第26回 琴丘杯中学生英語スピーチコンテスト 結果
第１位 姫路市教育長賞 石田 貴実加さん （白鷺小中学校８年）Never Categorize Yourself
第２位 琴丘高等学校長賞 鯉田 彩那さん （神南中学校３年） The magic of a smile
第３位 姫路獨協大学長賞 ラフマン 蒼さん （灘中学校３年） I am…
第４位 神戸新聞社賞 松本 和央さん （龍野西中学校３年） To my sister
第５位 日本英語検定協会賞 伊藤 万穂さん （神南中学校３年） Chase your dream
しらさぎ会特別賞 今井 修司さん （龍野東中学校３年） Living As One Race
Never Categorize Yourself
Hakuro Elementary and Junior high school
I usually wear a pair of dark colored pants, a simple shirt, white sneakers, and carry a yellow backpack. I don’t like to go shopping or to go the hair salon. My parents always have difficulty persuading me to do those kinds of things. Additionally, I really hate to go to the bathroom with my classmates. I think the bathroom is a place to visit alone.
Now I will ask you. “Am I an ordinary eighth grade girl?” Generally, most eighth grade girls like to go shopping with their friends together at school. They seem different from me. When I became a junior high student, I started to think to myself, “Am I weird? “Do I have to do the same things that other girls do?” My mother wants me to wear a girly dress. My father bought me a pink t-shirt. Girly outfits are not my cup of tea. People around me worry about my relationship with girls at school because I love playing video games with male friends. On the other hand, I also like to chat with female friends, but I don’t go to the bathroom with them. What’s wrong?
Last year I visited Belgium as a Himeji City Youth Ambassador. I stayed with a host family. When you think of a Belgian person, what kind of appearance do you imagine? Probably, a tall, blonde, blue-eyed person eating Godiva chocolate. Actually, my host father is as tall as I, and he has black eyes and black hair. He doesn’t like chocolate. He is a Korean Belgian. Various ethnicities are intermingled in the country. There is no typical Belgian.
I realized that there is no such thing as a “normal eighth grade girl.” I am a girl biologically. I am an eighth grader. But the most important thing is that I am who I am. This is me.
Do you know what you lose when you let others categorize you? The answer is yourself. You try to become someone whom others think you should be. However, that “someone” is not you, sometimes far from being yourself. You are categorizing yourself.
Additionally, the moment you categorize a classmate as girly, your observation stops there. You will no longer try to know more about her. She may love rock music or may be good at martial arts. She may categorize herself and hide the facts.
In sum, if you categorize a person, you will miss a great opportunity to appreziate them. Never categorize yourself.