This Is It

For the beautiful class of 2018

I’ve spent twelve years here at ICS,
Man let me tell you, I’ve never felt so blessed,
I’ll cherish all the memories we had,
Keep them safe in my heart, this poem is making me sad.

At the start of this year,
I had a lot of fear,
With so little time left,
There’s a lot things I need to confess.

I’d like to apologise if I was ever mean to you,
Hurting you was never my intentions,
I promise it’s true.

I wish we’d have more time together,
Because twelve years isn’t enough,
We’ve grown into brother and sisters,
Telling each other a bunch of stuff.

Class of 2018, you are my family,
You guys are a source of happiness,
You are my galaxy.

As we depart into different locations,
I always want you to remember,
Through the frustrations, hydrations, donations, gas stations, rotation, sensation,
I will forever love all of you.

– Ouki Nishioka

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Most Powerful Force

Most Significant External Conflict

  • Whites, using their authority to oppress the black people: segregation of blacks.

Most Significant Internal Conflict

  • Stephen Kumalo doubting his ability to lead the church in Ndotsheni due to his inability to sway his sister from her life of crime and his son being found guilty of murder.

Speaking for myself, I assume that Paton has the same answer to both of these problems. I believe that Paton’s answer would be to “learn to love” and also “learn to forgive.” Love and forgiveness, many would say, is the most powerful force/weapon in the universe. It has to ability to heal, sustain, and empower anyone, anytime, anywhere. It is the most valuable, most coveted of all prizes. It is everywhere and all one has to do to have it is to learn to share it.

Applying these ideals to our life, learning to love someone regardless of their race, gender, and class; whilst learning to forgive, is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself. By doing so, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.

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Those Who Matter Don’t Mind

In today’s society and in the world, “othering” is widespread and can be seen everywhere.

“Otherness’ is central to sociological analyses of how majority and minority identities are constructed” – Zuleyka Zevallos

We primarily live in a culture of consumerism where dangerous, grimy, and underpaid work is the standard on a world scale [just like in Cry, The Beloved Country]. Everyone’s focus has been changed over the years to the possession of money and unfortunately, this is no longer supported by traditional values. Overall, we as humans live isolated from nature and end up alienated.

I, myself, am a culprit of “othering”. Growing up, my surroundings were always either male or females — I learnt that only two genders existed in this world. However, there was a moment in my life where I encountered a homosexual for the first time. I was extremely confused why a male looked and spoke like a female, this made me feel extremely uncomfortable and from that incident onwards, I started alienating “gays”.

How did I start alienating them? (keep in mind this is years back, it’s different now)

Well, whenever I encounter or see a homosexual, the first thing I’d do is to avoid eye contact. If they started talking to me, I would try my best to not reply them or answer them with a word or two. I made sure they were invisible to me.

Connecting this to the book: I (males/ females) can be a representation of the white people, the majority. Whilst the homosexuals can be a representation of the black people, the minority. Homosexuals in our current society lack a voice and still is not widely accepted in multiple countries and religions.

As time passed, I realised that there’s nothing wrong with being gay and I applaud/ look up to those who aren’t scared to express themselves freely.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

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How To Write About Japan

When asking a Japanese person what they’d like to eat, always assume they’ll say sashimi or sushi. That’s what they eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Never picture a Japanese girl with a neutral voice, dressed in western clothing. Picture them with speaking in an absurdly high register, wearing a doll-like costume.

Make sure every Japanese person is passionate about manga, anime, and cosplay. Coming back from school or work to turn on his/her computer and start watching these cartoons.

When imagining what it looks like when a Japanese person smiles, never imagine them with aligned and good-looking teeth. It’s always crooked because they consider it type of fashion.

When talking about sports; eliminate soccer, basketball, tennis, and swimming. Japanese athletes all strive to become Sumo’s. To eat so much to gain excessive amounts of weight, and then push each other of a circular rings.

If you can visualise a non-smoking Japanese man, there’s something wrong with you. The streets are filled with smokers. Restaurants are filled with smokers. Universal Studios is filled with smokers. Every Japanese man smokes at least one cigarette per day.

Also Japan is the KING, let me repeat, the KING of pornography. Not America, not Europe, and not the Middle East — it’s Japan. It’s a country full of Hentai’s and AV’s. You can even picture a Pornography store within every 100 meter of you.

Thanks to a number of sensationalist news outlets, Japan has earned the reputation of being the epicenter for all things weird. Ranging from eating horses to blowing alive cockroaches in a tube into each other’s mouth.

Lastly, don’t forget with end every sentence with “hai” or “kawaii”.

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Reach For the Moon

Soccer Player: is a person who plays soccer, especially as a profession.

A dream of mine that I wish to pursue is to be a professional soccer player. For the past ten years, I’ve been playing this beautiful sport day and night: Thus, I’ve gained a plethora of experiences and coaching advices. Since soccer is a prominent part of my life, shaping me to who I am today, I wanted the people out there to experience the power of this sport. For my capstone project, I decided to create a coaching clinic, this is where the coaches coach the coaches. I wanted to give the kids there an opportunity to be good at what they love: Reach for the moon even if you fall short, you’ll land among stars. Owing to the fact that being a professional soccer player is one of my goals, doing a project like the Capstone (about soccer) serves a greater purpose in society. I am able to share my knowledge and experiences to those who are less fortunate than me. By doing so, I am able to use the skills, power, and position of my desired future vocation to bring about positive social change. 

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Tourism

Traveling: make a journey, typically of some length or abroad.

When traveling to a foreign country it is of paramount to know the local customs. There are many gestures that you may be accustomed to, but are frowned upon in other countries where they may be seen as the opposite of their intention. It is also very important to be polite and non demanding. If you are quiet and respectful, you are less likely to draw attention to yourself through your behavior. Avoid doing anything (having drinks, doing drugs) that makes you loud or belligerent in any way. Not only will you draw attention to yourself in a negative way, but you’ll also be more vulnerable because you’re not completely alert.

I’ve traveled to many places in the world, whether it’ll be in Europe or Asia, I’ve always been a responsible tourist. One of the essential factors of me being responsible is due to having my parents around. Although I can not think of a particular example of my well behavior while being in a foreign country, without my parent’s existence (especially in Japan and Sweden), I would’ve probably got into quite a lot of trouble.

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にほん

にほん: Japan

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Tokyo was known as Edo until 1868, but it’s hard to imagine that this high-rise, high-tech metropolis could possibly have existed in a time before electricity and concrete. Tokyo isn’t just a futuristic city; it’s the place that has shaped our vision of what the future will look like.

However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

At August 6, 1945, loud aircraft noises flew a across Hiroshima. The noises slowly faded, and suddenly there was a moment of blinding light with intense heat. There was a strange reverberation, a noise that’s impossible to describe, followed by a bang. Then the house, the ceiling, everything collapsed: Everyone was buried in complete darkness. Tens of thousands of people in Hiroshima were screaming, trying to comprehend what had just happened. The Americans took revenge after the attack on Pearl Harbour. Before Japan and the United States shook hands, America nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This led to the abolishment of Japanese soldiers in Japan, which was replaced by American Soldiers.

At March 11, 2011, With a magnitude of 9.0, the undersea tremor that rumbled to life  shifted the country’s main island by more than two metres and unleashed a tsunami that triggered meltdowns in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The disaster killed more than 15,880 people and altered forever the lives of hundreds of thousands of families. It also triggered a nuclear crisis that independent investigators have concluded was man-made.

What defines us is how we rise after falling. Tough times couldn’t stop Japan from advancing.

From Hokkaido to Tokyo. From Tokyo Disneyland to Universal Studio (Osaka). From Mount Fuji to the Tokyo Imperial Palace. The possibilities are limitless.

 

 

 

aoha nay oha oha dah day

If you were wondering what the meaning of my title was, I searched up “Indian Chant lyrics” and that’s what popped up. 

Brahmin: is a varna (class, caste) in Hinduism specialising as priests, teachers, and protectors of sacred learning across generations.

Chamar: is one of the untouchable communities, or dalits, who are now classified as a Scheduled Caste under modern India’s system of positive discrimination.

Aarti: is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a part of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities.

Deliverance by Munshi Premchand

Before giving my own thoughts/opinions about this story, I would just like to say that the story is extremely confusing. According to the story, it can be acknowledged that India is comprised of the caste system which divides Hindus into four main categories: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. In the story, it is evident that these four categories plays a huge role in society — who has the power and who doesn’t. 

Within the Laws of the Caste system, it states that the “chamar’s” is at the bottom of the pyramid and is forbidden from “touching” any other class. In the story you can see that Dukhi [a chamar] was even afraid to eat leftover food from the Brahmins. Speaking for myself, I see the caste system in India as a negative thing. The caste system acts an obstacle to national unity. It comes in the way of national integration and nation-building. Not only that, within the story, it clearly illustrates that the caste system initiated the inhumane and immoral practice of untouchability in the Hindu society: a mere touch of an untouchable used to regard as a sin.

If I had to find the positives of a caste system, I would be searching my entire life. 

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Resolution

Social Issuesa problem that influences a considerable number of the individuals within a society.

The most prominent social issue that broke my heart was prostitution. 

Prostitutionthe practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.

The most insightful social issue for me was suicide. 

Suicide: the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. 

For me personally, suicide is the most important social issue. The reason behind this is because I have friends who struggle with this problem. It is an extreme mental issue that is very hard to escape from and even if you do escape, it can come back and haunt you again. As I scrolled down my facebook feed, I came upon a quote that made me voiceless: “Isn’t suicide technically self-defense since you have killed the person who was trying to kill you.”

Reading the book made me realize that my problems compared to those who live in poverty is nothing. Not only that, it ignited a fire inside me to stop and prevent these horrid social issues from spreading and hurting other lives out there. The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. 

It’s great to see that the world is slowly solving these social issues because sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step in towards helping their lives. Little by little, a little becomes a lot. 

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Cycle

Karma:  the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

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As a kid my parents would always tell if I did good, I’ll get good but If I were to do bad, I’ll get bad. Since I was so young and naive, I didn’t care about the consequences to my actions. I did whatever I want whenever I wanted to. But as I grew older and discovered more about the world, I became more aware about Karma. I started to think twice before I said something or do something because I felt scared about the future consequences I’ll receive. As a Buddhist myself, I believe in Karma. I believe that our fate/destiny, whether good or bad, will be decided upon our actions. I also believe that our life doesn’t just end here, what we do in our current life will be the prominent factor deciding what our next life would be like. 

Why do bad things happen to good people?

First of all, no single human being on this earth is “good”, we all are far from perfect. At some point in our lives, whether we know it or not, we will have done “multiple” bad deeds. The bad deeds will slowly and slowly build up (accumulated karma) and no matter how hard we try to be good or escape from it, it will come back and haunt us. We might not be able to be completely good in this life, but lucky for us, karma has an endless cycle. We’ll have the opportunity to keep on trying and trying: perhaps sooner or later, we’ll be able to reach Nirvana.

We are not perfect, we are learning. That’s the beauty in our specific journey.