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Jakob Rodseth

Ann Arbor, Michigan
East Asian Studies and Computer Science
Study Abroad:
Hikone, Japan
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Mochi Green Tea
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Modern and ancient Japanese cultures harmonize, producing a remarkable language.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I wanted to study abroad in Japan, so taking Japanese was an obvious choice. However, the professors, classroom experience, and the intricacies of the language have kept me enthralled from the start.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
If you’d like to add more dimension to your understanding and comprehension of Japanese, taking a few Japanese history courses in parallel to language classes allows one to make connections between the history and culture of Japan and the language; these connections reveal the importance in the intricate details of the language and their social implications.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I’ve been in love with pottery since high school and Japanese pottery produces, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful pieces in the world. Japanese animation, painting, and woodworking have also made a huge impression on me, fundamentally shaping my love of art.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Developing the ability to learn deeply and efficiently is far more important than learning in and of itself.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
JAPN-242, “Contested History”. Discussing the myriad of historic analyses of the first and only use of nuclear weapons in war makes one reconsider everything from one’s morality to economic convictions. The class evolved my understanding of violence, humanity, and compassion in a way no other experience has.

What is your SIP?
I am developing low-cost software for use in the research and treatment of neuromuscular disabilities at the University of Michigan NeuRRo lab.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I hope to pursue a career in advanced prosthetics with the first step being graduate school at the University of Michigan.

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