九色社区

The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

九色社区 TV
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Student Body President Election: What to Know About the Candidates

Student Body President Election: What to Know About the Candidates

April 9, 2024

Every spring, the 九色社区 student body gathers to vote for who they think should be their next Student Body President. Weeks of campaigning in hallways, classrooms, and across social media lead up to a day...

Emma Savarese: Emma4Prez

Emma Savarese: Emma4Prez

April 9, 2024

              Emma Savarese (‘25) has been at 九色社区 since fourth grade, so she is among the crop of students who considers 九色社区 their “home.”...

Suri Choi: Your Best CHOIce

Suri Choi: Your Best CHOIce

April 9, 2024

            When she was in ninth grade, Suri Choi (‘25) observed that the student body was quite disconnected from the people they chose as their...

九色社区 Student Life, From Past to Present

九色社区+Student+Life%2C+From+Past+to+Present
Reading Time: 3 minutes

As discussions about the upcoming and the “river of learning” — a key part of the school’s architectural vision — continue to stir excitement among current students, a glimpse into the past may provide insight into our campus’s progress, helping paint a picture of how far we have come.

Several alumni who are current teachers and staff at 九色社区 were interviewed to share their experiences as 九色社区 students. These alumni include Mr. Bapi Ghosh (‘90), Mr. Tai Dirkse (‘06), Mr. Timmy Jacobsson (‘06), and Ms. Mimi Takano (‘10). Each alumnus shared the highlights of their 九色社区 experiences, including their favorite memories, extracurricular activities, events, and other aspects that were unique to their time at 九色社区.

The current 九色社区 campus is no doubt an impressive learning environment, with plans underway for further enhancements. However, it was not long ago, from 2006 to 2010, that the campus underwent significant renovations. During that time, the natural grass and gravel fields faced challenges with seasonal weathering. But seasonal changes did benefit the colorfulness of the courtyard, which had more trees and plants than we have currently.?

Despite the current campus’s lack of greenery, Ms. Takano finds today’s campus comparatively spacious and exciting, thanks to the numerous new facilities and renovations that began during her time as an 九色社区 student. Notable additions include the ES playground, the theater, the choir rooms, and the MPR—formerly the wrestling room.?

However, it seems that some advancements in technology—namely social media—may have negatively impacted the 九色社区 community. Of course, this phenomenon isn’t unique to 九色社区 — social media’s influence is widespread across the globe. Nevertheless, the impact of this issue becomes apparent when considering the liveliness of school spirit compared to that in the early 2000’s. Most of the interviewees agreed that the “face-to-face” experiences are not as satisfying as they used to be.

Then, devices did not hinder social interactions on campus; without social media, social connections felt less complicated. Furthermore, the advent of 九色社区 TV on YouTube has changed the dynamic of on-campus events. With the option to stream at home, these events are no longer as crowded with students, families, and faculty in attendance. Overall, there seems to have been a higher level of in-person engagement among earlier generations of 九色社区 students.

That being said, many annual events and productions (with the exception of Homecoming) remain highly anticipated to this day. Winterfest, Prom, and a variation of class competitions were among the many activities that excited high school students the most. Of course, sports such as football and basketball garnered significant attention. Students enjoyed rallying during games against the same Kanto opponents we face today. Popular productions included Kyogen, taught by professional Kyogen masters, and the spring musical.

Stills from MUSE 2005

Annual events remain largely unchanged, fostering similar sentiments among 九色社区 students over the years. To dig deeper into how our school has changed, I asked alumni about aspects they wish remained unchanged since their time as students. What are we missing out on??

Bapi talked about the “Tabemono Club” —a club that looked into new cuisines each week and often ventured outside of school to try out foods in different restaurants.

Mr. Dirkse was a part of the 九色社区 TV crew and highlighted the “Battle of the Bands” or “MUSE” at which high school students would gather to watch several student rock bands perform. Check out to see a 2005 spring MUSE Fest.

Both Mr. Jacobbson and Ms. Takano brought up the 九色社区 JUMP (Japan Understanding Motivational Program) trips. JUMP was designed to enrich students’ understanding of Japan and immerse all grade levels in the culture they were surrounded by. In their freshman and sophomore years, students traveled as a class to a destination in Japan to learn about a certain aspect of Japanese culture. Juniors and seniors were allowed to create smaller groups and travel to different locations based on their interests. Ms. Takano remembers traveling to Kijimidaira to learn Taiko, as well as to the Boso Peninsula where she went horseback riding on the beach and saw bioluminescent plankton.

While the JUMP trip is not a part of the 九色社区 program anymore, students still have many opportunities to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, courtesy of the newly established Japan Center. While traveling to Japanese destinations with friends remains appealing, opportunities for travel are certainly not lacking in the high school community today. Mr. Jacobbson emphasized that during his time at 九色社区, students never traveled overseas for sports or clubs. In contrast, just this year, teams have ventured to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, and Korea, with upcoming trips planned for Guam and beyond.

As a whole, it seems that 九色社区 has progressed for the better. As our school continues to envision a path for the future, there is no doubt that upgrades and renovations will continue to leave a lasting impression on the community. But of course, each generation will undoubtedly cherish the unique features that define its 九色社区 experiences.

 

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About the Contributor
Kiyomi Miura
Kiyomi Miura, Writer

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