Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
Nick Sagar, rock climbing expert, recently visited TGS to work with students and train them in climbing. As Nick describes below, he was teaching the students, but the students were also teaching him.
Halfway around the world to visit 15 kids and show them climbing? Why?
Not just any kids. These are TGS kids. All have stepped up to the challenge of another road, a different path. One less taken, or never ever taken before. A small but important choice but one that defines them in my opinion as fundamentally different and not just “any kids.” Not only does this choice define them but at the same time it bonds them. A closer class of students I have never experienced.
So after one week, what can I say? Amongst the climbing lessons of how to highstep, backstep and twist I will be the first to admit that I, the teacher, had become the student. An open mind is a beautiful thing and is hard to ignore when so obviously presented. The student’s quest for complete knowledge was remarkable…it was if the TGS student was a cup that never filled. Who, what, where, and when started most of there speech and ‘?’ always ended them. This overwhelming thirst of knowledge challenged and forced me to question myself.
Do I do that?
Climbers have name for information. It’s called “beta.” Beta is key information on a climb. The giving of a secret to unlock the riddle or an inside tip on stock can be described in climbing terms as “key beta.” Beta on a route can make the difference between doing and not or doing it. The TGS student is on quest for the beta. The quest for knowledge through experience and in this pursuit I have decided the TGS student will become if they have not already in one word…wise.
In conclusion, I ask you to ask yourself – as I have been subtly forced by the TGS youth:
Do I have a truly open mind? Do I ask the questions that I need to in search of knowledge and beta? Am I on the path to wisdom?
Hmm…let me THINK about that.