Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

September 24, 2019 Anamizu Seminar

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. Today I would like to give my report on the first-year students' Anamizu Seminar held from September 19 to 21. The Anamizu Seminar is a traditional school event going back more than 50 years. Students stay at a seminar house in Anamizu (about three hours north in the Noto peninsula) for three days to learn about leadership, teamwork, and courtesy towards others.

The first day at Anamizu is mostly orientation and learning the rules of the seminar house. Most of the action is on day two. In the morning of the second day, we held a morning assembly where we exercised and rehearsed for the upcoming cutter boat race. After breakfast, we walked down to the harbor for a cruise and rope work activity. During the one hour cruise of Anamizu bay, we were lucky enough to meet a school of dolphins! Students and teachers waved and called out to them and they began to follow our ship. You can see them in the video below. In the rope work activity, students learned various ways to tie a knot. The staff at Anamizu are veteran sailors and every year first-year students learn how to tie knots used at sea. At the end of the activity, students and teachers used the "moyai musubi" they learned to tie a large circle and test its strength by leaning outward to see if it would hold their weight.

In the afternoon, the main event of Anamizu began, the cutter boat race! Students and teachers watched a demonstration by the Anamizu staff before breaking up into their two teams to practice. The cutter boat we used is powered by six rowers (three on each side) and controlled by the captain who holds the rudder and gives orders. Other passengers are the first mate, who supports the captain, and reserve rowers, who sit in the front of the cutter. Rowing a boat needs technique and all six rowers must work in unison for the cutter to move efficiently. Also, the captain must learn how to steer and give out orders at the correct timing. The objective of this exercise is to teach teamwork, leadership, and followship. Both teams practiced until they were ready for the race. In the race, both teams start at the harbor and row out to the first buoy. There, they turn right and head down the final stretch to the second buoy. The team with the shortest time wins! You can see what the race looks like in the video below. Both teams put in their best efforts and it was a close race. This year team two won with a time of 6:31, only twenty second faster than team one with 6:51. Mr. Sugawara, head of the seminar house congratulated the students' teamwork and said that their time was even better than most KIT university student teams.

After dinner, the learning mentors held a special Learning Session English activity. Students were broken up into three teams and given an assortment of LEGO blocks. Hidden behind a white board was a assembly of LEGO blocks (see the picture below). The students' objective was to send two of their members to look at the assembly and communicate it to the remaining builders using only English. This activity is used in many universities in America, so to do it in a secondary language is an difficult mind exercise. To the surprise of the learning mentors, the first-year students caught on extremely quickly and most groups were almost finished by nine o'clock. 

On the final morning, students presented their book reports on three books they read during the summer break. There was also a lecture by president Lewis Barksdale about English poetry. Finally, we held our closing ceremony. Mr. Sugawara spoke about how he wishes our first-year students will become respectful and ethical "professional" engineers in the future. Kihara sensei, the students' homeroom teacher, expressed how he noticed the first-year students are "genki" (full of energy) and hopes they will stay that way during their years at ICT. Yoshiki Hatakenaka spoke in behalf of the first-year students and said "We have strengthened our bond as a class and will remember the spirit of discipline, courtesy, and teamwork that we learned at this seminar house. We will return to show the Anamizu staff how much we have grown next year." After lunch we departed by bus and returned to our regular lives at Hakusanroku.

I believe the Anamizu Seminar is an essential element of school life at ICT. The students spend two busy year living together in such a close radius that sometimes they do not have the opportunity to confront their differences and bond as a team. The three days at Anamizu are for better or worst out of the ordinary. This gave students opportunities to hang out with people they usually would not or see new characteristics of other classmates. The Anamizu Seminar gave the students an opportunity to grow as a team as well as an individual.








HOMECampus LifeHakusanroku JournalSchool EventSeptember 24, 2019 Anamizu Seminar