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4 posts categorized "Whitley Batholomew"


Farewell Tokyo

Farewell Tokyo I will miss you! I have had the time of my life in Tokyo I am very inspired by this experience to learn more about the international world. I discovered here what it is like to be a minority and what it is like to be foreign. Studying abroad has provided me confidence in myself I never had before. Tokyo is a massive and beautiful city much different from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I will miss the sights, the people and the smells. Some of my favorite activities here have been the bus tour provided by CIEE the first week, school and the festivals. Some of my favorite foods include okonomiyaki and yakitori..delicious! Most of all though I will miss the bond I have made with all the people who joined me on this experience. It is a heart warming experience to share the same chance and opportunity with everyone involved in the CIEE program. I wish us all luck in our future travels.



Rakugo: Jokes and Innovation

006 Sophia University provides summer session students with many rare opportunities. These include things like kabuki, tea ceremony, ikebana and Noh theater. Of all the events I have attended so far, Rakugo has been by far the most entertaining. I laughed and laughed. It's like stand-up comedy back home, except it is a traditional Japanese sit-down comedy. While usually performed in Japanese, this time the performance was given in English, just for us. It was amazing. Even though the actor does not speak English, he memorized the entire script (his friend had translated it into English) by listening to the soundtrack on a tape. The actor's name was Aro Sanyutei, and he has many videos you can look up on YouTube. He told 50-year old traditional stories and skits, but put his own twist on them by incorporating music and intense physical action. He was very good at engaging the audience in this experience and even asked to take a group photo with us after his performance. The highlights of the night included very well-done sound effects, a parody of the Lion King theme song and incredible 360 (and even 720 degree!) turns from a seated position on his knees. By far the best night this week has been Rakugo. I highly recommend seeing it. This man is amazingly talented, innovative and funny!



The people in Harujuku are among the most fashionable that I have seen. They are like the punk icons of Japan. In Harujuku the strict demands of Japanese society fall to the ground and are swept underneath the rug. Here they are replaced with freedom and individuality. It is so amazing to see all of the maid costumes and individual outfits that represent the pop culture of Harujuku tutu Japan. I myself have been smitten by the tutu. I bought three an orange one a spider one and a black one with bows! I plan to bring this fad to the US although I doubt it will go over well! One of the more remarkable sites in Japan I have seen was a person and not a landmark. This old man stood at the gate of Harujuku 
with a home made hat..consisting of boards, various inatimate objects and a baby doll glued to his hat. This however was not the most extreme part of his outfit. There he stood with two live goldfish in fish bowls dangling from his ears. I highly recommend visiting Harujuku if you want a taste of the flavor of underground Japan.

Ja, Mata Minnesota, Konnichiwa Tokyo!

´╗┐Konnichiwa! My name is Whitley , but I go by Whit! I am a total otaku..which in japanese means nerd. B-)! I have been taking japanese for about 6 years total. Three years in high school back home in Minnes-O-ta and 3 years in college. I am extremely intrigued by the japanese culture because it is so vastly different from my own in the Western World. There really is no great right or wrong way to describe the fantastic learning oppurtunities that await anyone who is able to study abroad! In this blog I do not wish to give you any answers to the dos and donts in Japanese society, but I strive to give you the account of an average scared and somewhat prepared foreigner leaving home for the first time. I am a mere example of countless students who chose to study abroad and encourage you to read a variety of other blogs offered on this website and others.

    On a side note some of my personal passions and interests focus on the ideas of psychology and sociology and I wish to examine ideas such as how it feels to be part of the minority for the first time and societal conduct abroad.  Some commentaries may be serious, while others may be silly, but I hope all are influential and comparable to your own lives and experiences. Thanks for reading!