Developing Ideas

Today, we had three activities that developed my ideas. First of all, we went to Busboys & Poets at the U Street Corridor and we met with Andy Shallal, businessman and activist. Busboys & Poets is not only a restaurant, but a community for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers, as we could see a lot of arts and quotes on the wall. It creates a place where everyone is welcomed and treated equal. In his story of experiences, his decision that leads to success was very impressive. This story reminds me of the importance of passion which allows us to succeed in life and make the world better.

Next, we shared Japanese culture with elementary school students. After introducing ourselves and demonstrating Sumo, we taught them numbers in Japanese, paper Sumo, and Origami. I was in the Origami group so we taught them how to make Japanese Samurai Hats (they are called Kabuto in Japanese), paper fortune tellers and paper cranes. We made them as a choice so that the children could choose one of them. In this activity, I felt regret about the lack of preparation. When we planned this activity the day before, we were going to teach how to make paper Shuriken to those who had finished making the paper fortune teller or the hat. In fact, it wasn’t possible to make paper Shuriken because we had no time. That was our mistake: we didn’t think enough about the time. I can say the lack of preparation happened to me too, since I knew what I was going to make, but I didn’t know how to teach them in English. I realized the difficulty of explaining our culture in English. However, one thing that made me happy was when they said they enjoyed learning Japanese culture. It was only an hour but I had a lot of things that I learned from this activity. I hope the children we taught were interested in Japanese culture or learning new cultures somehow.

In the evening, we had a Quilting Workshop with Jacqueline Armstrong. We learned about quilting a little, and we drew our own quilt. Quilting is one of the ways to express our ideas by drawing. Our topic for drawing was what we learned in this week since our program started. I was a little afraid of this task when I saw the sample from last year because they were great and attractive, but I enjoyed expressing my ideas through drawing once I started. Although we had the same experiences and the same topic, everyone drew in a different way and each picture had different meanings. I found that this was the reason why people try to express their ideas through art.

In conclusion, today was very influential for me. Activities in the morning and evening developed my ideas. I believe that we can learn from the mistakes, as I did at the teaching activity. All the activities in this program helped me grow up. Not only during this program but also after this program, I would like to absorb as much as I can and grow up myself.

Yuuki Takashima
Keio Shonan Fujisawa SHS

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