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Pleased to meet you...

I'm Sophia, a 21-year-old journalism and Japanese major. I'm from Ormond Beach, a town near Daytona Beach. I've lived in Florida for about 12 years. Before I moved to Florida, I lived in Tucson, Arizona. I'm pretty used to the warm climate.

My family is pretty small. My parents, David and Thuy (Twee) Goode, own a small franchise called Larry's Giant Subs. It keeps us very busy. My mother also works at Dillards department store. My grandmother also lives with the family, and I have known her my entire life. She speaks little English, but we are still very close. She and my mother came to the United States in 1975 from Vietnam just as Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, was falling. It must have been a very scary time for my mother, as she was about my age when she left her home country for good.

My father, David, who is actally my stepfather, is a very hard-working person who has always encouraged me to become an educated and independant person. I consider him a real dad. My brother, Will, is 24. He lives in Baltimore and is very musically and artistically talented. He works as a truck driver. He is a sincere and giving person.

Most of our family lives in New England, and there is no one left on my mother's side. I am now in my third-year at the University of Florida, and I don't think I could be happier. I have kept myself busy with journalism classes and have worked at the Alligator and other places. Now, I have an internship at The Gainesville Sun, where I work about 20 hours a week. It's keeping me busy, and it's a good experience. I have an internship this summer withThe Savannah Morning News. I'm excited about that because I am ready to get out of Gainesville for the summer and make a few dollars.

I play for the UF women's rugby team. I began playing last semester, with no prior experience, and I have learned to absolutely love it.

I have an interest in Japan. At first, I started taking the language course to fulfill a language requirement. I began to realize that despite the difficulty of the classes, I enjoyed learning about the language and the culture. In addition, the classes are very small and personal. This September, I will be studying in Tokyo for 11 months. I am excited, but a little nervous to test out my language skills.

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