Last Call: Haruko Hashimoto

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2014 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chains here.

Then + Now

Then + Now

People might know me as… the girl who wears Pokemon t-shirts (a prospie once identified me like that). Or cat lady.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… that one time a professor said an underclassman looked up to me.

On a Friday night, you might find yourself… in my room alone and ugly crying over anime about high school cycling/baseball teams because they’re working so hard. Alternatively, sitting around with friends and reading horoscopes.

The best class/professor at Brown is… I’m biased in picking these, but there aren’t enough Asian/Asian-American cultural studies type classes hyped about on this campus, so take this amazing class: “Asian Americans in Higher Education” with Professor Liza Cariaga-Lo.  She drops so much knowledge you’ve probably never known, and has the truest heart, so it’s a real learning experience for anyone, from any background.

Three things you wish you knew freshman year…

  1. Professors can be your besties—they want to talk smack about their department with you over lunch. Initiate the relationship!!! (People always tell you this, but I mean it!) Don’t count out grad students, either. They’re so inspiring.
  2. If you’re really good at something, or you’re really passionate—shoot, you don’t even need to be good—Brown will fund you to pursue it. Especially if you remain genuine and kind to people, they will really try to help you succeed.
  3. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Take that as you will, but for example: it took me until this year to realize that I didn’t have to prove how good my writing was to the professor. (Yes, people put weight on writing skills, and I understand I’m privileged in saying this.) At the end of the day, that 20 page paper just needs to be handed in. It doesn’t matter. Especially if you’re no longer a Freshman, it’s kinda like, you’ve done your time in this institution that values Academic jargon; spit your thoughts, that’s what matters. If you can communicate what’s going on inside your heart, mind, soul, to folks in other ways, Brown University paper assignments don’t mean anything in the long run. Write for yourself.

Ratty vs. V-Dub? Ratty 4eva: all fries all the time—except I’m not a huge fan of Sweet Potato Fries Wednesdays and Onion Ring Fridays. Salad bar on point; 3pm Ivy Room dessert on point; omelette line on point; open all day with none of that randomly inaccessible business, yes. Shout out to Tony and Larry, my friends!

The best random thing you did in your time at Brown is… eat a Spicy With after being stranded in an abandoned amusement park in Warwick.

One thing you wish you had done… used the laser cutter in the Granoff…

After graduation, you plan to… unsure, uncertain, and unafraid, unashamed about it. I want to farm. But for the summer I’ll most probably stay in Providence and freelance translate some manga for this digital company. They have an adult section translation gig that no one wants to pick up. XOXO.

What’s the hardest class you’ve taken at Brown? If you could do it over, would you still take it?
EAST 1950H – Japanese Short Fiction, Film and Anime: Reading and Translation. I would absolutely take it again. I stayed up until 4 a.m. most times, trying to pick the right words to convey what someone was trying to say in 1920’s proletarian Japan. It made me feel more incompetent than usual (haha) because I was never happy with the end result. Translation is political. What you pick to translate, and how you do it. And there’s always room to be better at it.  The world always needs more aware, radical, genuine, non-colonial translators—I promise you.  If you’re multi-lingual, you have the power to communicate between worlds—harness that privilege.

What’s been the most rewarding extracurricular that you’ve been a part of during your four years? Why?
Being an MPC. Can one even consider that an “extra” curricular?  I came into my consciousness/political identity through TWTP, and other interactions with MPC/friends my freshman year; it’s important to give that energy back. It also gave me a chance to really connect with like-minded folks, and actually collaborate our minds, which is incredible. I learned a lot and was supported a lot. #Playthings #Memeism

Sum up your American Studies thesis in one sentence, lolmythesis style.
Anime girls are empowered feminists and American fans are racist misogynists so they don’t get it.

One piece of advice for underclassmen?
Go out of your way to befriend people from Providence and Rhode Island who have nothing to do with Brown. (Meeting them via Thayer doesn’t count.) You don’t know anything about living here, and they’ll teach you and make you see how meaningful and endearing this place is. Don’t worry, I’m still learning, too.

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