Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル: 2020年3月の記事

March 23, 2020 Extracurricular Activities

Hello, Jonathan the camera man here. Today I would like to introduce the special workshops we held here at ICT Hakusanroku campus. Students have their final exams in the end of January. However, they do not go home for another month. What do they do? During the month of February, students participate in various activities and workshops. Some of these workshops are held by special teachers we invited from various fields of the business world. Here are a peek into what we did this year. For last year's workshops, check the journal entry here.


PR Video Editing Workshop Using Adobe Ai and Premiere (Feb.7)

The first workshop was the "PR Video Editing Workshop Using Adobe Ai and Premiere" conducted by Mamoru Yoshida of Yoshita Design Planning Co. In this workshop, students were divided into groups of three and given the task of creating an ICT promotion video. They also created a logo for their team and a thumbnail for their video. Yoshida-san showed several examples and methods to create effective images and explained that dividing the workload among the team members was key. Below are the results of each group. During reflection, Yoshida-san said "ICT students had a unique point of view and I learned a lot. I hope that you tackle each obstacle from multiple angles and use teamwork. Seeing other people's ideas is always worthwhile."

27日(金)、「Adobe Ai及びPremiereを活用したPR動画作成ワークショック」が(株)ヨシタデザインプランニング代表取締役 葭田護氏の指導のもと行われました。この活動では、学生がグループに分かれて国際高専のプロモーションビデオを制作しました。終了後、葭田氏は「国際高専の学生は発想が独特で勉強になった。これからもチームで協力して課題に取り組んで欲しい」と語りました。

Lecture about studying abroad (Feb.8)

On February 8 (Sat), students listened to a lecture by Gen Ueda, a graduate of ICT from 2011. Ueda-san participated in most of the oversea programs including a year in New Zealand. Following his passion, he created the company ENGLISH CORES (English Consulting & Resources) and helped many Japanese students study abroad in the United States. In the lecture, Ueda-san spoke about his experience with helping students studying aboard, and gave advice based on what he had learned.

The story he told was of a high school student that homestayed in the United States. After a while, the student called Ueda-san saying that his elderly homestay parents did not talk much or take him out on the weekends. It turned out that the student's family normally went out together every weekend and therefore the student felt robbed of this entertainment. Hearing the student's complaint, Ueda-san gave him the advice to talk to the homestay parents and find out what they are interested in. It turned out that the father was a sports enthusiast and they began to watch games together on TV and go out to stadiums on the weekends.

The moral of the story is that every homestay student Ueda-san has setup always encounters some form of distress sooner or later. However, instead of falling into depression or giving up, it is important to "find positive aspects of what you think is a negative situation." Ueda-san explained this as having a "Plan B".

The second and third pieces of advice Ueda-san gave the students was from his personal experience studying English in school. The first he titled "I CAN AND I WILL". This was a reminder that you need to put effort into something if you want to achieve a high goal. "Effort may not always pay off. However, successful people are always the ones that put in the effort" he explained. He also warned the students about overdoing it. Ueda-san spent a lot of time studying English in his student years, which sometimes lead to him burning out. He recommended finding a hobby or something enjoying to do to avoid this.

The final piece of advice was to help each other. Ueda-san observed many examples of students who are trying hard being pulled down by other students who did not take a liking to their effort. He emphasized the importance for supporting each other for a better future, not only for oneself by also for mankind.

28日(土)、国際高専を2011年に卒業した上田源氏が「英語学習と海外でのキャリアについて」と題して講習を行いました。上田氏は卒業後、海外留学コンサルティングや英会話教室を行うENGLISH CORESを設立、講習ではニュージーランド留学前の後輩に対して体験談をもとにアドバイスを送りました。「ホームステイをすると必ず不満が出てくる。しかし、人生はネガティブの状況からポジティブ要素を見つけることが大事だ」と語りました。さらに上田氏はライブラリーセンターに籠って猛烈に勉強していた学生時代を振り返り、「高い目標を達成したければ継続力が必要だ」「努力が実るとは限らないが、成功している人は少なからず努力している」と述べました。しかし、反対に自身の経験から燃え尽きることを避けるために趣味の時間の大切さにも触れました。また最後に、卒業してからも協力し合える仲間でいて欲しいと訴えかけました。

SDGs Lecture and JICA Report (Feb.13)

On February 13 (Thu), Students listened to a lecture by Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) professor Yasuhide Suzuki, Satoshi Kato, and JICA oversea volunteer Kazuha Tamba. KIT is conducting a project to create a sustainable source of oil from Jatropha plants in Mozambique. You can read more about the project here. Professor Suzuki explained the history of the oil crisis in the 1970's and how various resources became more valuable. The Jatropha project aims to turn deserts into Jatropha fields, which they can harvest and create oil. The merits are that Jatropha will not damage the environment since the land it grows on is starting out as a desert. Other plants are quickly eaten by roaming animals. However, Jatropha is poisonous so it is left to grow. Currently they are researching how to efficiently remove the toxin, produce fuel, and sustain the business with local workers.

Next, professor Kato introduced the Mozambique culture and his experience there. Mozambique is a small country east of South Africa. The KIT group built a shop to sell the fuel they created from the Jatropha plants and generators that use it to create electricity. The village where this shop is located has no electricity so people are dependent on such generators to use electronic devices such as cell phones. Professor Kato explained how they developed an affordable lease system to adapt to the needs of the local people.

The final speaker, Kazuha Tanzawa served as a volunteer for one year in the Jangamo district of Mozambique helping the local people starting new businesses and farms. Kazuha-san explained that the people of Mozambique are very kind but also lazier compared to people in Japan and take a lot of coaxing. Projects she started or helped out with include several farms, the making and selling of soap, beeswax cream and honey, and a general store.

Kazuha-san continued to share some of her hardships. When Kazuha-san introduced herself to the local people as a volunteer, many of them expected she would simply give them money. It was difficult for her to explain that she wanted to help them in a sustainable way. Most of the local people were unfamiliar with farming and needed a lot of coaching. Also, language and cultural differences, such as the Mozambique people's belief in witchcraft were matters that needed special attention.

In return, volunteer work is a good opportunity to experience starting a business with limited money. Also, it felt great when the projects took off successfully and the local people could sustain them. Kazuha-san recommended applying for an oversea volunteer as there is always something you can do and the experience is worth it.



Performing Arts Workshop (Feb.18)

On, February 18 (Tue), we held a Performing Arts special session in the Maker Studio 3 area in front of the big staircase. Daikoku-sensei, our Performing Arts teacher and jazz singer invited two professional musicians for this special occasion. Chirori is the leader of the Beat Box Academy, and a beatboxer himself. He hosts the "BeatBoxBattle", the first beatbox tournament in the Hokuriku region, performs regularly, and opens workshops for kids, old people's homes, and on television. Yuhi Taka is professional pianist who both performs and writes. His style is unique with its foundation in jazz, adding elements from all sorts of music genres. After apprenticing to renowned pianists such as Takashi Mizoguchi from age fourteen and Hiroshi Tanaka from age twenty, he began his carrier as a university student.

During this special workshop, the first and second-year students listened to solo and collaborative sessions by Uozumi-sensei, Chirori-san, and Yuhi-san. Afterwards, they each received an instrument and we held a grand finale concert together. Most of the students were shy and needed some coaxing, but began to enjoy themselves as soon as the session began. Here are some pictures of the one and only "ICT Band".


Future Insight & Design Library Workshop (Feb.21)

The workshop on February 21 (Fri) was "Future Insight & Design Library Workshop" led by Naoki Yamamoto of Kawai-jyuku. Yamamoto-san is a specialist of books and libraries. He works for the Future Research Program at Kawai-jyuku, writes monthly articles on the book review website "HONZ", and is a designer of libraries and bookshelves.

First, Yamamoto-san gave a lecture about the history and current state of books in Japan. Books have lost their popularity due to the accessibility of the internet. Less and less books are selling and books stores are going out of business all over the country. Yamamoto-san lamented this movement. However, he also described it as an opportunity for innovation. Writers and publishers are finding clever ways to sell books such as designing new book covers by famous artists, and opening bookstores with stylish cafes.

When asked if they used the Hakusanroku library regularly, none of the students raised their hands (much to the grief of the teachers in the room). Yamamoto-san explained that ICT had a wonderful library and asked the students to go and find three books they had never read before. After their exploration of the library, students returned with several interesting books each. They showed their findings to each other and talked amongst themselves.

The next task was to design new methods to draw people and books together. Each group began brainstorming and designing a new service using the format provided by Yamamoto-san, which they gave presentations about at the end of the workshop. After the students had left, Yamamoto-san remarked that he was pleasantly surprised with ICT students' creativity and their experience with the design process.

221日(金)、「Future Insight & Design Workshop」と題して河合塾未来研究プログラムの山本尚毅氏による特別活動が行われました。山本氏は河合塾のプログラム開発担当として人材育成に努める他、本のスペシャリストとしておすすめ本を紹介するサイト「HONZ」で数多くの書評を行っています。このワークショップでは、まず日本における本の歴史と現状について説明しました。現在、インターネットを通じて情報が入手しやすくなって本の需要が落ちています。その結果、年々閉店する本屋が増えています。山本氏はこの現状を嘆きながらも、生き残るために、表紙を有名なイラストレーターの絵に変えたり、おしゃれなカフェを設置した本屋など、クリエイティブな手法もたくさん生まれていると伝えました。



Branding Workshop by DMM.com (Feb. 25)

The last workshop was titled "Branding Workshop" by Yurie Maruyama from DMM.com. Yurie Maruyama is a graduate of ICT and one of the first students to join the one year program at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand. In this workshop, students were divided into groups and given the task of creating a catchphrase for the ICT open campus. Maruyama-san explained the importance of developing a "concept", especially when working with other. A concept is an idea or direction when creating something new. Different people have different images of words such as "cool" or "cute". Therefore, at DMM.com, teams create a cluster of pictures that match the concept so that all team members share the same image. Also, Maruyama-san emphasized the importance to create a customer persona in order to have a clear picture of who the product is aimed for. Students used the methods Maruyama-san uses in her work and gave a presentation of their results at the end.



I enjoy this final month perhaps more than any other in the school year. Students are learning different things, using their free time to work on personal projects, and winding down for the end of the year. This year's extracurricular classes were unique, educational, and a good opportunity for students to notice their growth over the year. It is also a chance for first and second year students to work together. This is something I believe we need more of in the future. Thanks for reading this long report, see you all again next year.



大脇 ジョナサン・幸介

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