Kobe Univ. Secondary School Culture Festival

On the 21st, I went to the annual cultural festival of Kobe University Secondary School as part of a group of students invited to have a cultural exchange with the students. I had a wonderful time there, as I was able to experience what a Japanese school is like and it was fascinating to see the different booths and activities each grade had organized. It was clear that the students had put a lot of effort and preparation into the activities/ booths and the fact that the festival lasted three days was very surprising. Kobe University Secondary School is a school which has put in a lot of effort to “globalize” the school by having students participate  in events such as the speech contest, which I had the privilege of participating in and watching their presentation, and International Kids’ Day in which they acted out scenes from High School Musical 1, in english. Additionally, it was a delight to see clubs consisting of people who wanted to actively use english and learn more about the world.

There were student guides who guided us around the countless booths around the school. In efforts to interact with the students, I asked them about certain booths etc.. Throughout my visit to the school, I believe I was able to develop the skills Develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding, and Undertake challenges and develop new skills. Visiting a Japanese school which is a very different environment from our school, I was able to learn a bit about their curriculum through their booths, and the unique experiences you can achieve through going to this school. This allowed me to have a better understanding about schools in Japan, which is important for me as a Japanese citizen who despite my nationality, does not have the experience of going to a Japanese school. Regarding the second skill, the guides were not as talkative as desired and thus I had to initiate conversations which took a bit of courage, especially because I did not know them and seemed to be engrossed in their own conversations. However overall, it was an enjoyable experience it would be a delight to visit them again next year. Additionally as a service activity, I believe I deserve 5 points as the visit was from 9:20~14:00.

Making Service Videos

A few weeks ago, I made videos regarding service at CA, including videos explaining the procedure for registration and set up when using CA helper, Service Helper and how to create a service blog post, in hopes of helping students understand the significance of service and how to reflect on their experiences and document them. I think I contributed to the community by promoting service and helping those who are not quite familiar with using the updated CA helper. Throughout making the videos, I believe I developed two MYP Service Learning Outcomes; Undertake challenges and develop new skills, and Persevere in Action. I believe that I demonstrated the qualities “Use talents and interest to positively impact the community and the wider world”, and “Plan to learn and practice challenging new skills through the project”. Using my experience as a service leader for the third year this year and my strong wish to share the significance of service with fellow students, I created the videos, hopefully positively impacting the community and the wider world. It was my first time creating a tutorial and therefore, it was a new skill I developed and a challenge because it was essential for me to communicate clearly and efficiently a big concept; service in the limited amount of time. I also developed the MYP Service Learning Outcome of persevering in action through demonstrating the qualities “Demonstrate persistence and perseverance in action and encourage this in others”, and “Maintain motivation of self and others through difficulty”. Although making a tutorials doesn’t seem very challenging, it is very time-consuming as it requires a lot of takes. Technically, I can just cut the clip if  I make a mistake and resume the talking in another clip but that would make the quality of the video worse. Therefore in order to maintain the quality of the video, I had to retake countless amounts of times before filming perfectly from start to finish. This procedure and editing combined was very tedious and time-consuming and I did this for 3 videos, which I must say made me pretty much drained. However, I tried to maintain motivation throughout the process and persevere. I believe I deserve 15 points for creating the videos.

Click here to watch the video tutorials

ACCJ Kansai Walkathon 2016

On October 15th, the annual ACCJ Kansai Walkathon was held at Canadian Academy. The ACCJ, short for The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan is an organization that furthers the development of commerce between the USA and Japan, promotes the interests of U.S. companies and members, and improves the international business environment in Japan. The theme of this year’s event was “Better Workplace, Better Life for working mothers in need”, and the objective of the walkathon was to raise awareness of the many organizations, working to support women in the workforce. This year, I was given the honor of MCing the event alongside Mr. Nathan Bryan.

The event started off with Nathan and I briefly explaining the background and purpose of the event. I thought I would be a bit nervous but strangely, I felt very confident and excited and I believe this was partially because Nathan was such an outgoing and kind person, making me feel reassured and just very happy in general. Next was the opening ceremony in which key individuals, representatives for sponsoring companies, ACCJ BOG members and guests said a few words. There was a brief photo session and I was surprised and honored to find myself standing next to Mr. Schatzky amongst the VIPs, despite being merely the assistant MC.

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After a brief explanation of the raffles tickets, prizes and food tickets, we did a warm-up prior to the walk/ run called the Baby Run. BabyRun is Japan’s first and only exercise program using a stroller and they offer lessons with free rental of strollers and outfits. It is such an innovative idea and it was such a cool experience stretching to the two ladies exercising with the strollers.

While the parctipants walked or ran the course, there were a wide variety of stage events including dance, orchestral, jump rope and choral performances. They were all very entertaining and impressive, and the dance performances were especially eye-catching. There were many food booths with a wide variety of dishes and the prizes for the raffles and silent auctions were quite impressive. The closing ceremony consisted of a few speeches and thank-yous.

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It was a very hectic day and it was a bit tiring I must say, but I had a lot of fun. Through helping out at this event, I believe I was able to contribute to the community by helping out at the walkathon, in hopes of raising awareness of the many organizations, working to support working mothers in need. I believe I developed two MYP Service Learning Outcomes throughout this event; Become more aware of our strengths and areas for growth, and Work Collaboratively with others. I believe I demonstrated the qualities “Evaluate own strengths and weaknesses” and “Embrace personal limitations and external obstacles as opportunities for meaningful learning”. Throughout the event, there were many unscheduled changes of the order of events, forcing me to adjust to the situation quickly and improvise on my speech/ announcements instead of following and reading the script which I’m afraid I’m not too good at. I am a perfectionist and sometimes, unexpected changes make me feel unsettled and unsure so at times, Nathan had to cover for me which I was very grateful but apologize for. I was impressed by Nathan’s skill to adjust accordingly with speed and improvise with confidence, and I wish to work on overcoming my inner perfectionist and get used to being more carefree and spontaneous. I think I also developed the MYP service learning outcome of working collaboratively with others through demonstrating the quality “Take responsibility for own actions as part of the group and offers support for others”. Nathan being the MC and I being assistant MC, teamwork was essential in order to make the event flow smoothly and whenever I had doubts or anything that I was unsure of, I made sure to check with Nathan and communicate clearly so there were no possible misunderstandings between us. I believe teamwork was key because it was very important for Nathan and I to be responsible and ensure that the event flowed smoothly as we were the MCs. As well as taking responsibility and doing my job as well as I could, I tried to support him as the assistant MC although it was more of him making sure I felt confident and at ease, which was very thoughtful of him and making it less pressuring and more enjoyable. It was a great honor for me to be able to contribute in supporting such a wonderful cause and a great opportunity to contribute to the community but this would not have been a reality if I had not received help from Nathan, Dan, and Ms. Nishizawa so I would like to thank them. Additionally, thank you to all who contributed in making this event a success including the stage crew.  Finally, I worked from 9:00am~5:00pm, so I believe I deserve 8 service points.

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Kibou no Mori (Summer Service)

On August 17th, I participated in the Kibou no Mori activity along with 3 other eco club members; two 8th graders and one 6th grader. We hiked up the mountain and cut weeds that were growing around the trees. It was the middle of summer and the weeds were growing very fast. We had to cut a large amount of the weeds, to prevent it from hindering the growth of the sakura trees we had planted earlier in the year, and ensure that it received enough sunlight. I was very happy to see that the trees we had planted ourselves were growing more sturdier and taller as months passed. I believe we contributed to the environment by helping the growth of the trees, which prevent landslides and most importantly, create oxygen which we cannot live without. I believe we also contributed to the community by maintaining the beautiful scenery of the mountain for the hikers. I believe I developed two MYP Service Learning Outcomes through this activity; Persevere in action, and Work collaboratively with others. I believe that I demonstrated the quality “Demonstrate persistence and perseverance in action and encourage this in others”, as despite the scorching weather and countless bugs that surrounded us which I severely disliked, I understood that as the only 9th grader, I should be setting an example as a role model, and persevered in my efforts to cut as many weeds as possible and encourage others to do the same through my actions. I also endeavored to “Maintain motivation of self and others through difficulty” by maintaining a positive attitude, and not complaining and smiling instead. I believe I developed the MYP Service Learning Outcome of working collaboratively with others as well, through demonstrating the quality “Take responsibility for own actions as part of the group and offers support for others.”, by ensuring that I fulfilled my duty of cutting as many weeds as I can in the limited amount of time. I think I could’ve worked on offering more support for my fellow eco club members by overcoming my timidness and conversing a bit more. Otherwise, I think I developed a lot mentally and it was a great opportunity to exercise my leadership and contribute to the environment and community. As I worked from 12:30~3:30, I believe I deserve 3 service points.img_5012

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WJAA Scoring

On May 13th and 14th, the WJAA MS Girl Softball Tournament was held on both Friday and Saturday. As the scorekeeper, I helped out from 9:00~5:00 on the first day and 9:30~3:30 on the second day. I think earned a total of 15 points. It was such a refreshing change and I loved watching the games. Sometimes, it was nerve-wrecking as we had to constantly look at the game and score accordingly with speed but it was very enjoyable and I hope I can do it again next year!

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Helping out at Grd 3 & 4 Concert

Last Friday, the Grd 3 & 4 Concert was held in the auditorium from 6:00pm. I played the piano accompaniment for Star Wars along with the elementary students and a few fellow middle schoolers. In order to prepare for it, I attended five rehearsals in total which account for five points and the concert (1 hr). Therefore, I earned 6 points in total. I enjoyed playing along with the elementary students as I love Star Wars and I loved seeing all of the students playing with so much enthusiasm and energy as it made me really happy. It was great that I was able to experience this as a service opportunity as well. Thank you Ms. Go!

 

Tech Team Semester 2

As tech leader this semester, I enjoyed participating in many activities such as the Google Summit and help out in Ms Shigeta’s Accessories Club. Like last year, I had such a wonderful time during the google summit, looking at teachers around the world fascinated with technology available and the things that could be done with it. I tried to help out at Ms. Shigeta’s Accessories Club as much as I can but due to my very hectic schedule, I was not able to go a lot of times. I love working with children and I loved creating different accessories with the children and seeing their smiles. As a member of the tech team for the past few years, I learnt the joy of encouraging other people to explore technology and have fun with it and I hope to continue my work next year as well. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Lemley and Ms. Shigeta for supporting me and providing me with so many opportunities!

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Tech Team- 4 points

Accessories Club- 4 times ( 4 points)

Food & Fun Fair- 1 shift (1 point)

SBC Semester 2

As a member of SBC this year, it was a wonderful experience and I loved organizing events such as spirit week along with the other SBC members and strive to make middle school a more enjoyable place for students. As an 8th grader this year, it was important for me to be more active and be more forthcoming about my ideas and be a leader. My experience as a student leader for the past two years were amazing and taught me not only how to be confident in public speaking but also the pleasure of making others feel happy and glad to be in CA’s middle school. The smile and laughter of the students during events that we organized was heartwarming and made me glad that I was in the SBC. We are currently working on the Fun Bowl that will be held on the last day of school. Looking back at all the fun I had  as a member of the SBC, I hope to continue my work and take leadership in high school so as to contribute to make high school a better environment for myself and the students.

Eco Club Semester 2

As a member of eco club this semester, I tried to participate in activities and help out in hopes of preserving the environment and helping the community. I was not as active as last semester due to my very hectic schedule. However, I think I was able to positively impact the community throughout my actions and I learnt that it was important to take part in activities as even small actions combined together make big differences.

Tuesday Paper Sorting- 9 times ( 3 points)

Wednesday Recycling- 5 times ( 2.5 points)

Meeting- 1 time (0.5)

Total- 6 points

IB Recital Accompaniment

On March 17th, I played the piano accompaniment for two pieces Aika was playing for her IB recital. The two pieces were LOVE by Nat King Cole and Air Varié No. 6. I really liked the two pieces and I had a lot of fun throughout the process of practicing the pieces. I was awed by Aika’s skill in playing the violin and singing so it was a wonderful experience being able to play along with her. The performance turned out very well and after weeks of practicing, I felt that our effort payed off and I really loved the experience overall. Also as an act of service, I think I earned 20 points.

Below are the mp3s of the pieces.

LOVE

Air Varié No. 6