Advanced Academics

In terms of my academics, I want to focus on two areas that I have displayed my research skills. One disciplinary is history. The other is in my internship. For history class, we had an internal assessment that we have to write. I wrote my essay on the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan in December 1941. Coming from a Japanese background, I was able to use Japanese and English to conduct my research. Therefore, I became aware of the bias present and contrasted them with each other.

For example, a skill in particular that I developed was balancing an event that has two sides of arguments in two languages. A problem I encountered was which source to believe in. The research paper from Hiroshima University mentioned how Japan was only buying time by conducting various peace treaty agreement meetings. Quoting both Kichisaburo Nomura and Isoroku Yamamoto, the essay was built on the notion that Japan did not have a substantial negative impact by the oil embargo. I compared and contrasted that with the research paper by the University of Waterloo mentioning Japan’s state at the time as a “crisis.” These two sources are effectively on the opposite ends of the spectrum even though it is talking about the same event. So when these conflicts happened, I had to find more sources that supported either statement. That is when I found an article written by the Yomiuri Shimbun War Responsibility Reexamination Committee. This was a useful source as it was written by an American author in a Japanese company. They mentioned how the United States’ had “significant interests in Asia” and wished for Japan’s “ultimate defeat.” The use of the word “crisis” in the source before, most likely would have been exaggerated to paint Japan as a scapegoat. By finding common ground in these three sources together, I concluded that Japan did suffer majorly with 80% of oil is cut off; however, they felt confident that they would be able to secure more oil by increasing efficiency in areas such as Manchuria. Therefore, this process is especially important to be repeated by checking the works cited for the Japanese and American sources. That is how I was able to find the Yomiuri Shimbun source which was under the Hiroshima University source. So it is also important to focus on places where the sources have omitted. For example, how the Hiroshima University omitted valuable quotes and statistics by Japanese generals about Japan’s inferiority in going to war with the United States. The quote “Japan, believing Germany would win the war against the Soviet Union” and “Navy didn’t want to go to war” were some quotes that were omitted.  These quotes were potentially omitted to avoid portraying Japan’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor as erroneous.

 

Another time that I had to use my research skills was during my internship when I had to conduct fishery research on behalf of Sailors for the Sea Japan. Our team had been working on passing a bill regarding traceabilities of Tuna in Japan. Although the number of tunas in the Pacific have been decreasing at an alarming rate, Tuna consumption has been rapidly increasing. The bill aimed to monitor fisheries around Japan to avoid overfishing of tunas. I was placed in the research team to find statistics on the volume of landings (how much fish the fishery caught). I found two things to be the most difficult. One was finding statistics for every fishery in Japan. The other was the confidence of the data. Although the government mandated fisheries to publish their landings monthly, many fisheries did not record their catches as accurately. For the former problem, it was due to the fact that a simple google search could not find the statistics. I decided to stop relying on google and contacted the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries for their statistics. They guided me to a locked government site that had a comprehensive record of every fishery – a site not reachable with a simple search. This site, hence resolving both of my concerns. Using the data that I found from the site, I created the following graphs and tables

From this experience, I learned that professional research needs to be aware of the bias that is present and recognize the value of it. Another thing is that Google may not be the answer to every concern I have. From this, I learned that finding resources is most efficient when you vary your domain of research.

Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication

I have demonstrated intercultural communication through various works in translation. I have made translations from Japanese to English at a business level. I was responsible for researching, translating and present regarding marine problems. I aimed to raise awareness of the various problems of oil spills and plastic to the Intercontinental hotel. As the hotel had need a presentation in English, I opted to help. As I had the luxury to be able to speak two languages, I think this job is fitting for me. When working with two languages, it’s pretty important to understand the connotations of the words when making the presentation and when presenting. For example, Japanese have a type of language called “tei-nei-go” which is polite language to use for upperclassmen and people that are more experienced than you. This is a clear distinction that I need to make between when presenting.

Furthermore, what is even more difficult is the translating specific company names and in-company status. Japan is a country that puts heavy emphasis on the different class within the company. Therefore, I need to address them with the proper “name” which could be very difficult when introducing a new member.  

Overall, from this investigation, I’ve learned that some words are irreplaceable in some languages. Words like “otsukare” that praise hard work are not just the representing words but the culture behind it. By understanding the society in which the language has nestled in, it would be easier to translate the words.

Community Engagement

Over the course of the 3 years in high school I have been an active part of the Student Council community serving for the local community. It will be my third year in student council in senior year. The student council must undertake certain responsibilities and organize such events to fulfil the student bodies expectations. It is imperative that the student council tries to satisfy their needs in order to have a better school environment. In order to do this, we have installed an idea called the student concerns box. In the meetings we have groups that are specifically assigned to address the concerns. The concerns could be as small as changing the paper towel quality to as large as conducting whole school surveys to address mental issues that students may have.

As I am the secretary for the council, it is also important for me to facilitate the incoming freshmen into the student council but also ease the transition of the whole grade from middle school to high school. In order to do this, I have also taken leadership to create the new student handbook for new students that have enrolled in YIS and have no clue about the teachers and protocols that our school adheres to. This includes such as introducing the head of department for each teacher, how to line up in cafeteria lines and instructions on how to use our online student portal – veracross. This is an action that I took because I remember that I had a lot of difficulty understanding the school system compared to my old one as my old school did not have a cafeteria and different teachers came to one designated room so having a map of where the classrooms are would have been very helpful. Therefore, to address this problem I created this. In addition I am also responsible for the new student orientation and making a plan for the recreational activities hosted. This engages community learning through engagement with people because there are many people that are working under me to help make the handbook and think about the optimal way to present our school to new students. This is a thing that we are introducing for the first time so it is very important for me to make a successful exemplar.

I also work for the school community by organizing social events such as dances. The dance is one of the events in which perfect organization is fundamental and necessary. However, because of this it is one of the most profitable events throughout the school year. As it involves the whole high school, it is important that I mess up the process of organizing it. The venue needs to be reserved months in advance and the food and drinks need to order so it arrives in the afternoon before the dance. The decorations and all the sound set up need to be finished within an hour and 30 minutes between the end of school and the start of the dance. So it is significant that people know what they are doing as soon as they enter the venue to set up. Therefore, I have set up a document that looks like this so I don’t miss anything in the setup process. When about 20 people are working under you in this event, where a quarter are new student council members, it is necessary for me to clarify the roles before we enter even the planning stage. With the money we make at these dances, we buy gifts and foods to commemorate the end of a year for many of the grades. Therefore, the student councils organization is bettering the community. The student community would not function without the student council.

GCD: Global Understanding

Global Understanding
This summer, I had the opportunity to intern for a group called Sailors for the Sea Japan. It is an NGO based in Minatomirai that tackles issues of ocean conservation. During the first few weeks, I would attend meetings and takes minutes. It did help me reach out to other NGO’s and be involved in a debate that was significant especially for an island like Japan that is surrounded by water. But, I realized that the ocean is connected. For example, I saw an article that stated about radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant has traveled in the sea and has been detected on the coast of California. This made me question a lot of the things surrounding my life. What influences from the ocean are unconsciously affecting our daily life.
By engaging in different cultures, I realize that Japan consumes a lot of different species of fish. When we go to the supermarket, we see aisles of sashimi. This is part of our culture. But, what supports this culture is myriad business overfishing and bringing species to mass extinction. There’s no consumer awareness that tuna, a vital part of our Japanese culture, has been consumed at alarming rates in the past 20-30 years. In fact, in the past 20-30 years, we have consumed 96% of the tuna available in the ocean. There’s no consumer awareness that we have consumed 99% of Japanese eels available in the past 20-30 years. Because of this, it is now considered “endangered” according to the Red List. These are things I would’ve not known without the internship and my international background.
To tackle these issues, I have created presentations in English on behalf of Sailors for the Sea Japan to try to raise awareness. I have looked into what other fish-eating cultures have done to tackle this discrepancy in the supply and demand chain. The EU, for example, have member nations such as Spain, that are mass fish-eating countries. In 2012, the EU invested 155 million Euros to ban catching Tuna. Since then, the population of tuna had more than tripled. For later generations to be able to consume the same foods as us, we need to start knowing what supports our life.
On top of issues regarding fishery, there are issues of pollution that we need to tackle. Pollution can be separated into four types: ocean trash, oil spill, water discharge, and radioactive contamination. I deemed that oil spills, water discharge, and radioactive contamination are issues of large businesses around the world. I knew I had to start with something smaller, something I can continue after school has started. So I looked into ocean trash. Coincidentally, an issue that I addressed in my personal project. I attended meetings regarding household plastics ending up in the ocean and affecting the marine ecosystem. So I took action. The institution contacted the Inter-Continental hotel in Minatomirai, and we started to abolish single-use plastics straws. In preparation, I was responsible for researching various laws regarding plastic straws around the world. For example, the EU is aiming to abolish all plastic straws by the end of 2030, and four states in America have monetary sanctions of up to 1000 dollars for companies that use plastic straws to serve to costumers.

The proposal was a success in that they changed to sustainable straws made by corn despite making it 0.6 yen more expensive than the original. To extend from this experience, I have made individual inquiries to various organizations to make proposals about sustainable use of straws. I will be heading to Tokyo American Club this month to make a business proposal about sustainable straws to the board so we can all strive for an eco-friendly community that doesn’t pollute.

GCD – Fit for life First Draft

I think something very important and relevant lessons I learned this year was putting it in perspective, sleeping and eating well, listening to others and to care about each relationship.

 

Perspective: I think when listening to others, putting there ideas into perspective and understanding both sides is important and achieving sympathy. The difference of sympathy and empathy was a very inspiring video by Rene Brown. She used clear examples of the difference. In a very conventional way of describing perspective, “go into someone else’s shoes”, it depicts how you have to understand their ideas and perspective. In mentally connecting with the talker, you need to understand the struggles and connect with them.

Sleeping and eating well:

Drama Journal #8

Key Idea: For the past two weeks we have been focusing on realism. In the process of exploring realism, we have encountered the pioneer in this field; Konstantin Stanislavski. His attitude towards becoming the character later spread around to create this system. The whole concept of realism is to observe and execute the necessary components of characters. The concept being that each character; in order to achieve their super-objective, has to achieve sub-objectives.

Approach: In class we did a few exercises to explore realism. We were all new to the idea of realism so it was interesting building up the idea of realism. I think the highlight of the exercise and at the same time was the most unorthodox at first, was where a person sits on a bench and the audience observes him/her. The subject on the bench cannot interact with the audience in any sort of way and is secluded in their own atmosphere. As we advanced in the class, we added variables which may contribute/influence the subjects atmosphere. Whether there were physical or psychological pressure, many of the times the subject was uncomfortable hence moving around. Both the physical and psychological pressure created tension in the audience which led to little giggles and laughs in the audience throughout the exercise. Furthermore, we explored a piece of writing that explored realism. In the Dana and Lee script, Lee, who wants to keep dwelling on his own problems, is reluctant to talk to the approaching, Dana. However, as the script progresses the characters objectives changes. After “Howl long do you think you can keep avoiding me?”Dana starts defending herself and Lee becomes urgent to talk to her. The change in attitude shows that Lee is kind of a dramatic person just wanting attention. The subtle details in the tone emphasise the realism in the play.

Outcome: The exercise, unorthodox as it may be, gave us a great grip to what realism is. We realised that the obstructions/properties in our environment can somehow indirectly and directly contribute to ones actions and facial expressions. We figured out that when actors perform, they present more than what is in the script. Many of the times actors have to infer from the script to create the character. Just subtle things like how a character would react and syntax of the speech can create a better sense of realism. To make acts more believable actors have to become the character and fully understand the character before starting to act it out.

Connections: Realism has a vital role in creating realistic characters. I believe that many actors in movies and TV shows go through the process of experiencing and exploring the characters. They basically have to connect with the inside of the character they are doing to help emphasise realism in the play. Keeping realism in the play is pivotal to execute a very realistic and well-constructed piece.

Panicking Paris?? -What did I do wrong?-

Paris: the ideal man, handsome, wealthy and considerate. What more do you want from this man? He’s got it all. Today we got to interview the man of the year, Paris. A count prospering  in Verona, this man is experienced and wealthy despite his youth. We reveal some recent hot gossip with a particular woman. And a mysterious man interrupting his romance…

 

Paris, coming out of his new Range Rover. (Photo by Olichel)

Q&A

Many women around the country have been calling you “a man of wax” what do you feel about this?

Ummm. Ahaha I’m flattered. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say haha. I wasn’t really expecting this award so I’m honoured that I have been chosen.

Do you have any recommended restaurants in Verona? Or the one’s you like?

I like the “posto por la cena” down the street. They have great pizzas there and great food for dinner. I recommend going there with your family.

What is the key to being wealthy?

Umm… Ahahah. There is no one way but, I think buying what’s important and necessary.

Who do you look up to? and why?

hmm… This is hard… I look up to Da vinci and his work. As a fellow Italian I love looking at his works on the weekends. All of his artworks are all great and gives me inspiration and motivation to live. I even have some of his artworks at home. 🙂

For people out there reading this Q&A do you have something to advise on “giving a good first impression”?

I think being confident is one of the key things to giving a good first impression. When I meet a lot of people, I try to look confident so I look and sounds like I know what I’m doing when I don’t ahah.

Do your parents pick who you marry?

hmm… I don’t think they really do. They are supportive and thoughtful of me. They are quite picky at sometimes but, I just persuade them, they know I’m smart.

Voted as the man of the year many men look up to you as an idol. You’ve got it all, what do you want to achieve from now on?

I really don’t know. My life is quite “spontaneous” so I just want to live life to the fullest. YOLO is key you know? I hope to find a woman that can be in my life soon. Being single is kinda sad you know ahahah.

SO we all know that you’re in an intimate relationship with Juliet. But, there are rumours about a guy called Romeo Montague sliding into Juliet’s DM’s. what do you make of this?

I don’t think Romeo is a threat, Romeo isn’t sliding into Juliet’s DM’s. That guy is no threat at all, to be honest. It’s all fine. 

The public think that Juliet is mourning over her cousin’s death. Is there any chance that she’s secretly meeting Romeo?

What! Where did that come from! No! But, they are also rumours that they had an affair.  I can’t believe you’ll say that. Wow. No, she isn’t!! (leaves room in anger)

UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2014

  1. What were the top three countries in terms of international arrivals in 2014

The three top countries were France, United States and Spain. 2.What were the top three countries in terms of international receipts in 2014?

2.What were the top three countries in terms of international receipts in 2014?

The three top countries in terms of international receipts in 2014 are the United States, China and France. 3.Explain the difference in patterns depicted by your answers

3.Explain the difference in patterns depicted by your answers in question 1 and 2.

Due to a lot of products made in United States and China a lot of the profit go to the US and China and not to the local country. This is why it creates the difference.

4.Describe the recent trends of tourism in Africa.

According to the data provided in UNWTO, there was a 2% increase in tourism in Africa. The region welcomed a total of 56 million people in 2014. The Ivory coast being one of the top growers with (+24%)

5.Describe the changes in international tourist arrivals between 1950 and 2010. (p.14)

There has been a significant increase in tourist arrivals since 1950. We see substantial growth in all countries and Europe having the most growth. The UNWTO expect 1.8 billion people to travel in a year in  20306.In your opinion, why has tourism increased since the 1950s?

6.In your opinion, why has tourism increased since the 1950s?

I believe it is due to globalization and social media. Due to these developments people are more aware of the world and thus more interested in travelling.

 

Drama Set Creation

In the past few weeks, we have been focusing on creating our own set for the play “The Intruder”. We worked in partners for 4 periods and finished/created a set with our own interpretations. Before we started working on our stage set, we filled in information about the historical background of the play and some references to war.

When creating the stage I thought of abstract ideas that connect to the theme. First of all, I thought of the play and came to conclusion that the “lamp” plays a significant role in the play. Therefore, we placed the lamp in quite a central position so it would represent hope to the actors. After that, I understood the other theme of “the intruder”; it was the intervening themes of youth and death. To represent this idea, Kaz and I used a original idea to place the door in different directions. For the door that enters death, we created it so that the other side of the door is not be able to be seen as death is not visible. We also considered the setting of this house. We configured the windows so the house looks isolated. By using black as a wall colour, it emphasises the theme of darkness and ambiguity.

We also applied some techniques we learned in class to our stage. We implemented colour psychology in our stage. We used the colour blue for our seats because blue is often related to trust and peace. We thought that when the actors are sitting down, they have a sense of unity and trust. We also used a thrust theatre stage because it is perfect for the way we perform. There will be nothing hindering the audiences view of our play. An interesting component is that most of our furniture is black. This is to emphasise the historically dark times. We did some background research and found that war is approaching. We figured that this wasn’t the most economically and socially flourished period of history. 12988172_408998262625595_2057650787_n13014879_408998269292261_206603842_n

Drama Journal 7

Key idea:

In the past week, we have been honoured to work with Neil Farrelly. He has visited us from a studio from Nose to Nose. He introduced us the idea of “Physical drama”. As the name can tell this form of drama is formed around physical motions and actions. He brought us a new field in drama and at the same time asked us to create a physical skit. Most of the times he was very motivated and contented that he was able to teach us.

 

Approach:

We had a very unconventional and unorthodox way of starting things up. We basically learned how to “breathe”. We took one breath and moved around until we couldn’t scream. Within our breath, we had to form a circle and find a spot. Neil’s intention was to focus us on our breath so we can be more expressive. He also taught us different things in a short amount of time. We had to create a short song with our body parts and copied other people. We also had to move across the classroom with a specific restriction. Such as only two people are allowed to touch the floor. In a group of 4 or 5, we had to piggy back or carry each other to achieve this goal. To sum it up, most of our activities were very physical. Because most of our classes were sedentary due to learning texts it was a good change and we go to re-acknowledge the importance of using our body.

 

Outcome:

I think we had promising results from these activities. We got to re-focus on the idea of voice again. We learned that your voice isn’t just used to communicate with people. Through voice, you can communicate anxiousness, happiness and many different things. Neil taught us that our physical status is very important when executing an idea. I think that is why we focused a lot on our voice and how we can confidently execute it. I think a lesson that is definitely understated is the idea of taking in/accepting every idea. He worded as saying “yes” to everything. He told us that all the people in this room is talented so every idea is a good idea. Through the process of saying yes we found out that saying yes to everything can divert attention and be more effecient on time. He added on saying dedication and the right posture to taking on a activity is imperative. We enjoyed the activites and at the end I think we all improved as individuals. Many people become more confident through the “breath” activity. We all learnt a important lesson or two in this very short time with Neil. I personally think every lesson with him was inspiring. It was also interesting changing supervisors to learn the differences in teaching. We all became confident in ourselves as we created such a successful piece in a short amount of time. I really enjoyed it.

 

Connections:

I went to watch a theatrical piece that my friend was in the other day. I learned the very importance of using a large voice and its effectiveness. I was really surprised that so many elements we learned in not only Neil’s class but as a drama class was implemented in this piece. I was surprised how all of the actors were confident and used their voices to speak loudly. I realized from Neil’s lesson that by just being confident with your voice and posture is the difference between a good piece and an exceptional piece. I hope to apply the important lessons and skills we learned with him to make my performances better in the future.