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
Yada and her classmates pose during their first term at THINK Global School (2010)
The glass breaks, and all that is left are splinters.
The world, everything really, is a carefully constructed glass dome where the laws of gravity apply. The “TGS Bubble” is sometimes taken metaphorically, but in many cases we are in a bubble. Because while IAs, IB, IBLL FOAs, and all these abbreviations may seem to be crowding our minds, and it may seem like there is not enough freedom or too much, how can we still compare to the people back home? In a community of “yeses,” where we are surrounded by such motivational people (both the students and guest speakers), there is so much potential. We live in a surreal version of reality where possibilities are endless; that is the bubble in which I talk about. To be sure, the most valuable asset that I am gaining from TGS are the connections, which I would never have dreamed of gaining at home. And yet now, about to leave this school, the glass is starting to crack.
I came to TGS as a shy girl. I was shy to start anything or talk in front of crowds — trained to excel at what is already present in the system today. I thought all there was were academics. Getting that A+. And through these shards that the broken glass leaves behind, the change between then and now is sharp — a whole different person standing before me in the depths of my memory. With the support of the students who took the time to listen to that shy girl, who encouraged her to speak. This school forced me to do things I would have never thought of doing, things I would have laughed at before TGS. Climbing an overgrown part of the Great Wall of China? Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef? Being an unfit person, I would never have thought of experiencing and finding myself doing those things, nor did I ever have an inkling of speaking in front of a room full of people — let alone hundreds at TedxChiangmai. I would never have thought of starting anything like clubs -especially not initiatives- and yet that is what I find myself doing today. It is awe-inspiring how these little changes -gradual changes- all add up, and you look back and see not yourself but a stranger.
But now, having been changed, it is almost time to leave. Little cracks, the number of days counting down to zero; glimpses of a life after TGS; college acceptances and visa preparations. These days are limited, and one day I will have to wake up and realize that I can no longer say, “I am Yada, and I’m a student at THINK Global School.” No more will there be hikes up the Himalayan ranges or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, at least not that I can see in the imminent future. No more will there be the quirky TGS culture that the 12th grade has helped create and cultivate since its very inception. We will leave, leaving behind our legacies, traditions and trust in the ones we leave behind to preserve the spirit of this school.
The glass breaks, and all that’s left are the shards, reflecting back to the past.