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I Love Elkton, Part 3

Getting Used to My Brand New Environment

Akihito Oishi from Japan

Bob Kurtz feeding calves on the farm
Photo from the Kurtz family
Bob Kurtz feeding calves on the farm.

Akihito soon got used to life in Elkton and began to participate actively in several school activities.

Homecoming day's night was the first day for me that I really enjoyed at school.

I understood why parents watch their children's game, while we can't watch such games at all.

And then I understood what "Elkton Elks" was. Elkton Elks is a team, not a club activity. Every team consists not only its players, but it consists cheerleaders, audience, and enemy team. Japanese school sports activity lacks their fans.

This made our school team unable to be a "real" team. That's why most of Japanese school doesn't have a team name, like Elkton Elks. I enjoyed watching students' games for the first time.

Also I enjoyed dancing for the first time. Anyway, I took about whole month to be acclimated to my brand-new environment.

I could join Elkton Elks as a fan since the homecoming game. This made me want to join Elkton Elks as a player. I joined boys' basketball team for the first time.

As I almost have never played before, I watched girls' basketball game carefully, especially the very tall girl's (these words mean Nicki Kinner, I didn't know her name at that time) play. Of course, I was the worst player on our team, but I could enjoy with teammates and coaches.

I went to the weightlifting room for the first time with Ryan Stoltenburg. He plays basketball very well. I have never seen a player who is able to dunkshoot.

I think I could play basketball a little bit better thanks to my teammates, Mr. Gebhart and Mr. Swenson. Mr. Swenson sometimes gave me the chance to play a game. I couldn't make my shot at all, but he praised my defense. And basketball made me overcome my carsickness.

Go to part 4: "Broken Ears", Learning to Dance, and Graduating

This letter was originally published in the August 19, 1999 issue of the Elkton Record (Elkton, South Dakota) by the editor, Mary Ann Stuefen

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