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
After three months of intense academics and travel, the students say goodbye to the host school that harbored their learning experiences in Cuenca, Ecuador. Four 9th graders reflect on their sentiment for Colegio Alemán Stiehle de Cuenca, and others enjoy their last day on the school grounds.
I never really took in the fact that once we left, we would never be coming back here together as a school. I didn’t even think about it. So this whole thing was sort of a shock for me. For all the new students, this was our first ever term, and I’m so glad that we were able to have such fond memories to look back on – at least I do, maybe one too many. I am sad to leave Ecuador. It was a blast. On arrival, I had no idea what to expect. But now, looking back on everything that has happened these past three months, I know that it was an experience of a lifetime.
I was actually surprised at myself – I hadn’t expected to be so sad to leave. I’d anticipated feelings of relief, not regret. A highlight at CASC would definitely be the guest speakers we had – I especially enjoyed hearing Yolanda from the World Wildlife Fund International, and I’m glad to have shared the experience with our CASC buddies. Oktoberfest was also a very new and exciting event.
I feel pretty sad about leaving CASC. This was my first term in TGS, so I’ll always remember it and have a special place for it in my heart. My favorite moments were the sunny lunches. Me and a few others were always sitting outside in the sun, laughing and eating, me always stealing peoples vegetables. The phrases, “Are you going to eat that?” and, “Can you pass me the salt?” became running jokes.
The last day at CASC was emotionally challenging. Each day passing getting closer to that day was fine: too much work, too much to study, not enough time to think about anything else. Of course, I did not think about the fact that we would be gone from CASC forever. I was slapped in the face with emotions on November 25, 2011. I loved our classrooms, and surprisingly I miss the chalkboards. They were annoying at first, but once we learned how to write on them, they were quite fun and now hold memories of TGS behind layers of white dust. I will be happy to get away from all the work and relax for awhile, but I will miss all the friends we made and the memories that came along with them.
-Rebecca, United States
Photography by Lindsay Clark