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Power of a Paper

Grades and awards are nifty, but Kumekawa’s approval means the most, Woll says, as it comes from a Japanese American himself interned with his family during the war

Edited by H. Jay Burns and Doug Hubley

First, Christine Woll ’07 aced her research paper. Then it was declared best paper from a First Year Seminar in a contest sponsored by E-clectic, an online student journal.

And then Woll heard from Glenn Kumekawa ’50. He’d read her work on the Bates Web site and complimented her research into poetry written by Japanese Americans and Japanese aliens in relocation camps during World War II.

Kumekawa also expressed his approval to Woll’s seminar professor, Atsuko Hirai, the Kazushige Hirasawa Professor of History: “The sensitivity expressed, the empathy displayed, the quiet sense of outrage, and continuously the notion that we must learn from history are indeed quite impressive,” he wrote.

Grades and awards are nifty, but Kumekawa’s approval means the most, Woll says, as it comes from a Japanese American himself interned with his family during the war, first in a racetrack stable in San Francisco, then in Topaz, Utah.

“It made me feel like I did something important,” says Woll, of Pembroke, Mass. Read Woll’s essay: www.bates.edu/eclectic/vol2iss1/ fysfall2003.html


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