2011年3月 のアーカイブ

MAY
2
4

Why I stayed in Tokyo

It was the largest earthquake in recorded Japanese history
and one of the country’s worst disasters. And you were here for it. Just let that sink in for a little bit.

 

Perhaps you’re no longer in Tokyo or Japan. A lot of the foreigners in Tokyo, some of my
friends included, have left the city or the country altogether. It was a tough choice for
everyone, although not everyone was free to choose. Some were forced to go back by
embassies, universities, etc., and some had no choice but to stay; not being able to afford
the ticket or miss work.

 

I happened to be fortunate enough to have a choice. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to
the ticket charges and the transportation stampede, but I still I came very close to leaving on
more than one occasion. Embassy warnings, friends taking off, frightening news stories,
and continuing aftershocks almost put me on the next train or plane outta here.

 

Ultimately though, I decided to stay, despite what my friends did, what my family said,
and what the news claimed. Why? I suppose part of it was simply getting used to it all.
After a while, I just got a bit numb to the onslaught of news and warnings and
aftershocks. Admittedly, the situation at the nuclear plant was frightening, but a bit of
research showed that the 30km radius was enough for even the worst case scenario. In
fact, even for the Chernobyl disaster, a 30km radius was sufficient for safety, with most
of the effects beyond that coming from children unknowingly consuming contaminated
food and water. In this case, there is no cover-up―the government of Japan and other
governments and respectable organizations are clear on the risk levels and how safe the
food and water is on a day-to-day basis. The trick is finding sources that give the right
balance of proper information; ones that don’t underplay the dangers but don’t
sensationalize them either. I found a few I trust, and I decided that it was safe enough
to stay.

 

Does that make you feel any better? Maybe, maybe not. Or maybe at this point, whether
or not you want to be here, you’re just used to it all now. Of course, having classes
delayed for month is a new situation for everyone. However, that doesn’t mean you
should hole up in your place and feel sorry for yourself for sticking around (or being
stuck in) Tokyo.

 

Look on the bright side; you now have a lot of free time in one of the greatest cities in
the world, and during its best time of the year. The weather is starting to become perfect
and the famous cherry blossom trees are in bloom. You can go out to explore the city and
enjoy the scenery. Even if your friends have left, head to a park and take in the spectacle
of Hanami. Who knows, chances are you’ll get invited to have a seat on the vinyl and
join the revealers. Volunteering is also a great way to put the focus on others and feel
good about yourself at the same time. Don’t head up north, of course. There are places
right here in Tokyo that are either acting as shelters or are doing activities for those
stricken by the tsunami. One of them is Oxfam Japan IVG, a great charity group
consisting of both international and Japanese volunteers. They’ll be holding a fun event
on April 9th called the Yamathon, with 100% of the proceeds going to Oxfam Japan’s
efforts to support the tsunami victims. Registration ends this week, so check it out!

 

Also, come by the ICC, where we will still be having events for students new and old, international and local.
Check out the list
and start meeting other Waseda students here in Tokyo now. Drop in, we’ll be waiting for you!

 

JM (ICC Staff)

MAY
2
4

それゆけ!CCDLマン

20XX年、世界はビデオ通話による英会話の手法を巡って、
真っ二つに割れていた。

 

スカイプ党『我々スカイプ党は、無料のビデオ通話を提供する。
世界の人々は、友達同士で勝手に英会話を練習すればいいのだ』

 

スカイプ:インターネットを介した無料通話サービス

 

レアジョブ派『月々五千円で、毎日フィリピン大学の学生と、
30分間英語で会話できるサービスだ。これ以上、スカイプ党が
勢力を拡大しようとするなら、核兵器による攻撃も辞さない』

 

レアジョブ:スカイプを使ったフィリピン大学学生とのオンライン英会話

 

まさに一触即発の緊張状態。
そんな中、一人の早稲田大学職員「CCDLマン」が立ちあがった。

 

CCDLマン『必殺、そもそも世界に友達なんていない!』

 

スカイプ党『ぎゃあああ!!』

 

CCDLマン『奥義、台風とかフィリピン大学学生の突然のキャンセル!』

 

レアジョブ派『ぐおおおっ!!』

 

CCDLマンの活躍により、世界に再び平和がもたらされたのであった。

 

(完)

 

え? 解説が必要?

 

しーしーでぃーえるってなーに? って感じですか??

 

CCDLというのは、Cross-Cultural Distance Learning の略で・・・えっと・・・
まあ平べったく言うと、海外の大学生とビデオ通話を使って
お喋りしようぜっていうオープンの授業です。
ハイテクなう。すげーよ早稲田。
いつかスターウォーズみたいにホログラムで世界中の人と議論する授業
とかできるんでしょうね。

 

そんでこの前、実態を明らかにするために潜入調査をしてきました。
マイクとヘッドホンを装備して、いざパソコンの前へ。
ログインすると、すでにそこには台湾人の学生が。
「幸福の要素」という人生の根源的なテーマについて、英語で熱く議論しました。
楽しかったです。ぜひぜひ授業取ってみてね。要チェックや。
あ、英語が聞き取れなかったら、チャットで筆談も可能です。心配ないです。

 

で、まあ、最初に書いたようにスカイプで海外の友達と話したり、
スカイプ英会話のレアジョブに登録すれば、ぶっちゃけ同じことができます。
でも、いろいろ障害もあるし、CCDLなら単位ももらえるし、早稲田だし、
こっちでいいじゃないか。
英会話したいなう。

 

ってことで、第2回デモ・イベント(3/22)の詳細はこちら
授業登録の前に一度体験しておこうという方にオススメです。

 

AN(学生スタッフリーダー)