that I would continue studying it and ultimately study abroad in Japan.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Don’t be afraid of Kanji! They can be terrifying at first, but if you can learn how to break them into parts and get comfortable with them they will become a huge tool for helping you learn Japanese, even beyond reading and writing.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I am an active juggler in Cirque du K, and many of the best jugglers in the world are Japanese. During my study abroad in Tokyo, I actually connected up with the student juggling group and got to practice and become friends with some of the world champions in their particular brand of juggling.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Sometimes, all you need to do is ask for help.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class was The Psychology of Creativity, a First-Year Seminar taught by Dr. Tan. It was an incredibly challenging course, and the material that we covered really made you think about the definitions and processes involved in “creativity.” That kind of critical analysis of a concept which is remarkably difficult to define was not only fascinating, but provided a strong grounding for the rest of my time at K.

What is your SIP?
I will be working on Software for Managing Academic Records and Transcripts, a project which involved creating the infrastructure for the managing of electronic academic and faculty records, ultimately with the goal of being implemented in two major universities in Sierra Leone.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
After graduating I plan to try to find work as a software developer. Ideally I’d like to work for one of the big tech companies: Google, Amazon, etc., but wherever I end up, I would like to be programming tools that are intuitive and easy for people to use.

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