Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

February 17, 2020 The Giving Table

It is almost two years now since our ICT new educational program has started. It felt good to move to the new office at Hakusanroku Campus; everything was brand-new, in the middle of the beautiful seen. New campus, new program, new students, and new challenges! All felt as exciting as an adventure. One challenge was to build up our school community, and connect to people within and outside of ICT. The campus is rich with students, educators and school staff from various backgrounds and cultures within Japan or overseas. One custom or tradition gradually appeared at the center table at the front entrance of the staff room on the 2nd floor.

As we are in Japan, Omiyage, or souvenirs, were brought by staff who have been to a conference or spent a weekend or a vacation at a different city or country. I am not sure who chose that table for that mission, but it is interesting to see how the story did not end at that normal Japanese tradition. It developed and with time, that table became the place where people also shared their especially home-made food, sweets, bread, and ice-cream. We were lucky to have professor Edward Basquill, or Mr.B as he likes the students to call him. Mr. B loves baking. He bakes all kinds of cakes, muffins, bread, sometimes pizza and bread. He shares all of the high-quality food by putting them on that table. In summer, he also makes ice-cream. Everything is so tasty!

Not only him, other professors share some food they buy at the supermarket, that they think is new and good to share with all, for example, Costco seasonal items. Interestingly, all of those items put on that table do not have the name of the person who brought them. You can find a post-it that says, from Thailand, from Tokyo, from Okinawa and so many other places. But, it rarely has the name of the person who brought them in.

One day, someone brought in a bottle of coffee, that was really nice and kind, strangely, no one helped themselves for that coffee, no one even opened the bottle. Until that one day, I told myself, I will open that bottle and help myself for some coffee, as I ran out of my coffee stock. Yes, after the class I will do so. However, on my way to the class, there was that whole new coffee corner with a fresh brewed coffee maker, by the Big Stairs on the second floor. The left-up coffee bottle was like a seed that grew into a whole coffee maker. I was happy!

I call that table the Giving Table, the name come from the Giving Chair, orどうぞのいす , a Japanese children story book written by Yoshiko Koyama, It talks about that chair made by a rabbit to put in the woods for passersby to sit on, the rabbit made a sign on the chair that says HELP YOURSELF. One day the donkey passed by and put up his heavy bag loaded with chestnuts, and took a nap under the close by tree, while he was napping, all other sort of animals came by gradually, each time the animals left other food on the chair, instead of what they ate. By the time the donkey woke up he found his bag full with chestnuts that were brought by the squirrels.

Now both, the Giving table and the Coffee Corner are full of not only food and drinks, but lots of nice conversations, and unforgettable memories between all of ICT Community people.

I learned later that the coffee corner was the idea of Mr. Rikichi Izumiya. A great one, and is surely to strengthen our ICT community.

Enjoy the pictures! 

Nagwa Fekri Rashed





私はそのお土産のテーブルをGiving Tableと呼んでいます。この名前は香山美子さん著作の絵本「どうぞのいす(Giving Chair)」から取りました。これはうさぎが森の中を通る人のために椅子を作るお話です。うさぎは椅子に「どうぞ」という看板をかけました。ある日、どんぐりをたくさん詰めた重い袋を持ったロバが通って、近くの木の下で昼寝を始めました。寝ている間、色んな動物が徐々に集まって食べたものの代わりに別の食べ物を椅子の上に残していきました。ロバが起きてるとカバンはリスが持ってきてくれたどんぐりでいっぱいになっていました。

現在、Giving Tableとコーヒーコーナーは飲食物だけではなく、楽しい会話や国際高専のスクール・コミュニティに不可欠な場所となっています。あとからコーヒーコーナーは泉屋利吉さんのアイデアだと聞きました。国際高専の絆を深める素晴らしいアイデアです!





February 10, 2020 Skiing in Ichirino

Hello, it's Jonathan, the camera man. Finally! We got enough snow to go skiing! This winter has been strange with record-breaking warm weather. However, the skies smiled upon us for this weekend's ski excursion. After morning classes on Saturday February 8, members of  the Nature & Adventure club geared up and we drove to Ichirino Ski Resort, which is about a ten minutes from the Hakusanroku campus. Most of the students were skiing for the first time or had not skied in a while. Owari coach began with some lesson and the members were enjoying zooming down the mountainside in no time. We spent the afternoon enjoying skiing and the students voiced their hopes to go again this season. I'm glad that everyone liked skiing more than they expected. After all, we are living in the Mt. Hakusan foodhills.





February 4, 2020 English Café

Hello everyone. I’m James Taylor from the English Department at ICT. We’re coming towards the end of our second year at Hakusanroku Campus. The Hakusanroku area is a beautiful and interesting place to live, and we are very lucky that the residents of what used to be known as Oguchi Village have welcomed us into their community.

As a way of strengthening relations between the school and the community, and as a way of thanking local residents for being so welcoming, members of the English Department have engaged in various community outreach activities. Ed and Ian (and Pauline in 2018) go to Hakurei Elementary School to read stories to the children, Pauline teaches an English class to some local residents, and I have been working on translating exhibits at the Hakusan Folk Museum in Shiramine.

Last week, Pauline and I started a new event: English Café, which was held at Oguchi Community Centre. Thirteen members of the community, including elderly residents, mothers with very young children, and staff at the Community Centre, came along to chat, get to know each other, and learn some English over a cup of tea. The hour went very quickly, with much laughter, and everybody left looking forward to the next English Café.

We’re very grateful to the staff of the Community Centre for their hard work in helping to organise the event, and to the local residents who participated. I’m looking forward to the next English Café, too!

James Taylor





January 28, 2020 Inviting Spaces

Soft music, conversation, and coffee, anyone? Recently, ICT students, faculty, and visitors have been spending more time in the space above the stairs. It’s an inviting space thanks to Mr. Rikichi Izumiya. Now a meeting point where informal conversations happen around 4:30 pm each day, the brand-new coffee corner—with its shiny machine, bar height table and stools, and a pair of comfy seats facing the roadside view of Sena—provides what the water cooler did in most office spaces—a  place to socialize.

It is becoming normal to see several first- and second-year students make and sip their hot chocolate and coffee at leisure, linger over their laptops, seemingly stress-free. Coffee time is an additional time to engage with others over a drink in a place that is not the cafeteria. Students make use of this inviting space after lunch and dinner as well. Some students boast about drinking their coffee “black.” Not a coffee drinker of any caliber, I surmise that drinking black coffee is a marked status in the coffee-drinking world! ICT students have arrived!

While this space on top of the stairs is among the newest addition to our comfort here at ICT, it would be remiss of me not to mention another space that is inviting. It is the small classroom 3, next to the Living Commons. On Tuesdays, each week, members of the Hakusan community can be found there laughing and having fun. It’s been more than a year since the community members have been enjoying English language conversation classes on the Campus. Having community members, of whom two are senior citizens, is a reminder that our learning community is diverse. And local people are a part of our learning community. These citizens certainly demonstrate what live-long learning can look like and what reciprocity by the school can be. I facilitate Life-long learning using stories. The community members and I enjoy reading aloud from children’s books and sometimes accompanying movies. To date, we have finished reading at least eight children’s books. We enjoy learning new words, expressions, and sounds as much as we like to laugh, and talk about holidays, culture, and food!

Having the coffee corner and the community conversation class at ICT enhance our ongoing efforts in making our valuable learning community thrive.

Pauline Baird



国際高専の真新しい癒しの空間である階段上のコーナーについて話したのですから、もうひとつの癒しの空間について話さないわけにはいきません。リビングコモンズ横のClassroom 3です。毎週火曜日、白山麓地域の方々とここで笑顔の絶えない楽しい時間を過ごしています。白山麓キャンパスでこの英会話教室を始めてから1年以上が経ちました。参加しているメンバーのうち2人は高齢者で、新しいことを学ぶことに年齢は関係ないことを思い出させてくれます。参加しているのは地域の方々です。学校が生涯学習に一役買えることを身をもって証明してくれました。私の授業では絵本を使って英語を教えます。声に出して読んだり、時には映画を使って楽しく勉強しています。現在、8冊の絵本を読み終えました。新しい単語や表現を覚えることも、笑って休日の過ごし方や文化の違い、食べ物の話をするのも大好きです。



January 20, 2020 Global Winter Camp

Hello, it's Jonathan, the camera man. Last month we held the Global Winter Camp where fourteen student from Thailand came to ICT to take STEM courses and learn about Japanese Culture. This year's Global Winter Camp was a week long program starting on December 15. During the program, the Thai students stayed in our dormitories at Hakusanroku campus and participated in STEM classes and Japanese cultural classes hosted by ICT teachers, various activities, and visited a local elementary school and tourist spots in Ishikawa prefecture.

Day 1

Sadly there was no snow yet at ICT.

On the first day, students arrived at Hakusanroku campus after a long journey and checked in. We held a orientation ceremony and introduced our school and each other. In the evening we held a mini workshop to make key chains using the laser cutting machine.

Day 2

On day two, students first received a lecture on Japanese culture and language. In the afternoon, we visited the Hakusan Folk Museum in Shiramine, which is a town about fifteen minutes up the mountain from ICT. We also cut and made cups out of bamboo and experienced cooking rice over a bonfire.

Day 3

Group photo with Hakurei six-graders.

Day three was the day we visited Hakurei Elementary School, a local public school about five minutes from ICT. Both students had prepared a presentation of their culture and a kids game that they could play together. The Japanese students introduced the game "Darumasan-ga-koronda." In this game, one person covers their eyes and the other players sneak up on him/her while the person says "Darumasan-ga-koronda", which means "the daruma falls down." When the person opens their eyes, all the other players must freeze and cannot move or else they will be captured. After they are touched, the person has ten steps to tag another player.

In exchange the Thai students introduced a type of stilts made out of two cut coconuts and string. The students practiced walking with these coconuts and finally faced off in a race of Thailand vs Japan. You can see both games in action in the video at the bottom of the article. We also challenged ourselves with cooking some Japanese "dango" (dumplings). Both students mixed, boiled, and covered the dumplings with kinako powder. Afterwards, we ate lunch together in the Hakurei cafeteria.

In the evening back at ICT, the students enjoyed bouldering with the assistance of Philip-sensei.

Day 4

The STEM courses began from the fourth day. These include the Digital Fabrication Introduction by Omi-sensei, Circuit Board Decoration Workshop by Hayato-sensei, Chemistry & Biology Workshop by Nagwa-sensei and Jason-sensei, and the Paper Rocket Design Challenge by Anne- and Ryan-sensei.

Day 5

On day five, students participated in the Design Thinking Workshop by Omi-sensei, Drone Programming Workshop by Maesa-sensei, Laser Cutter Workshop by KK-sensei, and AI & IoT Workshop by Fukuda-san. The students experienced a wide assortment of STEM courses during the span of two short days, hopefully sparking an interest as a engineer of the future.

Day 6

The sixth and final full day was dedicated to sightseeing in Ishikawa prefector. We first departed ICT for Kaga Fruit Land to pick strawberries. There were green houses where you could pick and eat as many strawberries as you want. The strawberries were fresh and delicious and everyone ate their fill.

Next, we moved to Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) to eat lunch in the cafeteria and take a campus tour. Students especially enjoyed the PMC's (Popular Music Collection) collection of records and special chairs to listen to them. After KIT, we did some sightseeing in Kanazawa city. Kanazawa is often called "small Kyoto" and we made time to visit Nagamachi Samurai District, Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa Castle, and Higashi-chayagai. At Nagamachi, we visited Nomura-ke, which is a samurai residence open to the public. Here, the students had their first taste of Matcha green tea. At Kenrokuen Garden, some students discovered their love for Mitarashi-dango. (dumpling with sweet soy sauce) Finally, we joined a gold leaf experience at the shop "Sakuda." Here, students decorated small boxes with gold leaf. We returned to Hakusanroku and packed our bags for it was our last night at ICT.

Day 7

On the final day, students gave presentations on their experience at ICT. It was interesting to see how each students had taken alike to a different activities. I am glad that they all have special memories that they will take back to their homes in Thailand. You can see a video of their presentations and some scenes during the trip. I look forward to the next camp and hopefully seeing our friends from Thailand again someday. Thanks for coming and take care!



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