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
Hi Liam! Can you tell us more about yourself.
I live in New York City, but growing up, I spent my time both upstate in a small town while also attending school in the city. I went to an arts-based school where I found a love for dance and pottery. Even today, I love to create things with my hands, and when not creating things, I always have something to fidget with. In middle school, I became very passionate about animal rights, which led me to learning about the intersectionality of climate change and animal agriculture. Beginning in freshman year, I was a part of a fellowship with the Alliance for Climate Education, where I worked on youth voice advocacy, climate justice reform, and lobbying work.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
For about five years of my life, I did flying trapeze at the New York Trapeze School. I believed that one day I would join the circus, but with time this dream has shifted. I stopped after a few injuries and a change in priorities, but I do hope one day to take up the activity again as a hobby!
What have been the highlights of your TGS experience, both academically and non-academically?
One of my favorite modules was in Oman during the Art module, where we studied the intersection between art and culture. For my project, I create a sculpture of a bird with its wings splayed out. Each of the feathers on the bird was a different Islamic geometric pattern that I had drawn. In addition, the body was all made of geometric sides.
Do you feel your travels and in-country learning have benefited you? If so, can you share what you feel your biggest takeaway has been?
It is hard to say the biggest take away from two years being in this program. I have grown so much as a person. I can say that the person that I came into the school is not the same person leaving. I think the traveling aspect has allowed me to broaden my horizons and experience parts of the world that I would have never thought I would do at this age, and it has allowed me to feel confident in my ability to enact change in the world.
What has been your favorite country to live in, and why?
My favorite country and term are different. The best country for location was Japan, which I think is a common consensus for the cohort. Hiroshima was a beautiful city filled with kind people and amazing food. My favorite term was Oman because of academics and the beach!
Have you begun to think about life after TGS? If so, what are your plans?
I have a feeling that my plans for my life will change a lot as I start a new journey, and I am excited to see where that takes me. For now, I can tell you what my plan is: I am attending Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where I hope to design my major (like one long mastery project!) looking at the intersectionality of neuroscience, psychology, and social justice. One aspect that interests me is looking at trauma and the effects of it as well as the impact of trauma-informed practices on neuroscience. In addition, I would like to do an accelerated masters program in teaching and social justice or in special education teaching.