Seeds from Yap, Story #2, Ms. IWASAKI Mio

The choice of not to go school

My junior high school was placed just behind the shopping street. One day when I was walking the cobblestone road to go school, I thought “I don’t have to go to school anymore” and turned back home. I strongly remember the moment till now

After summer vacation of the second year of junior high school, Mio chose not to go school anymore. She says the reason was because she was not accustomed to being a part of a group and she was feeling trapped which is peculiar to junior highschool.

I was a relatively cooperative person but the atmosphere did not agree with me. That time I was so sleepy in the morning due to some problems in the development process. I was wondering why we have to wake up and go to school at the same time and study in the same classroom with people of the same age and learning from somebody who I didn’t choose.. At that time, I really didn’t like that kind of homogeneity and uniformity. Actually it is still the same till now.

She chose not to go school by herself but it was the time when she had to face suffering and difficulties.

When I read back the diary which I wrote that time, I could understand that I was very frustrated. Since my parents were old, they didn’t understand my choice and scolded me a lot. But it was my stubborn choice. On the other hand, of course, other students who go to school are studying properly and trying to decide their course. I also wanted to study, earn money in the future too. I was worrying and kept thinking that I have to change. I think it was the time when I was most desperate to face myself.

It was when she “went astray”, in her own words, that she decided to participate in the ‘Yap-Japan Cultural Exchange Program’. Her brother who had connections with TAKANO Takako (Chairperson of ECOPLUS) recommended her to join the program and she stepped on Yap Island in 1999 and 2001.

Mio’s favorite picture of the path in Yap island.