For over a year now a lot of people have been isolated from activities that they would normally be involved in. This includes students who were involved in the global community here at OU. I originally had plans to travel to Yamaguchi, Japan before the lockdowns initially began. Since then it has been very hard to tell how things will develop. Initially Japan was dealing with the situation very well, but over time they have had a few slipups and their rollout of the vaccine has not gone very well so far. One of the most important things for me to do over this time period has been to stay engaged with news coming out of Japan and the rest of the world as a whole. This situation has taught everyone how connected the world really is as a situation in one country could affect the rest of the world.
The vaccine rollout here in the US had a lot of initial hurdles, but seems to be on a good trajectory now. Japan, in contrast still has a long way to go with their vaccination rollout. This is troubling as I am still planning on studying abroad there this coming Fall. Japan has had a history of problems with vaccinations, so I think that is part of the reason it is taking so long to get going. I think that once a couple of vaccines are approved there then they will be able to speed up the vaccination program a lot, but until more vaccines get approved I am very worried.
On April 14th I got the opportunity to go to the online version of the global engagement day. It was a good chance to see some familiar faces that I hadn’t seen in a while. I even recognized ne of the students presenting about their study abroad experiences from my Japanese class. His experiences were really interesting to me as I haven’t actually heard too much of the experiences of anyone who has went to Japan. I feel like he talked about some really practical stuff that will be helpful if I am able to travel abroad.
I started going to Japanese club a lot more this semester. It has been pretty fun and has helped me with me homework and writing papers. I have also gotten to talk with people from my Japanese class more, which makes it worth it for me.
I went to the annual Japanese book and bake sale again this year. It was a pretty good time, and I got some interesting books and snacks. I tried Dango for the first time, which are little rice flour balls dipped in a sweet soy sauce glaze.
I went to the Japanese club for the 1st time this semester. I had always wanted to go, but never found the time. The club was pretty cool because I got homework help with some tough problems. It was also fun because we got to play some cool board games like Chinese chess. Japanese club is definitely something that I would go to again.
The Japanese cookout is always an event that I look forward to. It’s pretty fun getting to interact with other students and professors who are interested in Japanese. Its also a good time to relax in a hectic semester. The cookout continues to be one of my favorite events on campus.
A few weeks ago I went to the Russian bake sale in Kaufman hall. I had tried a few Russian dishes before such as borscht, but for the most part Russian food still scared me. I tried a dish called blini and I was surprised by how good it was. It was basically like a pancake, but tasted a little bit different. Traditionally different things are put on it such as jam, and even sour cream. I didn’t opt for the sour cream, but blini is definitely something that I would try again, and I look forward to trying more Russian food.
This spring the Japanese club held an event about Japanese martial arts. The event talked about different Japanese martial arts such as Budo, Karate, and kendo. The event was very interesting and I learned many new things about martial arts that I didn’t know before, They also gave demonstrations of a few of the martial arts that was very fun to watch. I never thought that I would be interested in Japanese martial arts, but watching this presentation made me want to look into in the future.
The Japanese Mingle was a very fun event presented by the OU Japanese Club. I went to it for the first time this year. There were plenty of interesting activities to do, and if even if you aren’t very good at Japanese you can still have fun, I think that they found a good way to make the games challenging without making it unfair for the students in lower levels. Overall I thought the event went very well, and I was very happy that I went.