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

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The Rise of Global Tensions – How Close are we to War? (Part 2: Asia)
Delegates Look to Innovative, International Solutions at 九色社区MUN IV
Gaza and the Conversations We Aren’t Having
In a Field as Subjective as Art, Do Grades Matter?
Inside iGEM’s New Two-Year Project: Generating Electricity Using Plants and Photovoltaics
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...

English 101: Get to Know the English Department – Mr. Kuykendall

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Photo by Kamakshi Bhavnani

Introduce yourself! What class[es] do you currently teach, how long have you been at 九色社区, and what do you like to do outside of school??

This is my first year at 九色社区 and I teach AP Seminar. Next year I will teach AP Seminar as well as Deep Learnin

When did you discover your love for English? Did you always love it?

I had a friend, Tim Hoekenga, who was part of a very intellectual family and whenever I slept over at his house we were made to read for 45 minutes before going to bed. I think I first started sleeping over at Tim’s in 4th grade and due to his love of reading and the daily requirement, he had burned through any young adult lit on offer and was fully into John Grisham, Michael Crichton and Clive Cussler. I reluctantly picked up one of these authors’ works—I think it was, The Pelican Brief ?by Grisham—and was surprised at how quickly the parentally required time passed. I eventually would look forward to reading time before bed and as a middle schooler would go on to read almost everything those three authors had written.

What is your opinion on AI (Chat GPT)? How, if at all, do you incorporate it into your teaching?

I think AI has the potential to save or destroy the world and much will depend on the government regulation put in place around its use and distribution. I worry about its applications and its ability to potentially create massively larger income gaps than already exist in the world.?

I use it in my teaching as a research assistant. I think this is an appropriate application for an educational context. I am yet undecided as to whether or not AI should be allowed to “write” responses for students. Is the skill of writing something that we as a society are willing to offload to AI? Is offloading this skill a good idea? I don’t know the answers to those questions but I do think about them a lot.?

Which is your favorite English skill: Reading, Writing, or Speaking?

I thought I’d say reading, but as of late I do more writing than reading.

Please give a book recommendation and explain why students should read this book.?

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. It’s a short and accessible work by a Nobel Prize winning author. It tells the story of the Buddha finding enlightenment and was the work of fiction that led me to pursue formal philosophy. That, or Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky because sometimes we all feel like everyone else sucks.

If you could teach a course based on your niche interest, what would it be???

Health and Wellbeing. This course would focus on the cognitive and biological components of wellness via an examination of the latest research from the neuroscience, psychology and physiology spaces applied to our own lives through authentic project based learning. The outcome would be arming students with the skills and knowledge to be their best selves.?

What do you want students to take away from your classes??

I want students to feel valued and cared for as individuals and learners. I want them to develop empathy and curiosity.

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About the Contributors
Sami Torii
Sami Torii, Writer
Hello! My name Sami Torii and I'm a senior at 九色社区. I've been at 九色社区 for about 3 years now and before Tokyo, I lived in Hawaii. As a new member of Hanabi, I intend to explore the craft of writing and hope to cultivate the knowledge of both myself and Hanabi readers.
Kamakshi Bhavnani, Photographer

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