One of the courses being offered this semester at the East Asia Center is Interactive Webpublishing, where students learn to put the latest in weblog and social networking technology to use to meet their learning needs. Along the way, they will learn about weblogs, RSS/Atom syndication and aggregation, podcasting, social bookmarking with del.icio.us and Furl, photo sharing with Flickr, and other social networking activities like tagging, trackback, and linking. There are ten students participating: James Doolittle, Natalie Stanchfield, Paul Heleen, Lloydie Balan, Marielle Riesgo, Steven Mendoza, Joshua Berkowicz, Kimberly Butcher, Bryan Cloud, and Ayme Frye. Please visit their sites and leave a comment or two.
February 3, 2006
January 9, 2006
The Spring 2006 semester begins on the 16th of January. Courses being offered are Japanese Language, Behind the Mask: Alternative Japan, Interactive Webpublishing, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Writing Workshop, along with guided independent studies in photography, aikido, shiatsu, tai chi, chi gong, iaido, and shodo. The latest version of our handbook is also available for download. Stay tuned for more freqent updates.
November 9, 2005
This semester, EAC senior, Kyle Weaner, is engaged in a study of Kyudo, the art of Japanese archery, where he meets weekly with a Kyudo master in a formal setting. He writes:
I am working on my form as well as learning how to focus my energy in my hara. It is important in Kyudo to expand the hara with each breath, and when the archer is ready for hanare-release-all of that stored ki should go into the shot. To accomplish this feat the movements between stances must be in harmony with the breath, and with complete relaxation. I have such a long way to go, but it is really fun to practice all of these things. Read more…
Also, check out these photos of Kyle in action.
October 26, 2005
For EAC student, Natalie Stanchfield, taking part in the Tai Chi was nostalgic, bringing back memories of previous experiences in California. She writes:
Assembled in a large circle, grass under bare feet, we stretched out our limbs, elongating to the sky, bending to the ground, loosening our joints. It was an overcast day, not too hot, with trees all around us at Gosho Park near the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. I listened to the alien cries of the Japanese crows and cicadas from the trees, but if I closed my eyes, then everything, every sound seemed strangely familiar—like home, like I was a kid.
There it was. It was the sound of lawnmowers, that ubiquitous suburban noise, the background of all of my Southern California childhood memories. I remembered the same feeling of fluid movements and grass underfoot. I remembered tai chi class on the lawn of the community college with my mom when we took that half a credit course together. I remember it not being as relaxing as I had hoped. I remember being in a rush with my mom. She was always late.
Read the rest of Natalie’s paper.
October 3, 2005
During the first few weeks of the semester, students at the East Asia Center are required to take an unguided tour of Kyoto, where they are expected to learn how to get around and familiarize themselves with the many wonders the city has to offer. Students are then expected to document their explorations by taking photos and writing reflective papers.
One of our students, James recently wrote about his experiences on the unguided tour. Along the way he encountered naked men in the public bath, fire dancers along the riverside, a heavy metal concert, ancient temples, tasty Japanese cuisine, and old castles haunted by ghosts of ninjas. He writes:
The weekend following my debut in Japan flowed through seamless transitions of sightseeing and a taste of Kyoto’s night scene. Upon arrival on Thursday night, Zaak Kersteter and I made our way down to where Imadegawa Dori crosses the Kamo river, and headed south for a while until hitting a giant mall-like market downtown. Most of the stores were closed by the time we got there, but the people were still parading about en mass—or so I thought. At that early point in my Japan adventure, I lacked the knowledge of how massive the crowds can be.
Continue reading James’ entire paper.
September 28, 2005
The second area studies workshop of the semester involved another art form using ink ground into liquid from solid blocks in the meditative manner that is quintessential sumi-e. Led by resident Kyoto artist Michael Hofmann, the workshop allowed each student to work with the traditional and well known forms of bamboo paintings as well as of that Indian Bodhidharma, known in Japan as Daruma.
September 26, 2005
Recently a group of EAC students, led by EAC senior Brian Cloud, paid a visit to Osaka’s Kamagasaki district, one of Japan’s most economically depressed communities, where homelessness, poverty, drugs, and prostitution are a constant problem. Kyle had this to say:
Attending an East Asian Studies field trip in this community consisted of traveling from one social help organization to another while passing rickety venders, trash, offensive scents of urine, homely old men lingering in the street, and many other sights unthought-of in Japan. The guides, Mami-san and Brian Cloud, asked that the students not take pictures, or stare at the residents, but even after living in India for nine months where poverty, suffering, and deformities were prevalent it was a difficult task not to gawk. Read more…
Every year Transitions Abroad hosts a writing contest for graduate and undergraduate students. The theme is ‘transitions’, which suggests the change in perception and understanding that results from cultural immersion, something all students here at the East Asia Center are currently experiencing. There is a prize of $150.00 and the winning essay will be published in the March/April 2006 edition of the Transitions Abroad magazine.
September 25, 2005
The Institute of International Education is a nice resource for scholarship, global development, the Fullbright program, and other corporate and foundation programs.
September 20, 2005
Adrian in Costa Rica
Former EAC student, Adrian Almquist, who has moved on to Costa Rica, has fired up his weblog again with a bold post on organic farming and sustainable development:
I believe that as we press on into this millenium, global environmental and social problems will be exaxerbated by the corporate-libertarian economy, and soon people will realize that what has been called “development” in the past has really been just a shift toward export economies, and dependence on the global economy and international finacial institutions. This is not development, but suicide, given the dependence on fossil fuels to achieve stability for the “global economy”, and given that the age of cheap oil has begun to fall. Read more…