Destination Imagination

I had the privilege and pleasure of volunteering as an Fine Arts appraiser for the regional Destination Imagination tournament. The challenge this year involved telling a story in which a color vanished from the world. The creativity and cooperation shown by the children was inspiring. Yellow and green seemed to be the most popular colors, symbols of optimism and growth. The tournament is their opportunity to perform and I help give feedback on their efforts after they have worked for months on their own. I hope that regardless of their outcomes, they enjoyed the process of learning along the way.

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Midnight Diner

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I don't use my limited Japanese much anymore and I haven't been to Japan in over twenty years. Watching the Midnight Diner series on Netflix in Japanese with English subtitles was somehow nostalgic. Each episode is titled after a dish that the Master of the tiny diner prepares for patrons who become the focus of the story.  Beginning with people who would eat at a diner open from midnight to seven in the morning, the quiet, often quirky, stories beautifully reflect some idiosyncrasies of Japanese society and the complex nuances of human relationships that can make living there so stressful.

Human Book

I got to be a human book on my alternative science-related career for some grade nine students. They were supposed to ask me questions and a few actually did. I told them about when I was in high school and our group attempted to make an energy resource exhibit, which was a brilliant idea that we were unable to execute. I hope that is not a metaphor for something. Also I told them about my high school teacher who looked like Vincent Price and ate a piece of mould growing on some bread he left out. That's inspiration.

Landscapes of Injustice Presentation @ VPL Jan. 14

I attended a presentation by Landscapes of Injustice, an extraordinary undertaking looking at the incarceration and dispossession of Japanese Canadians during the 1940s. It involves many grad students from various institutions, along with a council of Japanese Canadians from across Canada, some of whom spoke about their work and experiences. Involving people not personally connected to the events somehow makes it feel like this really was a significant episode in Canadian history and not just family history. Eiji Okawa, raised in Japan, looked at community records and his translation Japanese written at the time seems essential to understanding the Issei.