Stories From The Road

Technos International Week – Day 10

Tuesday June 15, 2010

The dance class and kimonos

TECHNOS COLLEGE, Japan – After days of traveling around Tokyo and Japan it was time for us to attend classes on the Technos Campus. Since Technos College is a technical college these classes were more like demonstrations.  The curriculum includes traditional college curriculum degree programs law, business, media, engineering, sports and education and information systems and design. The arts curriculum includes music acting and voice but also game creating, concert and event skills such as stage production, audio and lighting. Finally there is a hotel travel specialty program that includes flight attendants and ground hostess, education, hotel and tourism, railroad traffic bridal industry and finally International English program.

We began the day early and had breakfast. Everyone went out to the bus stop to await the city bus to travel to the college. A few of us, including myself, Joe, Vienna, Faylis, Katyann, and Katherine decided to walk to the school. It was hot and humid and when we set off. We walked for a good thirty minutes until we realized that we had completely missed the turn to the College. We stopped and asked for directions but no one had heard of the school. We began walking back the way we had come and realized that we were supposed to take the first left turn after the hotel. This turn was about a hundred yards past the hotel. By the time we made it back and reached the school we were forty-five minutes late.

The master calligrapher’s demonstation of the character for love

Group picture showing examples of japanese characters

We rushed up to the skill-up room where we were rushed to our first class, dance class. The teacher took us in and we began learning a dance with fans. We practiced a few times and then we began performing. At the end of the class we were given the chance to try on kimonos.  I had never realized that men wore kimonos too, so it was interesting to be able to try one. I was given a dark red kimono. I tried it on and then had to perform the dance that we just learned in the kimono. It was tough, but I think I did all right. After I took off the kimono and was taught how fold it correctly.          

When the dance class was finished we went down to lunch. I had ramen in a spicy broth. Lunch was great opportunity to really interact with the Technos students. The students asked us about America and college life in America. We talked with them for about and hour comparing the differences between life in America and Japan. It was all extremely fascinating.

After lunch I had calligraphy class taught by the master calligrapher. We learned how to write our names in Japanese as well the word friend and love. We would take time practicing these symbols and then we would write them on a final poster paper. The master calligrapher was very impressed with our skills. At the end of the lesson she gave each of us a piece of paper with the meaning to our names in Japanese. My name means “I am also watched” and “the order in order and order are defended” as well as the “action that the person should do, it is a person who always controls yourself and can respect people.”

Group photo from the childhood development group

The end of the calligraphy lesson brought an end to the day, or so we thought. Everyone was herded upstairs to take part in the early childhood development program. The kids in this program were working to be teachers for younger kids and they taught us some of the learning games that they play with the kids.  The first game that we played, we were split into small groups of about five people with a pile of cards spread out in between us. We played a game in which some of the Technos students read a hint about an object and then we had to pick up the card off the ground that had a picture of the object that they were describing. At the end of the game, the person with the most cards was the winner. I won the first game for my group. The second game we played was a take on charades. Everyone in the room was split up into four groups. Each group stood in a single file line. The person in the back of the line turned around and was shown a sign with a description. That person then had to act out the description to the person in front of them. At the end the acting of the charades became more and more bizarre but somehow the right answer was always guessed. The final game we played was musical chairs. This game was intense and eventually I was one of four winners.

After this lesson the day was over A few people stayed behind to take a karate lesson with the world champion karate teacher. The rest of us went back to the hotel so that we could go out earlier and have more time in the city to explore. I went out with Emily and Lucas to Shinjuku. We wandered Shinjuku finally realizing how the streets and buildings connected together.

Dr. Fish

Shinjuku at night

We wandered down a side alleyway and Emily found the shop that specialized in Dr. fish. Dr. Fish is a pedicure procedure in which you stand barefoot in a tank with small fish that eat the dead skin off of your feet.  Emily decided to have her feet done. In only 15 minutes she was done. After fifteen minutes of waiting we continued walking again.  We stopped at a sports bar to try and watch the first world cup game of the night. We each ordered a drink and a tower desert. This desert was made of toasted bread and topped with ice cream, honey, and chocolate sauce. It was extremely delicious. The night came to end and eventually we caught the last train home.

Tower desert

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