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
On the very first day of classes in Cuenca, Ecuador, 9th grade students read an excerpt from from The Native American Broadcasting System, which begins with the line “I am the essence of Pow-Wow.” Students were tasked to write their own “I am” poems. Fast forward to this week in Thailand, where 9th-grader Russell was looking back at old work for material while writing his memoir. He found this artifact from last term, and it led him to wonder whether his identity has shifted after two terms here at TGS.
I am two faces on the same coin,
While one is up, the other is down,
I am earth,
While one side is light the other is dark.
I am the weather in Vancouver,
The clouds and the sun always battling in the sky,
I am the sappy poem,
Trying to be true yet looking awkward along the way.
From the middle of the forest you can see the mountain.
From the middle of the mountain, I am the river marking the way down.
I am the loudest,
In the most heated debate, I am the ear listening to your words.
I am the milestone,
Once you reach out to me, I am your friend.
I am earth,
While one side is dark, the other is light.
I wonder that if I had to write this now, what would I write? What do you think of this now? Do you think it’s still accurate? Do you think I’ve grown up or grown down, or a bit of both? What do you think if on one of our last English classes, we rewrite these (without looking at them)?