During the summer of 2017, I worked as a lifeguard at a public pool in Motomachi, Yokohama Japan. I worked there for around 4 months. It was my first job experience in the real world. This was my first time working in a new community of other workers and actually getting paid. This experience in the professional world has made me realise many things.
My job consisted of three different positions: Tower, patrol, and control. Tower was where I sat on a high chair to overlook the whole pool for any major accidents. Patrol was where I walked around to check if there are less noticeable accidents or if there was anyone breaking the rules. Control was like the headquarters. If there were any problems, the customers came to the control area to ask for help. I personally enjoyed control the most as I was able to communicate and engage with customers.
In this paid work experience, I was able to learn many things such as organisation skills and skill to adapt. I was able to develop my pre-existing skill of communication as well. However I would like to talk about my organisation skills as it has affected me the most. When working with salary, it is next accepted to be late or to forget your things. As a worker it is my responsibility to stay organised and come on time and bring my belongings. In one of my shifts, I arrived to work 3 minutes before the time of my shift. However my manager was irritated as in japan, there is an unspoken rule that you have to be ready 10 minutes prior to the shift. I did not know this which had led me to the situation. This taught me realise the importance of asking question and staying organised. At first I was underestimating the seriousness of the work as it was my first time. However with this, I learnt that I had to be serious and ask questions if I don’t understand something. I had to know and I was responsible for myself. This made me realise the importance of staying organised as it heavily part takes in my success.
I enjoy sports and I play sports in the school teams. Our school belongs to a group called AISA where it has 3 Korean schools. I am the captain of the varsity boys volleyball team and in games, it is my duty to talk to referees when there is a problem. In the tournament hosted in Busan International Foreign School, BIFS, I had the privilege to lead the team and communicate with the opponent and the referees. The referees in BIFS were all Koreans which made it harder for me to communicate because I don’t speak their language. However I was able to communicate by using the limited knowledge Korean and a lot of hand gestures. I had limited knowledge on Korean as a foreigner. Hello, thank you, excuse me was the only words I knew before I went to tournaments in Korea. However I soon learned how to say ball and more sport-specific words.
What I realised as I played sports in South Korea is that there are a lot of cultural differences from Japan. There were moments of misunderstanding which the referee did not listen to us when in Japan they would stop the game and listen to us. So the strategy I took was to take my time before game to thoroughly ask questions on how they would make the calls. By doing this I was also able to understand their perspective on the game. I was effectively able to use my communication skills to convey my thoughts but more importantly understand the opponent’s view. This event made me realise how there are more than one platform of communication. I used to think that verbal and written language was the only way to communicate. However I now know that this isn’t the case and visual language (Body language) is another effective way to communicate. I believe that language can transform into many different forms because I was not able to understand the verbal language but still understood the referee’s body language and their facial expression which is a form of language.
I can confidently say that I am able to understand the difference in form of language and how that affects the communication intercultural communication.
With the general trend of globalization all over the world, as a member of the global community and also as a student of YIS, having a wide global perspective is essential. In geography class, we have a privilege to look into the global situation between countries and communities. First unit for out geography in the IB was population. We looked into the change in population in countries and the movement of people. In this unit we saw the drastic increase of the population in the past decades. The consequence of that is the natalist policies. We saw huge difference between Japan and China which is just across each other. This really interested me because although physically the two countries are really close, their policies on natalism completely opposed from each other. In another unit, we looked into how some countries have different opinion on global problems. America and Russia has two vastly different opinions on the problem in Syria. In geo class, I was able to further my understanding by researching why the two countries have that different of an opinion. In geography class, I was able to look into more incidents where we need the understanding of global perspectives. This has changed me as a person because I am able to think about how the others have different opinion from me. Not only that I can now talk about the reasoning behind the countries’ action. One of the most looked into topic in Geography class is relationship between Japan and China. For one of the unit we looked at Senkaku islands, Diaoyu island in Chinese. Economically, both countries are arguing over the island for the extension of their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). EEZ is a concept which allows coastal state to have rights over resource and the use of them in area of 200 miles from the shore. With the increase of the EEZ due to Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, both countries will be able to extract and use the resources to further develop. From the view of Japan, I believe that they are in need of resources such as underground oil which is found around the area. This is because Japan is heavily dependant on imports which diminishes the economic growth. On the other hand, with the drastic growth of population in the past few decades, China is in desperate need of food. With extension of EEZ, China is able to have a temporary solution to their problem of food shortage. This will give them the time to think of a solution on the long run. There are political reason why China and Japan is fighting over the island too. The main reason for Japan is to show that Japan is still capable of keeping its stance. This politically gives the message that Japanese government is not letting the Chinese government push them around. At the same time, Chinese government is trying to express their power within the Asian countries by taking the islands. With this, they will be step closer as the superpower of the world. Both countries have its own reasons to have the island for themselves. However China has an advantage as it has stronger influence due to the size of its country. Larger size means that there are more resource that can be taken out making the country rich in resources. This will make China more influential in economics because countries will trade for resources and goods. As this happens China’s influence over the world increases and it can be proved with the fact that China has become the closest country to become the super power of the world. This is the privilege that China have over Japan. China is able to have more influence due to its physical size and its economical strength.
As a Japanese citizen, I believe that Japan has the rights to the island. This knowledge comes from history and the education by the Japanese government. However with broader global understanding, I now understand why the Chinese government is working hard to gain the control over the island.
Community engagement is one of the biggest value that YIS expects the students to contribute to. This helps students to have more balanced school life and helps to form a more opened person. The biggest contribution I have on the community is tech support in the auditorium. After three years of experience of working on backstage tech support by myself, I have decided to create a HS tech team with the help from the arts department. The HS tech team’s role in the community is to provide support when there are events which consists lighting, sound and other aspects of tech. In my junior year, I have concentrated on teaching underclassman how to become a tech crew that can be useful in any situation. I have taken a lot of my time to engage in this because I believed that it is an important process in order for the HS tech team to keep running after I graduate. In this process I learnt that if I allocate my time and effort, results will show because the underclassmen became more reliable as time passed. However I still had to be there because they did not have as much experience. I believe that tech team takes an important role and we have a huge impact on the community. With the experience of HS tech team, I was able to become more responsible because I take a leading role of the group. I have become more organised which has also affected me to do my job as a responsible leader.
In my junior year, I introduced a website called Trello. This website allowed us to stay organised and know which event needs technical support. Use of Trello allowed us to be sustainable too because we know which member was overworking and which member was not participating as much as others. Then I was able to email the members to ask them to take a shift in one of the events. I’ve made a notebook for future leaders so I can pass on the work as the leader and get them to smoothly transfer the work.
What is my wellness?
I think everybody have asked this question to them selves. In my life, there are many types of wellness.
Physical wellness is one of the largest aspect that I care about in my life. This year I have played sports in all three season which helped me understand more things about myself. First season I was in the Varsity Boys Volleyball team. Although I was not the player that was always on the court, I trained as hard and cheered as hard or maybe harder than the members in the team. Being in the volleyball team made me more healthy physically but also socially. Being in a team or group of people makes me physically healthy because I have to work hard to keep up my skills. I would train from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm as a team practice every Monday Wednesday and Friday but stay for 30 40 minutes to train by myself so I can be in the starter’s position. This kept me fit. It also helped me keep me more mentally stabled because when I am playing sports I am concentrating and I don’t have enough time to think about other things. So this makes me not worry about problems I’m having and I can enjoy my self fully.
Other than sports teams, I was able to keep a healthy relationship with my friends. Although I get irritated easily, I was able to control my emotions a little bit more this year. This was possible with my best friends help.
In response to The Guardian’s article on the Charlie Hebdo attack, I believe that freedom of speech gives every man and women rights to express their thoughts and their view of the world freely. However consequences may follow when expressing their opinion freely. An example of that is Charlie Hebdo Attack in 2015.
Charlie Hebdo Attack was triggered by caricatures of Muhammad. This case was the consequence for freedom of speech. Although there is a counter argument that freedom of speech do give everybody the rights to express their feeling, there should be a limit to what you can express. After a certain point, it becomes a hate speech. Pope Francis has also stated “There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity…in freedom of expression there are limits.”
Francis’s opinion on freedom of speech should have limits so it doesn’t lead to hate speech. This is hard because borderline between freedom of speech and hate speech is unclear.
As our parents taught us, we should think before we say things to public. This can help the whole situation to be solved more peacefully. Since people won’t be insulted by comics and speeches because people will filter what they will say.
Realism, the Stanislavsky system; the definitions of situation, conditions and circumstances in relation to acting, directing & theatre in general.
1. Key Idea (Explanation of a concept explored)
2. Approach (Process in class or in rehearsal)
3. Outcome (Achievements, Problems, Solutions)
4. Connections (between ideas, skills and practice > even live theatre)
Nowadays there are so many news over Verona about Montagues and the Capulets. There are so many fights between each other. People have died from the fights too. There are some rumors going around the town that Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague is close with each other. There will be many people disappointed and angry with them if it was true but this could be the only way the two families will have better relationship.
- What was your first thought when you heard that Romeo was a Montague?
- I was despaired. I didn’t know what I was suppose to do. It was like finding a treasure but can’t take it with you because it has traps on it. When the nurse told me that the perfect man was a Montague’s only son, Romeo, I didn’t understand what she said. It took me 10 seconds to understand every single word and understand what she meant. When I understood what nurse meant, I grudged against my destiny. The one person I love so much was my family’s worst enemy..
- Have you ever felt hatred against the Montagues? If yes did it change after meeting Romeo?
- Yes…. I did. Thinking about it now, it is pretty shameful thing to do. Hating each other just because your family does? We are so immature, seriously, what are we doing? Why aren’t we trying to help each other and make Verona a better place? Instead we are just fighting all over the town and just making the place a dangerous place. Everything changed after I met Romeo. He helped me realise that there was no need to hurt each other. Now I don’t hate Montagues at all. They are just same people like us. They have family like me, they have heart like me, they most definitely have nice people like Romeo too!
- Does Romeo know that your father wants you to marry Paris?
- I don’t think so. However he will eventually know. I don’t want him to go against my father though. My father will get so mad and big fight will occur between the Capulets and the Montagues. This will make it harder for us to get accepted. Not only that Romeo could be killed in the strife.
- How did you feel when you first met Romeo?
- Oh my… Just remembering it gets me hot. The second I saw him, my eyes couldn’t see anything else. The difference between Romeo and other guys like Paris was too different. If Paris was a normal guy then Romeo would be lofty dream. He was the only guy that I would like being with. I knew that the second we saw each other right in the eyes.
- What is your advice to lovers that have parents that are against them on date each other?
- Hmm.. this is a hard question because Romeo and I haven’t even got our parents to be fine with each other yet. One thing I can say is, if you have love you can do anything. Look at us, our parents are the worst enemies. My brother cousins hate Romeo’s cousins but we are still together and we didn’t let ourselves down just because of our family. So I am confident to say that love is all you need.
- What is your father and your mother like in your house?
- My mother is always listening to my father. She doesn’t do anything that will do something that he doesn’t like. So when he was mad at me because I said I don’t want to marry Paris, he was pushing me to the floor and everything but my mother didn’t even flinch. My father is usually a good person except for when people disagrees and goes against him. Then he gets really irritated and mad. In the house he is usually a good father. However I don’t know what they are thinking. I’m not really close to them so I don’t know what they are thinking of. I know saying that I am not close to my parents is pretty weird but it is true.
- What would your life have been like if you didn’t meet Romeo?
- My life would have been boring simple life as Paris’ wife. Seriously, what am I supposed to do? If I didn’t meet Romeo, I would have just a very systematic life. Nothing special will happen, I wouldn’t be looking forward to any special time like I am right now, my parents will force me to do what they want me to do. That will be it.
- What did you think when you heard that Romeo killed Tybalt?
- I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do. Nurse came rushing into my room while I was lying on my bed and I hear the the horrible news. I was so shocked that tears didn’t even come out of my eyes. First person I worried was Romeo not Tybalt. I knew that he died so I worried about Romeo getting killed by the police.
- Would you still love Romeo even after he killed Tybalt, will your choice be the same if you actually saw him killing Tybalt?
- I don’t know. I will most definitely be scared of him. However we will solve the problem by talking over and what happened. After all, the one I love more than anyone is Romeo. I will be mad at him too. I would be mad and say things that might hurt him because I love him.
- What is your dream with Romeo?
- My dream with Romeo, is a simple life. I want him to be free from the sins and I want him to be with me all the time. I don’t want to struggle without him anymore. I would like to live in the countryside without any pressure from my parents. Two kids and a dog. Until this happens I will not die. Hopefully he comes back soon.
Translated into modern English by Shaun Kaneda
For the past few weeks in our drama class, we have been working on our own set of the play “The Intruder” We have created our own set from zero. We researched what kind of Furniture works or what kind of color will match the theme in the play. Then we created our own floor plan. We looked at the space and chose what needed to be in the middle and what needed to be on the side. After that we started to create our very own stage set.
When creating the set I imaged myself being in the scene. Then I was able to see what kind of items and things connected to the main theme. In the play Sofa and the window played one of the hugest role as a furniture. That is why we put a big sofa in the middle where everyone can see. After that we made sure that the windows were very visible. When making decision on where to put the item, we made sure that we didn’t mess up the play because some parts of the stage must be there or else the play will be messed up. We left the door open in the set so we can create the image of “Intruder” even though they will shut the door, if we kept it open in the beginning, it would have a big effect on the play. We put in total of 3 doors. One was to get to the stairs, one was to go to the room on the right and the other to the left. We didn’t have much choice on the doors because on the play it said where to place them. We made sure that the clock is in the middle too because the play has a big turning point when the clock goes off. (I’m not going to spoil the play for you 😉 )
We made many connections while creating this box set. In class we’ve learned about how color can change out people think about a room and how it feels like. We’ve also learned about staging. We’ve learned about how middle and the left side will get more attention than the right side. First we used the knowledge of color in the set. As you can see in the photo’s we made sure that the walls are black. This has a big affect on people because when you are surrounded by black walls people get feeling of oppression. For staging, we made sure that the important items are in the middle. Not only that we made sure that father and the uncle are on the left side because they have many lines and they say a lot of important parts in the play. On the other side we made sure that the sisters are on right and close to the window.