An American diplomat at Friedrich Schiller School?

This is something I have not seen in my time as a student here at this school. Our English teacher Mrs Alvermann had invited Mr. Kenichiro Toko, who introduced himself as Ken, to our 11th-grade Advanced English class on 12th September. Being members of the sister city association Leipzig-Houston, both have met on different occasions in this regard.

After a school tour prepared by us students, including the school’s most prominent feature, the 120-year old tower, he told us this school would definitely stay in his mind. Particularly for the amazing view one has from up there. Back in our classroom, after a short intro about the role of the Consulate here in Mitteldeutschland from his side, we started an open discussion. What an amazing opportunity, since most of us have never spoken to a native speaker before. With his many experiences, may it be China, Japan, Ukraine or Germany and his American-Japanese heritage, he was able to answer all of our questions open-mindedly, free of stereotypes and prejudice and, to our surprise, on an eye-to-eye level.

Upon our question whether he likes it here, he answered, that he absolutely adores Leipzig as a city, but has to admit he is missing out on the good Chinese food he would find in America.

Annika Siegmund, Riem Al Hamoud