So far on our journey, we have encountered so many kind people and even made some great new friends. The professors at the University of Fukui have been so helpful. Dylan basically takes us everywhere we need/want to go whenever he is available. It is really nice to have him around to help us read things and interpret what people around us are saying. A couple of the other professors have gone to the schools with us a few times, as well as to lunch. It is really helpful to have someone around that speaks English whenever possible. I am not sure what I would do without their support.
Along with the professors, we have also made many friends within the English Education Department. A few times we have observed and even taught a bit in Dylan’s English classes. Through that … Read More »
You may find yourself wondering why we traveled to Japan. To put it simply, Kat and I wholeheartedly believe traveling and immersing yourself in another culture is one of the best ways to learn. Japan’s system of education is much different than the United States. As future educators, the chance to learn about an education system different than our own is a wonderful learning experience. When the opportunity to teach English language learners across the world presented itself, we couldn’t say no!
In addition to learning about Japan’s education system and gaining experience teaching English language learners, we also wanted to provide Japanese students the opportunity to learn English from a native speaker. Building relationships with students, professionals, and prospective teachers while we work within schools and during our homestays on the weekends is what we are looking forward to the … Read More »
The first three days of our trip were spent traveling Osaka, a great place for sightseeing here in Japan. We were able to see the amazing Osaka Castle. The five-tiered, forty meter high castle has been turned into a museum with many historical facts about Japan. Each floor contains artifacts from different time periods and events throughout history. On the top floor, there’s a balcony with an amazing view over the city! There are 40,000 rocks in the wall that surrounds the castle. Legend has it that powerful daimyo (feudal lords) from all parts of Japan competed in carrying the large rocks to display their loyalty to the Toyotomi leadership. The existing castle tower was built in 1931, and is the symbol of Osaka. I thought that this was the best place in Japan, until the next day of course. … Read More »
A few days ago, we were scheduled to leave for Japan with Dr. Alison Baer and her husband Paul. If you saw two girls running across campus with two huge suitcases and book bags on their backs, through the pouring rain, that was us. I’d love to say our seven hour flight to Paris and 11.5 hour flight to Osaka was a glorious time of relaxation, watching movies and fine wine. (Although we did order wine on the plane, and enjoyed macarons from Paris. Both seemed completely necessary to save our sanity.) There were screaming children and our feet were so swollen we had to unlace our shoes.
With as little as five hours of sleep, a question of what day and time it was, and even larger feet, we hit the ground running upon our arrival in Osaka. It’s … Read More »
Hello, Kat Slate and Julia Smith here! We are education majors setting out to teach children, not only here, but all over the world.
We recently graduated, although we still have to complete student teaching. Luckily, with the help of the University of Findlay, we have the opportunity to travel the world while doing what we love.
Soon, we will be taking off to travel Japan for three weeks! The first three days will be spent in Osaka, where we will do a bit of touring and getting to know the country. Monday morning, we will take a train to Fukui where the rest of our journey will take place. We will be visiting several schools and teaching many lessons with various age groups while we are there. On the weekends, we’ll be staying with the … Read More »
Our final week in Japan began with an animal ethics lecture. It was interesting to hear how the Japanese people ultimately view their animals in order to understand the differences we had observed. There are essentially two extreme models in veterinary medicine. One is the mechanic model and the other is the pediatrician model. The mechanic model treats and fixes what is broken to a certain extent – but if the cost to repair is too great, it is “junked” and the newer model is purchased. The pediatrician model treats and fixes everything no matter the cost, time or energy that is needed. In the United States, most veterinarians fall somewhere in between these two extreme models. However, we noticed that many Japanese vets tend to lean more toward the pediatrician model since Japan’s foremost religions preach reincarnation.
In the afternoon, we attended a … Read More »
I spent a refreshing, fun and educational weekend during a home stay with the Uehara family. Mr. Uehara works at the Rakuno dairy farm and Mrs. Uehara is an alumna of the Dr. Beckett scholarship (she came to Findlay for a whole school year about 10 years ago). They have a 1-year-old daughter, Yuriko, and a 4-year-old son, Kazuyoshi, who is super smart.
For breakfast Saturday morning, my palate was immersed in Japanese cuisine. After our feast, we visited the local farmers’ market and bought fresh vegetables. It was fun to see the similarities to our farmers’ markets in the states.
Next, we visited the Machimura farm. Hokkaido is known in Japan for its dairy cows and Mr. Machimura is considered the grandfather of the Japanese dairy industry – two thirds of all Holstein … Read More »
Our next two days started bright and early at the dairy cow milking barn at 5 a.m. It was difficult to crawl out of bed that early in the morning, but the milking experience was well worth it! We had to clean the cows’ udders, test for mastitis (infection in the udder), hook the machine onto the udders, remove the machine when finished, and clean the udders again. (Got milk? Not without a little work!) We were also given a tour of the dairy farm facility. There was one pen that had a milking machine which was entirely robotic. When the cows want to eat they enter a stall which scans their collar and determines how much feed needs to be dropped and if that cow has or has not been milked yet. If the cow hasn’t been milked, the … Read More »
Our week began in a classroom with the Epidemiology veterinary students. In a nutshell, Epidemiology is the study of diseases, disease distribution and disease control. Each of the students had researched a disease, and one by one, they shared their findings with us. It was fascinating to hear what they were working on and learn about some of the common diseases in the world. Many of them had even traveled to other countries in order to collect data! I have always been passionate about zoonotic diseases (diseases which are transferrable between animals and people) so some of their topics really spiked my interest!
In the afternoon, Professor Kitazawa, who came to Findlay this past spring, taught us about animal pharmacology. He even showed us how certain drugs can speed up and/or slow down heart rate by using a mouse heart hooked … Read More »
Hello from the other side of the world!
My weekend stay with Marina started off at full speed. Marina is a graduate of the Rakuno Gakuen/Findlay exchange program. Many of you may have met her when she came to Findlay in 2013. On Friday night, we all went out to eat at a Japanese-Korean barbecue. Many Japanese (and Korean) restaurants, such as the one we went to, have a grill or cooker built into the table in front of you. Diners order raw meats and vegetables and then barbecue them at their tables. It was delicious! Some of the interesting “meats” we tried there were pig intestines and cow tongue. The intestines had a good flavor, but they were SO chewy. It was like chewing meat-flavored gum. Surprisingly, cow tongue was delicious! It tasted like a really … Read More »