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Today was an amazing yet, hectic day as students scrambled to perfect everything for our final closing ceremony. We also worked on our two Oshibai projects and watched our ideas unfold as we practiced onstage. Don't worry: There was a less stressful side too! Tonight was Pop Culture night, so students watched, "Howl's Moving Castle", did trivia, karaoke, and participated in a talent show. It is a good way to bond and relax together as we all say, "Goodbye".
Today began normally with class. Then, we had a guest lecture from Todd Munson about yokai, or monsters. After afternoon classes, the students and even some of the RA's got to enjoy our inflatable sumo suits. After bouncing around for a while, we went back inside for another lecture. Assistant Professor Laura Jo-Han Wen told us about the art of Japanese cinema.
Today, the students worked to perfect their Oshibai projects. We performed a run-through of both the plays with backdrops, props, etc... we're excited for everyone to see the finished product since all the students worked so hard. In addition, students worked hard to get ready to present to the TUINS students in Toyama, Japan over Skype! We will ask them questions about their life in Japan, share experiences, songs, dances, and more. This is our last time exchanging with them, so tonight's a great opportunity to get new types of information. Overall, today was very relaxing as we start to wind down for the last days of the academy: Some students went to Sweet Frog, practiced acts for the talent show, went to the gym, or just relaxed in their dorms. We can't wait to bring all our efforts together in these last few days.
Today, the beginner class learned directions! They took a stroll outside and into one of Randolph-Macon's classroom settings, where they got to see actual historic items. One of the items was かけじく(kakejiku: which are Japanese scroll art). We also continued our Oshibai, and Digital Storytelling projects, the students have made amazing progress!
Today, we attended a guest lecture on psychology by Susan Parker. We learned about the psychology behind parenting in America and Japan. Later on, we continued to work on our digital storytelling projects to present to students from Japan; two more groups presented topics on clubs and elective classes.
Today was a day packed full of fun! After classes, the whole Academy dressed up in yukatas (traditional, Japanese, summer robes) and celebrated Tanabata. Tanabata, the star festival, celebrates the one day each year that the lovers, weaver princess Orihime, and the cow herder Hikoboshi, can cross the Milky Way and be together. It is celebrated by writing wishes on slips of paper and hanging them on a bamboo tree.
We had a demonstration on how to wear a yukata, followed by the opportunity for students to choose a yukata to wear! Yukatas were worn at dinner, followed by songs, pinatas, games, taiko drums, and pictures. Everyone really enjoyed wearing their yukatas.