“Why Psychology? I always just liked to mess with people’s minds!”
Now in her third year at SMC, Alice Madenokoji had some very interesting choices to make about her future. “I may be transferring to San Diego, but studying in Japan might be my choice as well. My family is Japanese, but I was born here,” she explains. “We moved to England, then Singapore, then Japan before I came back here to graduate from high school,” she says of her whirlwind education in the ‘real world.’ “But I think I’d like to study in Japan and maybe get back into that culture because I’ve been away a long time.”
Her fluency in Japanese and English will no doubt stand Alice in good stead, wherever she lands. And she may well pick up a few more languages as she forges her way. “All the teachers I’ve had at SMC have been excellent, so I’m very lucky. But all the language teachers are extremely talented as well.” But it’s in her chosen field of Psychology that Alice has found someone she considers a sort of mentor. “Professor Neswald is just someone who’s very passionate and excited about his subject, and you really feel that in his classes,” she says. “He makes it all exciting because, I think, he’s still in touch with his own roots from when he was a student. So he makes the examples he uses to teach us very clear. And he’s a great teacher!”
Though she’s had to ‘retire’ from break dancing and hip hop in order to make the good grades, Alice says, “I think SMC is just a very uplifting place, especially in the night classes. Those teachers know that you’re probably coming from work, so they’re very helpful and energizing. And I really think they all work extra hard to help their students along.”
Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.