The Rice Bowl

2187 Words9 Pages
While his children were struggling with bridging their two worlds, Otoosan was busy working to support his family during the down turn in the economy and still provide for the well being of his mother and Shigeno in Japan. It was only a year after the Black Thursday that signaled the crash of the stock market that the children had returned to.
After World War I, rural America had lost more than 30% of their value, homes foreclosed, factories idle, millions without work, and families in need of basic necessities. Then the Dust Bowls of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandle added more misery to the fading economy. Farms abandoned and Americans from the Midwest started their migration to California seeking to find work or anything to sustain
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Moreover, there would be no classroom or school janitorial chores or strict dress codes like uniforms that she had to wear in Japan. Here, everyone made do with what the parents could afford during the Depression Years.
Throughout these hard times, most everyone brought their lunch and ate in the cafeteria. She was happy that her father could provide money to buy soup with her lunch. It was a pleasing change from hot green tea that the school in Japan provided at lunchtime. Lunch was nothing fancy for they made sandwiches with store bought bread and either spread jam or slap one slice of bologna on it. When fruits were in season, they added whatever was available for their lunch. Sometimes, she wished she could bring a “hinomaru bento´ because Okaasan didn’t bake bread.
She was beginning to enjoy school in America. One subject that she excelled in the elementary grade was penmanship. She was a stickler for neatness and exactness in writing; her writing was always letter perfect. Even later, people would ooh and aah over her penmanship.
When she completed the fifth grade, she moved to the six grade at General Grant School in town. At the end of three years, she was ready to enter Reedley High School. She was reaching the age of her hormonal changes and she was ignorant of what was happening to her body. At home she asked her older sisters. Both were brutally unkind in helping her understand the changes in her
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