20 students inducted in German and Japanese Honorary Society

German students accepting their awards.

TOWAMENCIN- On Friday May 17th, 20 students were inducted into the German and Japanese Honorary Society. In order to get inducted, students were to have a 3.5 GPA in Japanese and German and a 3.0 overall. German students had to write an essay in German and Japanese students had to be available for either student tutoring/Japanese conversational meetings and helping ESL students or doing community service.

The planning for the induction began in October but organizing and practicing for the performances began in April.

“I like making things memorable so I suggested students to include musical performance and something related to Japanese culture such as the Peach Boy play that you saw tonight. All these things require practicing time and commitment,” included Coyle Sensei.

There were other performances in addition to the Peach Boy play. Samuel Song and Abigail Parrotte performed Elegy on the cello and piano and Jonathan Gerweck and Shayona Gupta recited a poem called Permanence in Change by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. North Penn High School senior Jay Patel performed the song Mein Sehnem, Mein Wähnen.

“I chose to sing the song Mein Sehnen, Mein Wähnen because it’s about letting go amidst all this yearning and obsession. It was kind of my way of signifying this new chapter in my life since I’m graduating and moving to Germany to study next year. The song largely focuses on the struggles of moving on and reminiscing in the memories,” explained Patel.

The inductees of the night included: Zaki Azad, Sam Fogel, Lindsay Mallory, Ryan Martinez, Abigail Parrotte, Ashab Rahman, Samuel Song, Kevin Wang, and Alexander Martinez for the Japanese induction and Nick Clark, Kristianna Fink, Katelynn Higgins, Zach Hofstaedter, Lorna Loughery, Amy MacNair, Anika Rahman, Natalie Upright, Matthew Cohen, Jay Patel, and Jonathan Duong for the German induction.

“Being inducted into this group is a great honor, so I was very surprised when I learned that I was selected. To be honest, this was never really a goal of mine because I was just happy to learn a new language, but to see the results of my studies is very rewarding,” said North Penn High School sophomore Sam Fogel.

“When I was inducted I had a sense that I had finally made it. It was cool to see all those years of learning German concluding with my induction to the National Honors Society,” added Patel.

The night also included two special appearances made by two North Penn High School graduates Zenna Abdelwahab and Grace Lewis. Both spoke out to remember their time at North Penn and to give advice to the new inductees for this year.

“In our modern day times, I am confident in saying that the world needs a lot more flexible and open-minds who are able to see through another culture’s lens and be understanding, for each culture’s thought process is directly reflected in their language. There are some things in life that you can experience through acquiring a new language and one thing I learned in engineering is that you have to think in a versatile way and come out with outside the box solutions to very vigorous problems and there’s no better way than to challenge yourself to think like that than to learn another language. So always remember the opportunities and possibilities that come with it and the key to staying young forever. Keep up the awesome work everyone, I am so happy for and proud of each and every one of you,” said Abdelwahab.

“The possibilities that will open up to me and others as a result of the skills they gained here are phenomenal. Learning a language can give you a lot more than just bragging rights so you could impress your friends, it’s an investment—it pays off. It widens your world for you and allows you to explore an entirely new part of the world. What you are all doing here is so important. Don’t ever quit learning your language and if you can, travel to a country where they can speak it. Allow yourself to be immersed into the culture, the country, and the language. Never stop learning, it will change your life in ways you never thought possible,” added Lewis.

After they were awarded that night the students reflected on their time learning a language and all of their successes leading up to their induction.

“I think it is so important to learn other languages because it opens up so many doors. Especially in the way that you can communicate with people who you otherwise wouldn’t be able to because of a language barrier. Also, it makes the a trip to the country the language is spoken in significantly easier and it comes in handy. Learning languages here at North Penn has really widened my perspective on the world. I really enjoyed learning not only the language of another country, but its culture too. What I’ll most miss is definitely the teachers. Over these past 3 years I have gotten very close to both Herr Baker and Coyle Sensei. I appreciate greatly all the time they have spent outside of class for their respective language clubs and events such as the MCATFL oral proficiency contest and the Nihongo Philacon. I admire deeply how passionate they both are about teaching foreign language and they played a big role in my decision of going to college overseas,” said Patel.

“I think it’s important to learn other languages so that we can further understand other cultures. So much culture is embedded in language that in any language class you take, you’ll learn a lot more than just how to speak it. You’ll be introduced to a completely different culture and way of life,” added Fogel.

Both Coyle Sensei and Herr Baker hope that students will further their learning in languages and take that knowledge with them in their futures.

“Learning other languages will expand students’ perspectives and they’ll appreciate their own cultures more as they learn about other cultures. We live in a multicultural society so why not travel and use the language you learned to experience new cultures…and perhaps they’ll learn another language in the near future. I hope they’ll have a chance to visit Japan and really learn its culture. I expect all of my inductees to serve as an ambassador to promote friendship between Japan, the United States, and other countries,” mentioned Coyle.

“There is a friendship aspect to it too. It allows for inner personal interaction in a way that other subjects remain subjects where this subject is entirely people based and it also gives you a wider view on the world more than Philadelphia, more than Pennsylvania, more than the U.S.. It shows that you can make something of yourself and you could find a new place in a completely different part of the world,” added Baker.