Today is the last day of this term. Through the freshman ELA classes and this RW class, I think I became able to do many things, not only writing an English paper, but also expressing my opinion in a discussion, doing a group work with others, finding massive information on the Internet, and analyzing a writing, in English.

But I think those things should not be the goal of the ELA classes, but I'd like to regard them as the basis for further learning and other classes from now on. I have much things to do and sometimes can't afford to concentrate on studying, but I want to make efforts to utilize and expand the potential of learning. 


In the last RW class, we had presentation and discussion about the contents of each essay.
And I'd like to give some good points and bad points in presentations of my group.

Good points : Visual images are used effectively, and whole flow was well-structured, and easy to understand.  

Points to be improved : This is my comment, but I think CD will remain on music industry in the future though the streaming system will be powerful, because fans of certain music artists would want to buy and keep something which will remain as forms.

: Your topic was really unique, and experiments were interesting and supportive.

: I think your claim can be more strong if you can explain the reason why these facts are caused.

: It was good that you dealt with the topic from many aspect.

: I think you should organize the perspective in the structure, because the international aspects and internal ones are mixed up.

: The images were so impressive, and your topic is really important in today's society.

: Your contents can be more objective if you can include social or public perspectives.
I think you should make your suggestion clear. 


From the last week, we have concentrated on writing each essay and preparing its presentation.
Today I'm going to have the presentation and discussion about my essay, museums in Japan and UK, and I'm looking forward to getting comments about the content.

As I research the museums in Japan and UK, I discovered many interesting differences and similarities, and its background, which I didn't expected when I decided my topic.
For example, I focus on the entrance fee of national museums in each country, but I realized that the structure and main focus of exhibitions are quite different between two country. In the UK, most of the national museums have own massive collections for permanent exhibitions, and many visitors go to the museums for appreciating them, so the entrance fee is free, and get extra charge for special exhibitions, focusing on more narrowed visitors. However in Japan, many museums mainly focus on special exhibitions, and they attract many visitors by those short-term exhibitions. The entrance fee for those exhibitions is not cheap, but not too expensive like some special exhibitions in UK national museums, and visitors can enter the permanent exhibitions for free with the same tickets, like the free bonus. So the structure is quite different, and I think this has historical background in the difference of the national collection, especially of royal families' or aristocrats' collection in UK and Japan.
Like these facts, I found and learned many interesting thing from my research, and it was really great opportunity.
And as I search the home pages of museums, I found museums' digital databases are pretty great and useful. You can see the massive collections of national museums like the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, or the Tokyo National Museum, and also download and use the contents with following each terms of use. 


In the last class, we learned a few concept in writing essay, and proceeded each research and writing.
And we got an idea of creativeness as we create/write own works, by watching some YouTube videos.
As I acknowledged the importance of creativity, I remembered a building, or an artwork, which I visited recently.

Have you ever heard Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka (三鷹天命反転住宅) ?
It is an apartment house, which was built by architects/artists Shusaku Arakawa, and Madeline Gins, with the concept of "the house to not to die."
This is actually used for apartment, but the outlook and interior is really unique and innovative.
The whole room is painted in so many colors and composed by many shapes, the floor is not flat, and there are many hooks on the ceiling and you can hang baggage or what ever you like from them.
This building was really stimulating for me, and I felt as if it asks me "Who decided a room have to be square and angular, or a floor must be flat?"
I think the concept is really unique and creative, and I felt like visiting the different dimension, though this site is very close to the ICU campus.


In the last RW class, we searched sources for method of presentation and academic writing with a whole class. We found many multi-media resources, and shared with google document.
I'm interested in the academic book, How to Write a Thesis, written by Umberto Eco. I've not yet read this book, but I'll definitely read this book, because the author, Umberto Eco is one of the most celebrated Italian writer, such as the novel, The Name of the Rose. I read the novel, and I really appropriate his profound knowledge and education, and writing skill.
So I'd like to read his How to Write a Thesis in vacation, and learn writing methods.

I felt the crowd sourcing, like we did in the class using the computers, was really efficient and can be used in many tasks.
But I also think that analogue research like doing research at a library has certain merit of not intended meeting. 
Though you can get so much information from the Internet search, the result is limited in related topics.
If you go to a library to find sources, you will pass and take side glances at many shelfs and books which seem not be related to your topic. And sometimes, new ideas or connected topic must be developed through those unrelated fields.
So I think each searching method can be, and should be utilized for different field.


In the last class, we learned what is called research cycle, a method of research and writing which enable writers to improve their writing, through the process of research, establishment of argument, writing, presentation, getting feedback from others, and back to research.

We did first presentation about each topic and exchanged feedbacks in the class, and what I feel is the importance of objectivity in writing.
Academic writing should have clear thesis statement and argument, but I think lack of objectivity might be connected to the lack of meaningfulness of essay.
In order to highlight the justice of claims and for persuade and inspire readers, it is important to consider possible questions or opposite view.
And for it, I think writers have to sometimes read over their article critically, or get feedback from others for further confirmation. 


In the last RW class, we dealt several possible sources for essay, such as Free Range Studios.

As I searched for such visual sources which can be used in my essay about museum, I found the short video,The history of museums in Ted-Ed. 
I'm thinkng about comparing Japanese museums and another country's, possibly Western country's, especially from the aspects of  entrance fee and museums managed by corporations. 
So I'd like to correct sources of general background from such visual information, and more detailed information from documents or books.


We finished watching the movie, the corporation in last RW class, and we discussed about the content of the film.

Actually, I usually don’t watch many documentary films or TV products, so I cannot compare the quality of it with other films, but I think the content was very inspiring, and worth discussing.
For me, it was impressive that the end of the movie, Michael Moore, the director of this film, stated that, by watching this movie, people must be inspired to do action against tyranny of the corporation.
I imagine that certain people has actually been urged to protest against corporations in US and in some other countries, but I don't think that occurs in Japan. 


In last two classes, we watched the film, the corporation. In that movie the awful backgrounds of corporations like manipulation of images, shils, immoral patenting, control of media or court, connection with fascism and so on, were introduced.

But actually, I feel like "Well, then?"
I understand that the corporation is bad for public, society, environment and world, but how  should I do for it personally?
Though I know that GAP is managing its factories in developing countries with low wages and poor working conditions, but actually I will not stop buying and wearing GAP's clothes.
I know that understanding these conditions is very important, but there is really no end in giving examples. 
Coca-cola often be chosen as representing example of corporations, which has awful history in management. But originally, the name, Coca-cola came from coca, the plant which cause intense addiction, and original Coca-cola drink actually contained leaves of coca, which has compound of cocaine.
So what really can I learn from knowing them, and how should I act? 
I'd like to know that.


In the last class, we learned some helpful tools and websites when find sources for essay. One of them is FreeDocumentaries.Org, and this site provide us many online documentary films, including the corporation, which my class is currently dealing with. 
I think this kind of websites are very fascinating, because those documentary films can provide many new ideas and knowledge.

I'm also interested in iTunes U, which gives us many universities' lectures. 
And among those education or learning support services, my favorite one is TED-Ed. TED-Ed provides many short lessons of educational contents, such as construction or origin of stuffs, or brief introduction of issues, concerning culture, religion, history and so on. This service is different from TED presentation in that TED-Ed mainly targets children, and their lessons use well-designed animation. 
But lessons are enough interesting and educative for adults, so I believe it is worth watching.
I think using those video or films as sources for academic essay is very good, but it is often forgotten or underestimated, so I'd like to use these multimedia references consciously in my essay.


In the last RW class we watched the movie, The Corporation, and discussed about the content. In the movie, it was said that corporations manipulate children's eagerness to buy their products by advertisement, and it gives bad influence for them.

I think corporation's advertising for children is OK, and should not be strictly restricted by parents, because through being exposed to those advertisement, children can develop their skills of media literacy. 
These days so much information and advertisement come and go through the Internet and other media, and it is often said that consumers have to develop their media literacy skills. I think this skill can be grown through living in exposure of information. Of course parents and adults have to be careful to separate children from being manipulated by corporations, but I feel it is also dangerous for children to being ignorant of those risks. 


In the last class, we started to deal with essay topic, and learned some useful digital tools for writing.

Today we have so many digital tools and applications for computers and tablet terminals. If I search for new applications, many useful tools come up in an instant.
However, as I reflect that, I wonder how many applications I daily use in reality.
Actually, currently I use less than ten applications on my smartphone in daily life, though I have applications on my interface three times as many as I use.
I feel that digital devices are very useful and can be shortcut on tasks, but if I overuse them, I become overwhelmed by my devices and cannot concentrate on real life, distant from connection or enjoyment through the screen of my smartphone or laptop.
I think how we utilize those tools and applications is different from person to person, and it can be connected to how the person face the daily living.  


Online Writing Support in Japan

Int the last class, we covered many universities' writing help office like Purdue University's or Harvard College's, which are very helpful when write an essay, and some useful tools, such as Analyze My Writing, which automatically analyze my essay.

I found many efficient websites of writing organized by globally prominent universities, which everyone can view and refer to. And this is apparently different from most Japanese universities, because they only provide general information about their writing support system, and no online specific advice or points of writing.
I thought Japanese universities too, need online guide of writing, but not just imitating Western universities.
As I checked the websites of Western universities, I felt that certainly students can learn many points in writing English essays by them, but for me, I need some guide of writing a Japanese essay, too.
Of course I don't need tips of Japanese writing in this RW class or other English classes, but I  sometimes need such guide when I wright a Japanese essay for Japanese class. Actually I got almost no information about Japanese writing through ICU's curriculum, compared to English writing.
I know that writing in English is more important and needed to master as ICU's policy, but I think we need a bit more guide of writing in Japanese, because Japanese students can't avoid it if they live in Japan.
So I think Japanese universities, including ICU, need helpful and useful online guides of writing, which meet the demands of students.


In the last class, we dealt how we can take a short cut in dealing with task by dividing it among a group of people.
Certainly I can save time by dividing works and sharing it afterward, but I found some difficulties at first, to communicate and manage the task with people.

So what I thought is, in order to manage a task efficiently in groups,  we definitely need a leader who organize it. Especially when we have to manage a task with unfamiliar members or members in different grade or status, we need someone who put opinions together.
I have several presentations in classes other than RW class and I have to manage it with four other people, but I sometimes found difficulties in proceeding the task.
I think everyone can do their work easily if they had properly provided tasks, so I'd like to decide one leader first, before proceeding work from now. And hopefully, I want to learn how to manage tasks more efficiently.


In RW classes of this week, we covered the content of the corporation, and some important  points in writing an essay. The film, the corporation, presented idea that the corporation does not care about the environment and the people, for example during Vietnam War, American corporation Monsanto sprinkled toxic chemical for human body in order to clear the forest which disturbs marching, and it left enormous effect to the Vietnamese civilians.

But I feel that such extreme example does not completely match today's situation. Though it is true that many global big companies produces their products cheaper by operating factories in developing countries or they are responsible for current environmental problem, today's corporations much more care about public views or opinions.
I think corporations can no longer survive without consider those views in this information society, which huge number of people check the movement of corporations through the Internet.
Of course I don't know the true condition of corporations, or whether this world is becoming better, but I believe the situation is changing constantly. 


In the last RW class, we learned one of the key concepts of the corporation. It is to get around the rules, and it means finding loopholes in rules in order to get more profit in management. In the class, we  dealt with one example of The Body Shop.

As I think about other examples, the current dispute between two Japanese big beverage companies, Suntory and Asahi over their products is one kind of example.
Both Suntory and Asahi are prominent corporation in Japan, but in this year, Suntory sued Asahi for one of the Asahi products abusing the patent of producing the non-alcohol beer. Asahi completely denied it, and the fight in the court between two corporations is unavoidable.
Though this is very big issue, I feel this dispute is like first come, first served.
Because they hold top share in the field of non-alcohol beverage both has become heated to preserve their honor, but the original subject of their products' quality is not seems to be cared so much.
Like getting around the rules, they just see their profits.


The Relation of Museum and Corporation in Japan

In Wednesday’s RW class, we watched beginning part of the documentary film, The Corporation.
It shows many experts and executives’ opinions about corporation, and the strong point of this movie is that it presents various ideas of corporation from both supportive and opposing side.
But the core idea is that the primary aim of the corporation is to pursue a profit, in order to return it to their stockholders.

As I learned this idea by the film and the book with same name, the corporation, I wondered the situation in Japan.
In Japan too, though many corporations appeals their friendly image or social responsibility,the prior intention is profit. But as I think about it, I remembered that there are many corporation-owned museums in Japan like Bridgestone Museum of Art, or Suntory Museum of Art.
Such corporation-owned museums are famous and attract many visitors, because they hold various exhibition with collecting art works from within the country and abroad. Many such museums are as good as Japanese national museums on the points of exhibition, architecture and service.
I can say such services are also one of the industries of big corporation, but I feel those museum management is somewhat different from other industries. And it can be seen that those corporation-owned museums, especially ones which have corporation name in their name, are distinctive in Japan, because I can’t mention many museums in U.S. and European countries which are owned by corporations or have corporations’ name.
In the situation of Japanese museums, I think corporations supply the services for the public people which cannot be fully covered by national or local government.
So I feel that we can see and find the contribution of corporations for the society in some aspects, as we think about each country's situation.


Social Media and Japan

In the last RW class, we learned about Japanese situation of introduction of digital technology and social networking service into education and business.
I learned that Japanese current use of such devices is very poor, compared to Western country and some Asian countries. 

I think one of the reason is that SNS or digital devices are not so much familiar with the generation who governs university or companies. 
Most SNSs were deviced and developed in Western country and introduced into Japan, but I think such services like Facebook were uncomfortable with Japanese at that time, because Japanese people are sensitive to their privacy and tend to avoid exposing their information online. 
But these days, more and more people, especially the young generation, use SNS with their tablet devices or smart phones. Many university students have their Facebook account, Twitter account, etc. So I feel that potentially,Japanese universities and companies and whatever will use SNS or digital devices in their field in the near future, with alternation of generations. 
Though I don't think such future is necessarily good, sooner or later Japan will match up with other countries in the field of social media and digital devices.


The Danger of the Internet?

In the last class, we studied about the danger in using the Internet and digital tools, such as hacking or leaks of personal information, and learned some application softwares which can be possible solutions of such problem.

As I learned the potential risk factors of the Internet and digital tools, I felt some kind of foggy uncomfortableness. I think the Internet or devices like computer or smartphone were invented and have been progressed for making our life more convenient and comfortable in the first place, but I feel that modern people are exposed to more and more risks just by the Internet society.
We can apply more strong and stable protection for let security certain, but can't we do anything without using the power of the Internet or digital technology itself?
Had I become unable to do anything without using technology in this world?
I feel that the Internet gives me limitations unconsciously at the same time it gives me a lot of information and possibilities. 


April 15th's RW Class

In today's RW class, we covered some chrome and other browser's settings, information about online lectures such as ones given by the Open University and website like FutureLearn, and tips about Feedly and Blogger. 

 I have never thought seriously about taking online lectures, but I learned today that some courses are free, and I can apply for them by just enrolling online. I think the idea is fascinating, because I can take lecture I like at home, and some courses are given by special lecturers like prominent writers.
Though I am not sure whether I'll take those courses now because currently I am busy with my study at the university and some hobbies, I want to consider it if I could have time to spare.I am not a person like to be very progressive,  innovative or assert own theory on current issues, but I want to learn many things and opinions, and want to understand different views of others, so these stuffs will be very valuable for me.


Today's RW Class

Today, we started dealing with the corporation, written by Joel Bakan. Before start reading the content, we searched for 3B about the book. 3B is an abbreviation of Background, Biography and Bias. We looked for the content of the book, the author, the movie and the directors of the movie.

The author is a university professor of law in Canada, and we found that the content of the book is about the innovation of the cooperation today. Because modern corporations put emphasis on profit rather than individual happiness, the author argues that the cooperation should be changed as more liberal and people oriented institution. This also became a documentary movie in Canada with directors, Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, who directed documentary movie of gay marriage. 
As we searched for information, we could find that the author is rather liberal, and approaches the issue from the point of law. I think that information will be very helpful in reading the book, and identify the author's position about the topic.