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I am Sunny メール
作者 Sunny   
2016/07/19 Tuesday 14:52:08 JST

So far, after being in Akagi Lab. for around 9 months, I feel so lucky and honored to join this splendid team.


I am Sunny from Nanjing, China. Four years ago, I came to Tokyo to enter Waseda University, the world-famous Japanese institution of higher education. Unlike most Chinese students studying in Japan, I learn in English. Thanks to Waseda’s English program, I was able to start my college life in Japan with almost no Japanese basics. The first few months at Waseda was not tough at all but full of pleasure. I was offered a variety of courses in English and I got to know friends from all over the world. Such experience that I never had made me feel excited and have a great longing for the life that I was going to have at Waseda for the following four years.


However, things don’t always go the way I thought they would. In 2013, after one year’s wide study I finished the study of introductory courses of many disciplines that I have interests in, such as structural mechanics, hydraulics, soil mechanics, computer science, mechatronics, etc.. While at the same time, I started to become confused as I realized that I cannot make the decision about which field I should choose to continue studying. As a sophomore student, I was perplexed by that sorrow for a long time.

The moment when I first had the idea of joining Akagi Lab. was at the first class of Soil Mechanics, when Professor Akagi was giving us an overview of the course as well as an introduction to the fundamentals of soil mechanics. He didn’t talk much, as he never does in daily life, which I gradually discovered in the past two years. Most of the time in that lecture, he was standing in front of the blackboard writing, with his back to us. I still remember that one of my classmates frowned to me, saying with confusion “WHAT is this??” — she was not used to his way of teaching. Truly it seemed to be very rare to see a professor giving lecture in this way. The common image would naturally be the usage of slides, and the interactive communication with students.


However, that lecture was somehow appealing to me and his writing on the blackboard was one thing that I can hardly forget. While I was copying, all the graphs he drew and the notes he wrote down on the board explained to me all the basic concepts of soil mechanics, such as pore pressure, effective stress and drainage, in a clear, comprehensible way. Then all of a sudden, I seemed to understand why Pro. Akagi gave us the lecture in that way — he was expecting us to comprehend and memorize those very important fundamental contents in the process of transcribing notes.


It was not only Pro. Akagi’s serious attitude about teaching, but also the representational feature of soil mechanics that attracted me. For me, it is normally difficult to understand abstract theoretical concepts such as those in chemistry and modern physics as I can hardly visualize the reactions, electronic transition and theory of relativity. On the other hand, disciplines like soil mechanics provide me with more possibility to picture the forces acting on soil and the resulting deformation. That is why I decided to join Akagi Lab. to deal with soil.


Honestly I was quite nervous before entering the lab, as I realized I didn’t have enough knowledge about soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering. All I had learned was from two introductory courses, while I had no idea of many concepts that I expected required for the study of soil, such as finite element method. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to work with and learn from Dr. Alireza.


Dr. Alireza from Iran is the assistant professor of Akagi Lab. and I was assigned to do the study of shield tunneling numerical simulation together with him. Ever since our first meeting, I have owed him a lot of gratitude as he had completed a lot of tasks that should have been done by myself. It was him that developed the research plan and schedule for me at the beginning; It was him that introduced the format and points to pay attention to while writing a graduation thesis; It was also him that taught me finite element method from scratch. He is always patient, careful but also strict when reviewing my work. Sometimes I even believe that I would not be able to graduate without his help. It was such an honor and pleasure for me to work with Dr. Alireza. The time I spent with him and the things I learnt from him will be the treasure of my whole life.


I go to the office twice a week, to work on numerical simulation of shield tunneling, or to check the finished part of my thesis with Dr. Alireza. The sessions last two hours usually and sometimes they can be quite tiring. I would be super lucky if Mrs. Ariura is also in the office at such time. Mrs. Ariura is the secretary of Akagi office. She is very nice, always smiling and most importantly, she distributes delicious cookies! There were many times when I got stuck and tired from my study and her cookies fueled me up and lighted up my day. It is Mrs. Ariura that makes the office as warm and relaxing as home.


I didn’t have many chances to meet the other members of Akagi Lab. except in some events such as New Year party and site visits. Despite my poor Japanese, they were always friendly and always glad to talk to me, which never made me feel lonely. By the way, there are many interesting activities in Akagi Lab. such the coming Bowling and Beer Day, which I am looking greatly forward to.


Nine months have passed by so quickly and I am about to graduate, but the good news is I can stay another two years here for further study. I will cherish every minute here, try my best on future study and hope I can leave Akagi Lab. some day without any regret.


Traveling in London, December 2014


Traveling around Hakone, April 2016


Second bungy jum at Ryuuin Suspension Bridge, Ibaraki, March 2016

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