The Night of the Tohoku Earthquake
群馬県立女子大(GPWU)には国際コミュニケーション学部があります。小さな田舎の大学ですが、生徒は日々英語学習に励んでいます。前期、2年生対象のエッセー授業でnarrative essayの課題を出しました。自分が経験したちょっとしたエピソードをまとめ、英語で書く課題です。文のまとめ方とつなぎ、そして単語選びが今回のポイントです。一人の生徒は東日本大震災について書きました。ニュースに出るほど大きな話ではないですが、きっと地震直後このような心あたたまる家族のやりとりがたくさんあっただろうな、と思いながら読みました。今日のOne Chapter英語リーディングは女子大生の英語宿題をどうぞ。
The Importance of Family
It was the most anxious and fearful night in my life. On March 11, 2011, a great earthquake happened in Miyagi where I lived at that time. All the public services stopped immediately and cell phones did not work. We had to survive the unprecedented situation.
That day, I was relaxing with my mother and grandmother in the living room as usual. After we felt the house shaking, we rushed out doors. My heart beat fast because of the shock. A few minutes later, my father and grandfather came home and we found out everyone was safe. I felt so relieved. However, the water supply, electricity and gas service had stopped, so I was very worried about how we would survive.
As it got dark, it became colder. We decided to sleep in the living room because we had only a few candles for light and one small oil stove. However, the stove was not warm enough to warm us. It was only 5 degrees even though we used the stove. I tried to sleep, but I could not. Suddenly, the house shook again.
There was a big aftershock with a seismic intensity of 6. A shelf fell down by my side. At once, my father blew out the candles to prevent a fire. The room was shrouded in darkness. Then I flew into anxiety and started to cry. I was full of fear about what might happen. What should I do if there was another big aftershock? When would the public services be restored? Had all my friends survived? I kept on crying.
My family was surprised, but they tried to soothe me. My grandmother smiled and told me, “Don’t worry, it will be all right.” My grandfather gave me his own blanket in spite of the cold. My mother began to tell funny stories about my childhood, and my father laughed loudly. Although they were also anxious, they cheered me up.
We laughed a lot and I fell asleep without noticing it. The next morning, I felt much better. Although things were still hard, such as no water supply, gas or electricity, I was able to think in a positive way. It was all thanks to my family. Actually, I had felt that I was already an adult and could live alone, but I was wrong. Nobody can live without their family. I learned this importance of family from the terrible experience. I decided to cherish my family and do my best to help them after this.
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