GCD – Wellness

GCD Criteria: That you have knowledge of what makes a person well physically, mentally/emotionally, socially, and spiritually, and that you have developed practices for keeping yourself well.

You provide evidence of a regular practice you engage in to support your wellness in two of physical, mental/emotional, social or spiritual wellness and reflect on how these practices have benefited you.

From years of sports including basketball, I know that I have a weakness in stamina and it deteriorates when it is offseason. To make myself more physically fit for the season, I started jumping 5 minutes of jump rope every day. This made me ready in stamina and also increased my height in jumping. I also dance outside of school and there I do a lot of muscle training to strengthen my core. I noticed that strengthening my core could help me get more power when I am in the air which is important in blocking and spiking. Core muscle also helps me stand up quickly after I dive.

I have been participating in volleyball since I was in 6th grade, and this year I was in Varsity Volleyball. From years of experience, I know that I am extremely weak against pressure. Volleyball is partly a mental game and therefore I knew that I needed to improve my mental strength to become a better player. To improve my mental strength I made sure that I imagine myself getting every serve over the net before I serve, and before every game, I imagine myself spiking good balls over the net. This way, I feel confident and would improve how I play.

Spiritually, I went to every game, cheered in a loud voice. To engage in team spirit, I hand made every teammate and my coach hair ties with red ribbons. We wore this to both tournaments and to every game. I made sure that I engaged with everyone, including teammates from different grades so that they do not feel left out in the team. I demonstrated this mostly in AISA basketball tournament. I was with girls from 9th grade and 10th grade, and therefore were not people who I talk with normally at school. However, from team dinner and playing basketball, I got to know them and now, after the season, still talk to them.

School team sports helped me improve in physical, mental, and social wellness, and I would like to continue improving in this even after I graduate.

GCD – Global Understanding

During summer break, I had the opportunity to study in New York for a month. It was my first time in the mainland of US although I have been to Hawaii several times. During the visit, I took courses such as politics and human rights, and speech and debate. We had unlimited train passes and were free to go to almost anywhere we wanted, however, there were some boundaries to where we were allowed to travel. I could tell that the boundaries were not chosen due to the distance from the school, as I stayed in a dorm at a university on 116th street but 125th street was off boundaries.

I asked one of the assistant directors of the program of why some areas are off limits, regardless of the distance. Apparently, 125th street is a slum area where crimes are frequent and where there are lots of homeless people. Most areas off limits had a similar reason. Thinking of homeless people, I noticed the difference in the number of homeless people around between New York, Japan, and Hawaii.

In Japan, homeless people are close to unnoticed, I almost never noticed homeless people around before I joined Chiku in 11th grade. I have never seen homeless people in Tokyo, and even when I saw news about homeless people, I never thought about it seriously. In Hawaii, there are homeless people but there are only a few of them and very unnoticeable. However, although New York is a famous tourist area there were a lot of homeless people even just when walking a few blocks to go to the supermarket.

For my final project for politics and human rights class, I researched about homeless people. The major factors for the difference were political, geographical, and economic factors. In New York, a lot of homeless people are descendants or immigrants or refugees from other countries, and some are even sent from other states of US from other reasons or problems.

The geographical location of Hawaii and Japan makes immigrants harder to immigrate from other countries which explain the difference in the number of homeless people. However, from research, I figured out that some homeless people in Hawaii are sent from the mainland of the US as Hawaii is warmer in climate, therefore increases the survival rate of homeless people in the winter. I felt like this is a good idea regarding the survival of the homeless people, however, I think this would make the homeless people harder for social rehabilitation. I also think it is a stress for the homeless people as they would be sent to a new ground where they might have never been before.

Another factor for people to become homeless people is economic factors. There is a connection between the great depression (US) and homeless people now, as well as the bubble crash (Japan) and homeless people now. The similarities between the two are that in both cases, a lot of people became homeless people due to the loss of jobs. Although the great depression was recovered, it was recovered by increasing the number of jobs, leaving people homeless.

In contrast, the bubble crash was recovered from the Korean War which created more jobs from the war, decreasing the unemployment rate. The chances of social rehabilitation would increase as they would already have a job and would just have to transfer jobs, which is easier compared to finding a job from zero.

My experience at New York triggered me into understanding the different situations for homeless people. An act that I have done to help the homeless is joining Chiku to help the homeless directly by making and serving food, and gathering donations. I aim to take the knowledge I gained from this experience to play my little part to make a large change in the world.

Criteria: You demonstrate a personal understanding of, and perspective on, the relationship between Power/Privilege and any of the following:
with reference to more than one context.

GCD – Inter-Cultural Communication

This year I have traveled to Korea for my volleyball tournament at an International School in Korea. Korea is a country where the people there do not speak English or Japanese, but only speak Korean which is a language I do not speak. When I travel somewhere with my family we go to a country where English or Japanese is a language of communication, so I almost never had problems with language with my life. Although I have gone to Korea several times, I was with several friends who could speak Korean.

During the tournament, I was homestayed by a Korean student. Although the student spoke English, I had problems communicating with her mother sometimes as she only spoke Korean. During the first day, I called my homestay to come and translate what I wanted to say. However, I have changed over the next couple of days. I used gestures and body language to communicate with her mother, and she even understood when I wanted my (and my teammate’s) uniform washed for the next day. I was personally surprised by the power of the language of gestures, and this experience also taught me how much gestures are important in communication with language.

On the last day, we had spare time at the airport, therefore, some of us went to Lotte Mall in the airport to shop. First, I was with 2 of my teammates, however, we lost each other when we were shopping at different shops (which were next to each other). As we had a meeting time, we decided to meet there. As it was my sister’s birthday, I decided to get makeup for her birthday present, so I looked around various shops. I found a shop that I liked, however, I did not know which colors to buy, and in addition, the price was not shown. I knew my sister wanted a variety of red makeup, but I could not choose for her, and as Korea is a country of beauty and makeup, I wanted to ask the shop assistant. She did not speak English at all.

Although I tried using gestures to convey my message, it seemed like they did not understand. I saw the limit of gestures there. I was thinking of a way to communicate my ideas. I thought of a way. A very major but an accurate way. I was so happy to have wifi and google translate on my phone. This was actually my first time using google translate in my whole life and it worked amazingly. I was able to ask the price of the makeup, and she also helped me choose colors for my sister.

This experience made me feel very proud of myself. Although I was alone, I had been able to communicate my own thoughts accurately to the shop assistant. Before this experience, I have always felt the border in language, making me hesitant to go to areas where I could not speak the language. After this experience, I feel like the world is now so small, with the technology. I really felt how we can use technology to communicate with many different people in different areas of the world.

I also felt the value in different cultures. As I mentioned earlier, Korea is a country of beauty, selling different makeup. The people there have a different sense of makeup, and I really value this as I personally like Korean style makeup better. Now I really am excited to go to different countries where I am interested in without thinking of the language barriers as I now know how to communicate using different strategies and techniques.


As I am in GIN Chiku service group, I go to the Chiku center at least once in 2 months. At Chiku I went to the meeting both in the morning and afternoon, and learned how important Chiku service is for the homeless people. I learned this by talking to the people who were always there for Chiku food service, and asked them why the amount of food needed differs. They answered that the homeless people have to live with an unstable earning as they can not find a stable job. This may mean that they might have to live with no earning for weeks, therefore, to live they would need to save money and eat. When the homeless people have an earning they would go eat something different, however, they would run out of money before the next salary but would need something to eat therefore need the food from the Chiku group.

In the morning, I saw people from the Chiku center predicting the amount of food the homeless people would need based on the salary system while I was helping the Chiku people cook the food for the homeless people, and in the afternoon I was giving the food out to the homeless people and looking at the amount of people that needed the food. I was surprised as some homeless people brought their own pots so that they could get more food. Some days, the food would run out and on other days, we had just enough. As I saw how desperate the people were to get food, it made me think of how much we waste food in the canteen. I felt that I wanted to do something with the amount of food we waste to help the homeless people.

This experience made me think about when I went to New York for a month during the summer as there were a lot of homeless people there. The homeless people were begging for money laying in the streets, however, the homeless people at Kotobukicho do not beg for money. This made me curious of the difference between how people see the homeless people in NewYork and Japan.

The meaningful action I took is that I spoke up during the meeting saying that we should donate more food as there are not enough. After discussion, we decided to conduct more donation events and also we went to the elementary students and shared the reality of the homeless people, asking them to bring in some food to donate to the Chiku center. Although this may have been a small act, speaking out my thoughts have influenced the Chiku group and the elementary school to start donate food.

Fit for Life Living in a Healthy way

This year in design, we made digital or physical model that fits our plan that we thought carefully. Before, I thought that I could not make anything that I imagine, and that something would go wrong. However, nothing really went wrong and I made my model just like I planned. I learned that I can actually make what I want to do, which is positive thinking compared to before.

This year in sports especially in volleyball, I learned to try new things and to shake mistakes off to set a new mind. In volleyball, if you make a mistake in something the opponent team gets a point. Because of this, I always could not completely reset my mind when I make a mistake.

Write a GCD Fit for Life blog post on your blog in which you name and explain four things you have learned this year (both in and outside of school) that could have an impact on how you live your life. Two should be habits of mind (like VIA Strengths or MBTI) and two should be healthy habits (such as sleep, good social relationships or body image).

MARRIAGE: What is unstable Juliet thinking about?

402680205_367492b0ac_oPhoto by Phil Kates
Juliet Capulet and a young men kissing on the sea side

This month we caught up with Capulet’s only daughter, gorgeous Juliet again. Last month, she mentioned that marrying was a dream that she has dreamed not of, but now rumours say that Juliet is now romantically associated with Romeo, Montague’s son, instead of Paris. What is she thinking? Juliet reveals all.

Comments say that you are closer to the Nurse than your very own mother. Why?
Well, come to think of it, I think I am closer to the Nurse than my mother. I know the Nurse from when I was a baby, so she’s no different from my mother. She acts more like she’s closer than me and actually talks to me, you know my mother only orders me or forces me to do things.

Your parents are telling you to marry Paris. How do you think your parents about that?
Honestly, I think that they want me to marry someone who just LOOKS perfect to themselves. I don’t think Paris loves me by heart and just wants the gifts that comes by marrying me. I don’t even KNOW Paris and even though I’m supposed to be the ‘obedient and perfect’ girl, I still have feelings and a heart to decide my own. I know Romeo better, and Romeo is really kind, and feels empathy towards me. I want to be with him as long as I can.

Earlier, you mentioned that you want to be with Romeo as long as you could. What made you want to be with Romeo instead of Paris?
Romeo feels how I feel. He is not the ‘ideal’ man that everyone dreams of, but no one’s perfect. Romeo and I have similar lives of being the rich-man’s-child, also knows the pressure of supposed to being ‘perfect’. Romeo and I have too much in common!

You mentioned that Romeo is not the ideal man that EVERYONE dreams of, but is Romeo YOUR ideal man?
Well, I think my ideal is not everyone’s ideal. Maybe my ideal person is a person who is not ideal for everyone. Romeo is not like his father, or macho, and he doesn’t have a strong, powerful image, but because he is like that, I don’t have to be the young, innocent, obedient girl who is perfect. He knows the pressure of supposed to be perfect, and also when he talks to me, he looks at me from the level of my eyes instead of looking down from above.

Last time when we asked you about marriage, you answered,

“Marrying is an honour that I dream not of.”

What made your thoughts about that change?

Before, I thought marrying was just going to another man, and supporting him for my whole life. Now I know it’s not. It’s about being with someone you want to be with for your whole life. Now it is something would honour. I would want to marry Romeo, he is the person I would want to be with for my whole life.

You said that you would want to marry Romeo. However, your family are enemies for a long time with Romeo’s family. If you have to choose either Romeo or your family, which would you choose?
Actually, I don’t know yet. I don’t really know Romeo’s family in person, but I heard that his family is similar to my family. If what he said is true, I can not decide. If it is possible, I want to live freely with Romeo. I want to go to a place where no one knows us, and where no one would judge us for or gender or our looks. We want to choose ourselves, and live with our own power. Basically, there is only a small chance that I would choose my family.

Why do people see history differently?

People see history differently because their priority is different. People’s priorities are different because everyone grew up in different environment, and we were all taught in a different way, and even if we were, we are constantly looking at the same thing in a different perspective, in a different way. In english, we were taught that, “Truth is relative and depends on who is telling the story.” Because we see things in a different way, we would act in a different way, the way we usually think that is ‘right’. But the concept of acting right is also different for people.


Friend, Jeffrey. Perspective-hacks. Digital image.Http://www.smallstepsbigchanges.com/. Small Steps Big Changes [SSBC], 12 Oct. 2013. Web. 26 May 2015.

There were lots of cases that in America, the cops killed the African-American people because they thought that they were going to harm them, or were doing illegal things. Some people were even killed when they were not doing any of them.

One of it was the police mistaking a toy gun and killing two African-American victims. You can think of this in 2 perspectives. The cops were afraid of the African-Americans shooting at them because they thought the guns were real. However, you can also think that the African-Americans were just holding toy guns and playing around, and they were not doing any harm.

Another example is when a man robbed from a shop because he was starving to death. If you look at the story from the man’s perspective, it would seem okay because the man had to do it to live. However, if you look at it from the shop which got robbed, stealing is against the laws.

What would you think about bullying? Girl A was being bullied, and changed schools, then the bully, girl B occasionally goes to the new school where girl A is going present. Then girl A bullies girl B at the new school because girl B bullied girl A at the past school. If you were at this school, what would you do? Ask your peers, and the answer of the action will possibly be different.

Just like that, people have a reason why they act the way they act. For the last example, girl A decided to act the way she acted because of her past of being bullied. Just the same way as perspectives, people view history differently.

Informercials: Persuasive Speech

In drama class, we needed to advertise an product using special words that advertise the product. My partner was Satono, and we advertised pillow pets glow pets.

What are your personal barriers that keep you from being a better public speaker?

My personal barriers are being nervous in front of cameras and people when I speak or do something that I don’t have confidence in. If I have confidence, and if I’m not nervous, I think I would be a better speaker, but I think that is a personal barrier that is keeping me from being a better speaker.
I could break those barriers by practicing in front of people, and not just when I have speeches, in daily life. This would work because this happened before for my dance performance, but when I practiced in front of people, and I got used to it, so now I am not nervous, unless I’m preforming to people who don’t know me much.
The barriers that I have is mental, so I think I could break it if I practice and feel confident because it isn’t anything to do with other people.

How I think about the unit about the world

In this unit in humanities, Globalisation, we learned about what globalised is, and we thought about how globalised Yokohama is. I learned that globalisation can mean many things, and I think there is no right answer about how much Yokohama is globalised. Before I did this unit, I thought that globalisation is good because we can enjoy other cultures without going too far, but now I think that it is good, unless it goes too far. My opinion changed because if globalisation goes too far, none of the original culture would remain.

About big projects, I learned that we need to use time wisely and effectively. In this project I tried using time effectively, and I think it worked well. I am really happy that I didn’t leave all my work until the last minute, because if I did that, I don’t think I would have the same quality of work than if I do a little each night.

I am proud of myself that I didn’t leave it until the last minute and rush, because I thought I couldn’t use time wisely and I would leave it until the last minute. I am also proud of not being lazy and not doing my work, and instead advancing myself. I also like that I got to express my research through part 2 and 3, and I discovered that I like expressing myself visually than using texts.