Media Fair

The Media Fair is an event where each student had to share about what they find out on their selected topic. The topic could be anything, and each student had to find five sources there were related to their topic. Then the students have to analyse the sources by identifying the intended audience, perspective/attitude, and features which convey perspective. After everything is done, they had to make a poster showing what they found. During the media fair, each student had to display their posters, and everyone got to see each other’s posters.

1. Hilary Clinton E-Mail Controversy (Angela)

Angela started off with explaining the topic in detail. According to her, Hilary Clinton was sending classified e-mail on her personal e-mail account rather than using a more secure account to send e-mails. Angela’s poster included six different types of sources: News, Article, Twitter, Meme, Facebook, and Political Cartoons. Most of the sources had a negative view on the topic, where they were criticizing Clinton. Personally, I thought the meme was interesting because I had never thought of including a meme in my poster. In addition, Angela also included a quote from Malcolm X which was very creative because it adds on to her topic which is about media.

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2. Running Man Challenge (Mario)

Mario’s topic, the Running man challenge, is an internet phenomenon which is a type of a dance move that started from two college basketball players. Mario had five different source types in total: Blog, Instagram, Youtube, Song, and Article. For Mario’s poster, he had a variety of media which showed different perspectives, and a detailed analysis which was easy for me to understand the various techniques used in the sources to convey its view. Mario’s sources were focused based around humour which made it amusing for us, and made me realised that there are several approaches to made people watch and read the media.

3. Yeezy Boost 350 (Joseph)

Joesph chose Yeezy Boost 350 for his topic which is a type of shoes. He had five different sources which were Youtube, two pictures, video and a Twitter post. The part which made Joseph’s poster interesting were the pictures. By having many pictures, it made the topic easier for me to understand, and the poster looked better as well. Even though Joseph had a variety of sources, I believe he could have used another type of media instead of using two pictures because then the poster will be have more perspective towards the topic.

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4. e-sports (Alex)

Alex’s topic was e-sports which I find very interesting. It is not only interesting because of the game, but it portrays modern society in a way because nowadays games are considered as “sports.” Alex had five types of media in total which were an article, video, blog post, logo and an opinion editorial. The part that I thought was well about Alex’s poster was his layout and analysis. The layout of the poster made it very easy for the audience  to follow the different sources, and his analysis was easy to understand. Alex stated about the different ways people think about e-sports and how it is changing the world.

Kinuta Post-Concert Reflection

On March 11, grade 10 participated in the MS & HS Hogaku concert. We played a piece called “Kinuta” which we have been practicing for the past several month. On the other blog posts, I have listed a number of different ways to practice for this piece because it is quite challenging.

1. What was effective about my preparation? What worked best? Why?

Overall, I believe that my preparation was somewhat effective because I was able to play the piece better than few months ago. However, I was not able to play the piece completely. During the concert, I made some mistakes. The part that was effective about my preparation was the fact that I played parts over and over while listening to the audio of the song. Since I played the same parts numerous time, it was easier for me to remember the parts and by listening to the audio I was able to practice with the piece’s original tempo. I also think this preparation worked well because during class I only practiced some parts which I thought I needed improvement. Slowing down the tempo when practicing also worked well because I was able to play the notes more accurately.

2. How might I have worked differently to better prepare? What will I do differently next time?

In order to prepare for the song, next time I would concentrate on playing the notes more accurately. During the concert, there were some parts where I couldn’t play completely. Therefore, by practicing to play more accurately, I believed I can reduce the number of mistakes I make during the performance. As I get better playing the piece, I will gradually increase the tempo so that at the end I can play with the piece’s actual tempo. In addition, I will also focus more on the presses and the transition between those presses. Since the second koto, which is my part, has a lot of presses, I will need to able to play the presses more accurately because the sound is sometimes not right. I will also need to improve on my transition between the notes so that I can play the piece more accurately.
3. Your overall impressions of your class’ performance. How did you do as a group (positive aspects, areas to improve)? For you individually – how did you do? Did you meet your expectations? What went well? and what will you work on for next time?

Personally, I believe our class’ performance was satisfiable because can be improved a lot. First and foremost, we were able to play most of the parts correctly, and we were able to play the middle section and the ending very well. However, we had to improve on playing the fast sections because we made many mistakes. The presses sounded fine which was a positive thing. For next time, I think we should play with more energy and play with the correct tempo because the speed was slower than the original song.

I could have played much better during the performance. I did not meet my expectations because I made several mistakes during the performance which was not very good. For next time I will concentrate on playing the notes more accurately so that I will not make mistakes during the concert. However, I believe I played the presses correctly with is good because the presses could be a challenge for me sometimes.

Kinuta Part 3


*The second sound is higher than the original song because the second string on my koto was not able to produce the low “c” sound.

Part 1

This part is in my opinion probably the hardest part to play; therefore, I will need to play this part over and over to be able to perform it completely. The goal of this part is to be able to play it completely before the concert which will happen at Marth the 11th. I am going to work on this part firstly, by playing it slowly. This allows me to play the notes more accurately. When I can play the part slowly, I will gradually increase the speed until I can play it with the correct speed. In addition, I will also play the part over and over, so that I can memorize the part. By memorizing the piece, it allows me to play smoother because I do need to look back at the score each time. I also need to memorize the piece for the concert.

I believe I am getting better at playing this part, but still have some parts to improve. Compared to last month, I am playing this with more accurately, and the tempo is also close to the original piece. However, I believe I could improve on my presses because some parts sound weird. Furthermore, the transition between the notes could be also improved. Due to the transitions of the presses and notes, this part is one of the hardest parts. If I could play the transitions completely, this part would sound much better.

Part 2

This part is another complex part with presses and continuous notes. Same as the first part, the goal of this part is to able to play it completely. I am going to work on this part by repetition. Practicing a lot will allow me to play the part well with few mistakes. It will also help me to memorize the part. By listening to the original recording, it will also allow me to play at a correct pace. Personally, I can play this part almost completely. Sometimes I do make mistakes with playing the notes, but overall I can perform this part with few mistakes. On the other hand, I need to work on playing the notes more clearly because sometimes the notes are unclear.

Part 3

The final part is the ending of the song. Even though this part is not that hard, I decided to include this in the video because I simply didn’t want to make a mistake in the ending. Since the tempo also changes for the previous parts it produces a slight challenge. Some oshide – pressing the string – techniques are included such as the “ato-oshi” which is a technique where we press the string after we play the note. Since the ato-oshi needs to sound clear, it can cause challenges to the performer. I am going to work on this part by listening to the original piece to play with the correct tempo. As I stated since the tempo changes for this part, I will need to carefully check the tempo. Since I can play this part without any mistakes there are not a lot of things I need to do, but I will need to check my presses, so I can get the correct sound.

Kinuta Part 2

Over the winter break, I had to practice Kinuta based on the goals I made for the post before winter break. The objectives of the three parts where to play the part precisely and accurately without mistakes. In order to achieve my goal, I tried different methods such as playing the parts slowly, playing the part over and over, and lastly memorizing the parts.

1. Page 3 Line 1 Measure 3~4

Compared to the previous video, I believe I was able to play the notes clearly and also play the notes stronger. This makes the piece sound more lively and vividly which sounds better for the audience. In addition, I also played this part faster compared to the other video. This is probably because I have practiced this part over and over. By practicing and memorizing the part, it makes the part easier to play because I do not need to look back at the notes.

2. Page 4 Line 4 Measure 3~4 ~  Page 5 Line 1 Measure 1~2

Similar to the part before, in this part I was also able to pay at a faster speed compared to the previous video. This is good because I think the actual song is about the same speed. I also played with more power which makes the song sound better. The press also sound clearer in the second video than the press in the first video. In addition, I believe the timing of the press is also more accurate in this video than the other one. I believe I was able to achieve this improvement because I practiced in a number of different ways which is told in the other post.

3. Page 4 Line 4 Measure 3~4 ~  Page 5 Line 1 Measure 1~2

For the third part, I believe I made the most improvement compared to other parts. I was able to play the notes in the correct tempo, and the notes were more clear and powerful. I also did not stop during this video, compared to when I stopped due to a mistake in the first video. The presses also sound a lot clearer in the second video. In the first video, there was a leftover sound, but in the second video, I believe the left over sound did not stand out. The timing of the press was more accurate in the second video. This is because I was able to practice this section over and over which allowed me to remember the timing of the press.

Kinuta

In Koto class, we are currently working on a song called “Kinuta”. It is a traditional Japanese song which includes two parts: koto 1 and koto 2. When working on this piece, every single person had to come up with 3 parts where they find difficult and practice that part. The three parts I looked where(part that is highlighted with pink)

1. Page 3 Line 1 Measure 3~4

This part is one of my goals because I believe it is challenging. Since I need to make presses and switch fingers in a fast pace it requires some complex skills. I also want to get the rests right because in some parts there are eighth rests which can be challenging to play. I will work on this part by practicing it over and over. Repetition makes it easier to memorize which eventually makes it easier to play because I only need to focus at the instrument.

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2. Page 4 Line 4 Measure 3~4 ~  Page 5 Line 1 Measure 1~2

This is one of the most challenging parts for me in the piece. The reason is mainly because of the movement. Since this part require fast hand movement, and the fact that I need to press the string on the fourth string makes it hard to play the notes. I will practice this section, first by playing it slowly and understanding the pattern of the measure. I also believe I should memorize this part because memorizing makes it easier for me to play.

3. Page 5 Line 2 Measure 3~4 ~ Page 5 Line 3 Measure 1~2

I have decided to make this part one of my goals because it comes up several times during the piece. I want to focus on being able to play the correct note, and being able to use the correct fingers. Since this part requires the player to constantly switch their finger being able to use the correct fingers helps me a lot. Same as the other parts, I will practice this part by going over it a number of time. By understanding the pattern, the easier it becomes for me to play this part of the piece. Another way of practicing is by decreasing the tempo. This allows me to focus on this section and understand the part better. After I get better at playing, I can increase the tempo.

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Grade 10 Field Studies – Iya

When I went off the Anpanman(アンパンマン)train at Oboke Station in Iya, I was already tired from traveling. We went from Yokohama to Okayama with a bullet train, and this was our second train today. We have already traveled around 5~6 hours in total. However, my tiredness quickly disappeared as I stepped at Oboke Station. The station was small, but it was a beautiful place. The place was filled with nature: there were trees, forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers. I thought to myself that Iya would be a perfect place for someone who wants to interact with nature.

The feeling when setting on Oboke Station remains inside me.  As I came out of the train, I stretched my body as far as I can, breathing the clear and cold air. After we had taken a bus through the forest, we reached a bridge that was about 30~40 meters long. The bridge was high above the river and standing at the end of it gave a magnificent view of the place: forest, mountains and rivers everywhere. On the other side of the bridge, the cabinets were located. Our group’s house was big enough to fit nine people. The first night went quickly. We talked with each other and had a wrestling game that was enjoyable to watch. The only problem I had been the fact that it was cold at night. I had to wear 2-3 layers of clothes to feel warm. It was also cold in the morning too which made it hard to get out of the bed.

The second and third day was mainly hiking. Before hiking up Tsurigi-zan, we walked on a different mountain. After that, we hiked up Tsurugi-zan. Tsurugi-zan is the tallest mountain in Shikoku which is about 2000 meters in height. We walked a total of six hours. The trip was very tiring, but it was also enjoyable because I was able to chat with my friends, and observe the beautiful scenery of nature while walking. Once I reached the top of the mountain, I was very exhausted but the accomplishment of hiking the tallest mountain in Shikoku overwhelmed the feeling of tiredness. The view from the mountain was probably one of the most beautiful scenery I ever saw in my life. Mountains were covered with clouds, and the stars were beautiful at night. The lodge was also good. My friends and I had a room of six people which made the night fun: we talked with each other, did pranks to each other and played games. The food was also very nice because there was a variety of different food and the taste was excellent.

The third day was a long hiking day. We hiked a total 6 hours that was also very tiring. Instead of going up a mountain, we went down the mountain. Personally, I thought that going down a mountain was more of a challenge because it required sophisticated techniques such as walking in a way that prevent you from slipping. Since I was a beginner at hiking, I fell about five times, which was not a good experience. Even though I did not get injured, it does not feel good to fall. After the long hiking, we went to a hot spring that was located near the mountain. It was a perfect opportunity to relax my body from the long hiking.

The fourth and last full day was a cultural day. We visited the Chiiori house, a 300 years old traditional house. The house was owned by Alex Kerr, who an author know for “Lost Japan.” The house was large, and the roof was the most interesting part.  Constructed using the traditional Japanese method of woven bamboo. After a short visit, we moved to a soba workshop to make soba. Surprisingly, there was a television crew for the NHK, which is a famous television department in Japan. They filmed us grinding the soba wheat, kneading the dough and cutting the soba. It was a great experience because I was able to do something that I will not have many chances to do. We had the chance to eat the soba we made, and it was really tasty.

Iya was a very memorable and enjoyable trip because I got to experience events that I normally don’t do. It was also nice to talk with local people and others who I don’t usually talk. I would say that this trip was a fantastic journey.

Egyptian Music

During koto class, we had to make our own song using a scale from other countries. I made this song from the Heptatonic scale. During the process of making this song, we had to come up with 3 motifs for the song. Mine were triplets, Pizzicato, and Tremolo which is a technique to play the koto like a guitar. I believe my song sounds fairly interesting because I tried to make it sound Egyptian. I also included different patterns in my song which make the song better. I think I did a good job making my own music considering the fact that it was my first time. I was able to make a melody, pattern and other parts that are important to music.

Public Service Annoucement

During this project in design class, we have to make a public service announcement(PSA). I have decided to make a PSA about sleeping. I decided to make one about Sleeping because nowadays students are not getting enough sleep. Computers and phones have been decreasing the amount of sleep students get. By using computer late until night, it becomes harder to sleep because of the light. By not sleeping enough, students will feel sleepy during class and will not be able to concentrate. I am making this PSA for students who are around 14~15 years old. According to a survey I did, in average 9th graders get around 7 hours of sleep each night. However, people around the age of 14~15 should get 8.5~9.25 hours of sleep every day. This is clearly not enough sleep time and there are several consequences for not sleeping, for example, it limits your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problem and it can also lead to aggressive behaviours. For students being limited to learn is never good. In order to solve this problem, I have decided to make a PSA related to sleeping. I believe making this PSA will change student’s attitude towards sleeping because PSA is a video that convinces people to do something and students will be more interested if it’s related to their daily life. However, in order to make my PSA interesting I will need to make it short and have something that will attract people’s attention, for example, data. I will design a PSA which is about 30 seconds long. I believe I will not include a lot of talking, but more data. By adding data, my PSA will be more convincing for the viewers. In order to make it more interesting I will add music or sound effects to my PSA.