GCD Inter-Cultural Communication_Takumi Nishi

During my 10th-grade expedition trip to Hiroshima, our group was given an opportunity for a guest speaker that had survived the nuclear blast from the “Little Boy” bomb or the first strategically deployed atom bomb by the United States, during the final days of World War 2 which had killed many thousands of citizens and soldiers. As most people know, Hiroshima being the place of the blast, one of our learning focus in this expedition was to understand the history of Japanese militarism and its effect and aftermath of the nuclear explosion. Thus our supervisors had organized a valuable opportunity to invite a guest speaker with the first-hand experience. Initially, the speaker was planned to have a translator that was fluent enough in English for non-Japanese speakers to understand. This was not the case, however, and thus we students (Specifically Japanese students) had to translate instead. Since we were informed, prior to our expedition, I began to practice beforehand with translation work, through viewing interviews of bomb survivors and summarising their information through writing in English.

During the night when the guest speaker arrived our teacher decided to have two Japanese students translate at the same time to avoid a particular student doing the majority of the translation, and rotating with another partner. The first pair included me and another, in translating. While having some practice, I immediately faced a challenge, while listening I was conflicted to whether using first or third person expression to represent the speaker’s information. If I were to adopt the first person, the speaker’s experience, I believe, could have been effective, but the potential of exaggeration. On the other hand, the third person, while easier to translate while listening in my mind, may decrease and leave out some crucial details. In the end for practicality, I chose the third person to translate for my non-Japanese speaking peers and teacher.

While our group rotated several times in translating, my teacher eventually chose me to do the rest of the translation, due to my high fluency in Japanese as well as prior knowledge in the history of world war 2 and Japanese militarism. Although the increased work was not hard or stressing for me, since Japanese is considered to be a complex language with words or phrases including several different definitions, I had to carefully choose the right English word to accurately portray the provided information and even give the audience a clear image. These experience of solving challenges had made me reflect on how an individual, bilingual like me, while fluent in two languages, may struggle to effectively translate a language to one another without missing or diminishing the original message.

This experience of translating from an individual who had lived during a difficult past, was a privilege for me, not only to gain first-hand knowledge of an important history but also reflect the difficulty and strategy of processing a message from a particular language to one another.

GCD Global Understanding_Takumi Nishi

Since from last year, I’ve been involved with the YIS Model United Nations group, which was my first opportunity and experience in engaging the current global issues with other students in high school as an official task. The first global topic I encountered, was the ethnic cleansing in the Rohingya region of Myanmar, nuclear possession by “rogue states” (North Korea, Iran etc.) and subnational groups, and the collaboration of establishing a permanent colony on Mars. The activity I have mainly done so far in regards to this issue is formulating a position paper of a country that is actively in part. The countries I chose were Myanmar and Pakistan. Going through this process of public presentation, I was able to further gain knowledge of the diverse perception of delegates (students) towards the selected issue.

While this was my first ever experience in being a representative of a nation, unlike other nations, both Myanmar and Pakistan which I delegated were considered to be aggressors and belligerents towards the featured topic. This factor made me aware of my choice of language in my presentation. During the process of forming a position paper, I was very anxious about supporting nations with decision and actions that went against my political beliefs towards the featured topics. However, in order to accurately delegate these countries, I’ve tried to represent their position as much as possible. Reflecting and understanding the connection to real-life actions of nations that wish to hide or cover their “potential wrongful” action by the international community. Particularly regarding a topic that may involve innocent lives being affected or maybe lost.

During my involvement in the second semester of 11th grade in the Model United Nations group, we shifted our topic, to a new current global issue in which I discussed and listened. The new topic specifically was regarding the preservation or abolishment of the death penalty as well as, Human trafficking. The country which I delegated with a partner was Russia and the activities that I have participated in, as usual, was formulating a position paper for statement towards the entire group. These continuous activities further supported me the skills of public presentation, and able to acquire insight into different perspectives of each nation. Another activity that I did was creating a resolution, where nations from various countries with a similar perception of the topic, that helped with my discussion and being open-minded. Furthermore, we’ve as a group listened to a presentation of public speaking.

Once again, similar to the 1st semester I was the representative of a nation that was considered corrupt or ineffective in solving towards an issue addressed. Therefore, in order to promote my countries stance as well as the willingness of international cooperation, I was careful once again with the diction and tone within position papers, and appeal as if we were supporters of international stability.

As continuing my involvement in MUN towards my final year in high school, I have been involved in helping younger students to develop their skills in representing their chosen or designated nation effectively towards a large audience, and I would like to provide some of my knowledge to them, as well as continuing to discuss challenging topic.

(Me presenting in KMUN)

GCD: Artistic Expression_Takumi Nishi 12

GCD: Artistic Expression: Little Shop of Horrors

Last year, I was involved in the high school production. And this was my first time taking part in theatrical performances outside of official classes. This year we have been working on a classic musical show called “Little Shop of Horrors”. The process I’ve gone through was focused in practicing dancing movements as well as rehearsing songs. In terms of my initial strength, I realized myself as a competent dancer. During practices, I was able to follow and execute the complex movements, and I barely struggle to understand it. However, there were moments I realized my tempo, rhythm, and timing are sometimes inconsistent, understanding areas of improvement.

As for my challenge which I had for a part, I’ve chosen a character to perform that has to sing a short solo part in one of the songs. Now while this wasn’t the first time singing for me, it was my first to practice singing with myself. In which the challenges I’ve faced was to control my tone and knowing timing to match the song. I still need to practice this in order to acquire these new skills. Furthermore, for both task, I transferred my past skill and knowledge from my current class, especially from theatre such as the techniques in projecting my voice and effectively using my body coordination. Overall this practice and application of previous skills allowed me to produce satisfying performance, which further allowed me to gain confidence to perform challenging roles in the future.

One of the most valuable experiences throughout the process of this musical was the collaboration between students who most were below our grade, but also senior students. Which means I’ve never collaborated with most of them, and because of significant difference in the schedule, it was a challenge to have a rehearsal where every single cast were present. Due to this, there was a lack of knowledge in the songs or choreography by several students, which made me anxious in our final performance. However, during the performance day, we were able to perform and impress many audiences including myself as a performer, reflecting the result of perfect collaboration. Overall, while there may have been certain conflicts, I was proud to individually collaborate with other students, and even had the valuable conversation to know each other better.

(Little Shop of Horror Performance)

 

GCD: Community Engagement_Takumi Nishi 12

The service group that I have been involved for this year is a group called Refugee International Japan (RIJ), a group that conducts fundraising during school events for the parent organization in Japan that is then used for projects in supporting refugees across the world. This is my third year of working for this group, and this year I have taken an official leadership role which consists mainly of planning and conducting upcoming events. During my experience and knowledge provided from previous leaders before leaving for college, our work has been involving charity and fundraising campaigns throughout the school year. And since we haven’t initiated major events and will be mostly referring to my experience in my junior year. Where our group began to be more active and vocal towards the school community.

For last year, the fundraising campaigns that I planned were selling postcards and keychains at the annual food fair. This event was based on previous experiences in past food fairs, and some of the ideas that I’ve suggested and incorporated was selling keychains which is popular than postcards among the customers. During the day of the food fair, I’ve helped in setting the group’s booth up. In order to attract the guests, I’ve also coordinated the placement of products in the provided space. In terms of advocacy within a school, we members suggested ideas, such as setting up charity boxes throughout the school and raise awareness of the issue of refugees. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do it.

As I approached my second semester for RIJ, however, we made significant progress in our advocacy as a service group. Initially, we’ve only planned a single fundraising campaign, during the parent-teacher conference, where we collected funds through selling posts card. Unfortunately, due to my scheduling, I wasn’t able to participate in the selling process. Despite, this, we volunteered ourselves as one of the service group organizing the live aid in which we were selected. I specifically helped with planning some of the activities and games for the audience. Particularly I contributed to expanding one of our group members idea of music chairs but replaced with the national anthem of different countries in which I helped choose. Furthermore, on the day of the live aid, I checked through the equipment we needed for our speech and planned activities. During this event, I and our group were able to advocate and engage with the high school community, in increasing the awareness issue of refugee status, as well as ways for YIS to help this issue.

The live aid was the last major event I planned with the leadership and advisory from senior students, and after they left the group in preparations for the exams, me and my other colleague, have succeeded complete leadership control in RIJ. Immediately, I began to plan for potential future find-rasing activities according to the schedule for this year (2018-2019). One of the early campaigns was selling tapioca drinks before the end of 2017-2018 school year, however, due to time constraints, I decided to postpone it for next year (This happened on September 24th, 2018).

(Food Fair Set Up 2017)

PSHE Wellness Reflection

In this years PSHE class, I learned and developed further knowledge on various topics regarding to the subject. Such as the different aspect (Physical, Mental, Social etc) under “Wellness” and how diversely affects a person in his/her life, “Wisdom”, personalities traits (MBTI), as well as drugs or substances, and contraceptives. Many of these topics are also the same topics I learned last year, and helped me refresh, in addition revise my opinion. However, at the same time I was able to acquire more in depth knowledge. Furthermore, some of them came up in other subjects, particularly psychology during individual and societies. Specifically, I learned the effects of wellness affected by the symptoms of a mental disorder.

I especially experienced in improving my physical wellness and mental wellness outside school. Since the start of the year in order to keep myself fit, I chose to ran for 4km every two days. After receiving a result as an introvert during the MBTI test, I decided to balance out in being an extrovert as well as being fit physically due to the fact that I could only practice sports and exercise two times for each school week. The specific reason why I chose to improve and implement this practice, was also to deal with potentially stress I could face through my upcoming IB course. Despite that I been through a lot of assessments and personal project in G9 and G10. IB diploma is a huge difference and will be a challenge to me academically as well as psychically and mentally. This is the reason why I decided to practice sports outside of school for me to build my endurance to those stress. 

For my mental wellness, I have continued in a particular practice that I have repeatedly used for 5 years straight. That is playing computer games. Since high school causes and caused pressure as well as mental stress due to overwhelming tasks from different subjects, in order for me to keep me mentally well I play games. These games temporary help me isolate and relieve me from other thoughts such as education. In addition, by shutting those thoughts out, it helps me process as well as calm me down when I am especially in a stressed state. 

These are the two wellness practices that I have conducted through most of my 10th grade, and has helped me substantially. Furthermore, I plan to continue practicing them to deal with additional stress and obstacle I will inevitably have to face when I start my IB diploma for 11th grade.

The flaming “Prince of Cats” Tybalt

rjtybaltgun2

Tybalt aiming his weapon.

http://skyview.vansd.org/bquestad/rjtybaltgun2.jpg

Yesterday we were able to interview Tybalt Capulet after the party held by the Capulet family, though unfortunately he have passed away recently by Romeo killing him. Tybalt was a kinsman and a member of the extremely feared Capulet family in Verona. This man Tybalt is well known for his vicious, tempered, fanatic attitude, which came with his nickname “Prince of Cats” and commonly being spotted at the fair streets of Verona slaying his worst enemies the “Montagues”. Tybalt could be the sole reason why the Capulet family is known for their excessive acts of violence. We were very excited and thrilled about his impressions, hatred toward the Montagues and the feelings he had in his name.

How do you feel when slaying a Montague?:

I always feel pride and honour in my doing especially slaying a Montague, I also find it entertaining since I am fond to violence. Montagues are my sworn enemies, and villains to my family. I don’t and shall not feel sympathy, nor remorse, there are no empty spaces in my soul for those that disgrace and defile the name of the Capulet.

Would you describe yourself as a brute?:

Yes, and I take it with honour. Without being a brute I am nothing, and the Capulet family needs men like me. If not our name shall have been tarnished long ago and would be humiliated by the Montagues.

Who is the Montague that you hate the most?:

The Montague himself obviously, he is the sole reason why I fight for my uncle the Capulet. He is the one that especially despises the name of Capulet. Despises the name, he also despises me too.

What were your initial thoughts seeing Romeo your “sworn enemy” at the party?:

Hatred, and humiliation. That villain son of Montague was scorning our party that should show pride and power. Yet that damn boy have penetrated and foiled our pride, and nobody including my uncle care. So I nearly attempted to slay him.

Do you despise Benvolio’s pacifism?:

Absolutely, I hate the word peace. Peace only scorn the pride in me. If Benvolio wants to achieve peace then he shall either take me down or be slain from my rapier and sent to hell where all Montague belongs.

Do you think the Montague and the Capulet family could live side by side in Verona?:

Never, there shall not be a future of Montague and Capulet shoulder to shoulder. This idea denies my past actions towards the Montagues, in addition makes my service and others commitment to the family in vein.

We heard that Count Paris wants Juliet’s as his wife what about your thoughts?:

I never met Count Paris in person, however he does seem to be a man with manly pride and I admit with a charm that will attract woman. In short I think he is best suited to Juliet’s future husband. Since Juliet is the daughter of my uncle that I serve, I only wish her full of happiness.

What do you think about Juliet’s thoughts between the tension of Montague and Capulet?:

Surprisingly we both barely talk to each other, because I am mostly onto the streets. She seems to be neutral about my actions, which is fine. Since I had memories playing with her when we were little, and I see that she sometimes has her own world.

How do you wish to die?:

I do not wish to die, since I am willing to protect my name. Though if it is fate than I shall take my enemies especially a Montague with me through hell.

Theatre Design: My Room is…

Design:

IMG_0308

My room is my office. Since I mostly use my room to mostly study and research necessary things. In this collage I mostly used pictures from magazines in order to represent what I have in my room, such as books computers, desk and posters. The only colour paper I used was green at the top left corner to represent my bed and soft materials to represent the pillow. I kept the collage simple and mostly posted simple pictures to, in order for the representation that I only study. In addition I avoided using large amount of pictures and left several spaces so to create the focus I have in this collage is fairly minimum, which empathize the idea of office. I also tried to represent my room by putting the pictures in place like I have in real life. In order to keep the balance and not having one large section or portion of the picture empty, I place large pictures at the corner or the side. Then have small pictures spread out at the middle to cover the remaining areas.

This task was for the preparation of the stage design at the end and this task of recreating or designing our rooms with collage helped me understand how I should set the areas with what types of things.

Drama Journal 7

We as a class learned a psychical drama from a person named Neil Farrelly. Who teaches drama with implying physical movements or acting. In order to master ourselves in becoming good and experienced, we did some for the first 2 lessons activities regarding to psychical work which was intense by making time limits so to come up with several ideas quickly and creatively. At the end of the second lesson we were told to have some ideas about psychical act representation so to perform and show grade 8 and 10 our work. Our group (Me, Olle, Leo, Kent, Kento) made a scene where the storyline is Kento (aka Average Joe) attempts to get a ball from either Le0, Me, Kent. Kento gets rejected in a row and at the end sits down in front of us. Olle’s job was the narrator who explained the characters and drawing the actions of Kento. One of the significant aspect of our play was the motionless of characters, and only moving in certain times but not as much.

After we finished psychical drama, we continuing in working the devised theatre. At the start the class had been showed a picture where we use that as our base of idea. The picture was a refugee girl and we had to implement the concept into our scene. My group (Me, Kento, Leo, Joshua, Solon) we made a scene about a father (Solon) and daughter (Kento) arriving at the camp leaded by guard #1 (Joshua). The father comforts the daughter and discuss about what to do after this, soon after that a refugee (Me) gets beaten up by guard #1 and guard #2 (Leo). The father approaches to me, then I warned him to get away from the camp. Soon after that the father and daughter tries to escape the camp at night, however the father was captured and killed. The daughter became unconscious after getting beaten up and taken out of the camp. The scene ends by the daughter grabbing to the fence like the picture and waits for the father forever.

In this devised theatre task we learned about how we could create our scene creatively by only a picture as our base of guide.

Model Set Design

Me and Olle for the past few classes researched, planned and created our own original set design for the play “Intruder”. The time frame of the model set is closely to the actual setting or the timeline, which is around the late 19th or 20th century, though we made the planned and made actual sets from referring to the scripts and looking through the number of furnitures, movements, and placement of the characters. One of the significant aspect of our chosen set design that we created was the colour. The walls and floors are covered with either red or orange. The reason why we chose it rather than a darker colour is to represent the room using a bright wood and to create a light atmosphere which complements the lamps. Due to the timeframe is mostly set in the night, when lamps are the only light in the room. Furthermore the lights can lit the room showing the area clearly. Tables and furnitures are set at the middle of the set, the table is in the middle with 6 chairs, 2 on three sides surrounding the table. We set it like this because the play “Intruder” mostly has the grandfather, father, uncle and 3 daughters talking most of the time. One of the characteristic of the talk between the family has the grandfather speaking towards the characters, so when in the play some of the chair furthest to the audience will be seated by him. By this the grandfather will be the mostly focused character for the audience, and the character’s dialogues can also have an increased impact. Different from the script is the window. The play presents that the scene has at least 3 windows, however we chose to have a 1 large window and curtains. They are fitted with the same colours with the wall and the floor. The reason why we put only 1 large window is to show the outside environment and connect the atmosphere which can apply to the mood of the room, since they are scenes which has a relationship towards outside. Even further the audience can relate or in a sense interact by fitting toward the atmosphere during scenes when the outside take or has a significant message. Other furniture we add were a lamp and dutch clock or a stand clock. Once again most of the play is done by the dialogue of the characters so by having few supporting furnitures, most of the audience can focus on the table at the middle with the characters. Also it creates balance around the area so no objects on the stage will cause major distraction to the audience. In addition the lamp and the clock is part of the important objects which relates to the play, such as the clock ticking which representing any special parts of the scene or critical points, for example time. The light of the lamp flickering indicating the change of atmosphere or the mood between the characters. The space in the model set is pretty much open, the reason why we chose to make open spaces and avoid putting various furniture so that characters can have free movements. Open large spaces can also create silent, cold, spooky, and dark atmosphere and mood, which complements the script. Including in emphasizing several key important aspects to the play. Comparing to the first design and the actual physical model set the difference is the shape of the model. The plan had a diagonal wall with more spaces between the chairs and tables are located where from our research and looking through the script, however from the actual psychical model parts were cut out.

Model Set:

IMG_0397

Psychical Model:

IMG_0325 (1)

 

Drama Journal 6

The next technique that I’ve obtained is movement. Movement is one of the most important factor for most drama techniques. Furthermore the specific characteristic of movement can create the a specific scene and making it further creative for the character. In general there many types of movement of position of the body.

The approach that we took to master movement. We split into partners, for me it was Kento. The task was, choosing a specific word, that can have an representation to a mood. One of the few selection we chose was isolation for starters. We each had our arms crossed and faced back each other. Second task we conducted was we split into groups (Me, Kento, Moe, Lea, Mee-lin) and made a 4 scene regarding to the human life, specifically birth, childhood, adult and death. In order to add the concept of movement, we implemented the techniques from dancing for a unique procedure to tell the story. The third task was to create a scene using full different movement to tell the story, we made a group again (Me, Kento, Olle, Solon) and were given a sheet which lists various types of movement. We came up with an idea of a genre connecting to kidnap and a cult ritual. The scene begins by Kento and Solon walking through the dark streets, then me and Olle as the kidnappers putting our hoody jacket to hide our faces follow them. Soon after that Olle kidnaps Kento and I restrained Solon, took them away to our hide out. The last scene is about using Kento’s unconscious body as an sacrifice to one of our (Me and Olle) ritual with me ready to stab me with a knife and Olle saying out a code. So the full scene ends by me stabing Kento.

Gaining more knowledge about movement, helped me about how many types, options of approaching in order to create a specific play or scene.