Koto Yume No Wa Practice #5

This week, I played through the piece and mainly focused on: page 10~ page 11 line 2. I decided to focus on this part because I usually mess up this part, and can’t play it without stopping. Also, this is one of the important parts for Koto 1(my part) because for some parts, only Koto 1 plays it (solo) and other parts don’t, and I thought I should be able to play it clearly with strength so that it is not too quiet.


I think I got better at playing it without stopping and playing it smoothly because before, I stopped quite a lot and messed up when I played in class. I think I should still work on playing it smoothly (transitions), and playing the strings accurately and clearly. Also I should work on the speed because it is not always in the same speed. There is not much time until the winter koto concert, so I want to practice as much as I can to have confidence and play it smoothly and clearly with accuracy in the concert.

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone – Reflecting on Field Studies

Few weeks ago, we went to Minakami, Gunma for field studies. It took us about 4 hours to get there. We stayed at a place called ‘Canyons’ for 4 nights, from Monday to Friday, and did many outdoor activities such as rafting, canyoning, canoeing, geocaching, rock climbing, mountain biking, and team-building games. I enjoyed all these activities, and I especially liked canyoning and rafting.

I got out of my comfort zone by taking a risk and challenging myself with new things. When we did canyoning, I was not comfortable doing it because it was my first time and the waterfalls were higher than I thought. But I challenged myself and went down the waterfall and it turned out to be really fun. I think my friends helped me face these challenges because it was reassuring being with them. I thought I could apply what I have learnt here when I do new activities at school, or outside of school and not be afraid to challenge myself with new things. Even though I find something challenging or don’t want to do something, I thought I should at least try it once because it might be fun.

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Presenting in front of a big crowd, and making a skit with people I usually don’t talk with was one of the ways to get out of my comfort zone too. I got to interact with people who I don’t really know, and got to know them better. Each group presented a skit about our themes, and the theme for our group was ‘getting out of our comfort zone’. Thinking positively helped me face these challenges.

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I also got out of my comfort zone by not staying at my house and parents. I am used to staying at my house with my parents, so I spent a different but fun time with my friends. I think I got to know my friends better.

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Field studies was really fun and I enjoyed it a lot. I got to do new things such as canyoning and rafting, and it was a great experience. I learnt that I should try new things that I’m not comfortable with because it might be fun, and I might enjoy it. It also could be a good experience too.

Responding to ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ by John Green

During this year, I have been reading a book called “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green. It is written from the persective of a teenage girl called Hazel Grace Lancaster who was diagnosed with cancer, and a teenage boy called Augustus Waters who also has cancer. They meet at a support group for cancer survivors, and become closer. They go on a trip together to Amsterdam to find out how the book, ‘An Imperial Affliction’, ends.

The central theme of this book: Having a heavy illness can separate you from people or things, but there would be also people who wouldn’t leave you, and will become closer.

I think the important symbols from this book are: relationship between Hazel and Augustus, and family. One of the symbol, relationship between Hazel and Augustus, represents someone who you will get to know, and become closer.  Hazel first met Augustus at the support group which was after she was diagnosed with cancer. They gradually got closer and into a further relationship. ‘Family’ is another symbol from this book, and it represents someone who will never leave you even though you have a heavy disease. Hazel’s mom and dad are worried about Hazel and stays with her most of the time. Even though they know that Hazel has a heavy illness and could die anytime, they never leave her and stays close.

This book is written in Hazel’s perspective, so it makes it easier for the readers to connect with the main character. There are a lot of conversations throughout the book, and it makes us feel that we really know Hazel. It is a heart warming book filled with humor, and it can bring you into tears and laughter.

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Comparing Levels of Development

In Individual & Societies, we have been learning about development in countries. In class today, we compared and contrasted the level of development of two countries of our choice and changes that happen over time using a site called ‘gapminder.org’. I chose Japan and United States.

United States and have a similar population growth. I think this is because they are both MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries) and have a steady birth rate. The infant mortality rate in both countries decreased throughout the years, but Japan has a longer life expectancy comparing to the United States. I think this happened because the United States consume more calories per day than Japan. In 2007, the average calories per day for people in United States were 3,748 calories. For Japan, it was 2,812 calories per day. Also in 2004, people in the United States consumed 192g of sugar per day, and people in Japan consumed 77g per day. I thought this was one of reasons why United States have a shorter life expectancy compared to Japan, because eating too much, or taking too much sugar can affect people’s health.

By looking at the development of countries, I saw many similarities but more differences between countries. Some countries changed a lot and developed faster than other countries. I thought this was very interesting, and would like to learn more about it.