FY2009 “Reitaku Studies Crew” Program Report II

Reflecting upon the Tanigawa Orientation Camp

Activities in the Reitaku Studies Crew: Learning from last year’s program

Kimi Tsukada, Department of English Studies, College of Foreign Studies

This was my second year working as part of the Reitaku Studies Crew in the Tanigawa Orientation Camp. This report will describe what I discovered through this year’s experience.

For me, this year’s Reitaku Studies Program at Tanigawa was clearly different from last year’s in that I was among the “senior” participants.

While I already knew the other Crew members who built the Tanigawa program with me from developing other events, all of them except for the leader Yuichiro Satonaga were two grades below me.

Last year’s Tanigawa camp taught me the importance of contributing to the areas of my strengths. Last year, I was in charge of lectures at the Oana Memorial Hall, and felt frequently out of my depth in lecture sessions and teamplay workshops. My attention was directed more toward what I could not do, rather than what I could do.

Although last year’s experience taught me a great deal, I wanted junior crew members to focus on “what they can do” this year, to increase their self-confidence and bring together their strengths to raise the overall level of Crew performance.

In fact, instead of having senior members give advice and assign roles to junior members according to their characteristics, I wanted to create an environment where individual members dig deep to identify what they are good at and what they want to do, and volunteer to perform the duties. Being someone who is unsure of what my characteristics are, I felt my best contribution would be to create a suitable “environment.”

However, it proved to be a very difficult task. I was too busy thinking about how to give advice and how much to offer on how I would do something, or about which approach I thought was better. I ended up not being able to say anything. I learned that effective intervention, without too much or too little interference, was not something I could master in a day.

One thing I made sure to do was to be a “good listener.” As a fellow Crew member, rather than as a senior member, I wanted to know what other members were thinking, and wanted them to know what I was thinking.

Although the task of “building an environment where everyone can exercise their strengths” could not be fully achieved, it was a great joy to see everyone making progress and working through trial and error.

Last year was my first time in the program as a member of the Reitaku Studies Crew, and my attention was directed to the approach and wording of information delivery. This year, since it was my second time, greater emphasis was placed on the contents of lectures and workshops by myself and other Crew members. For example, in order to explain Reitaku University’s founding philosophy of “the unity of knowledge and virtue,” I compared it to a car, with “knowledge” being the engine and “virtue” being the steering wheel. Practicing the presentation repeatedly before the camp renewed my conviction that the principle of “the unity of knowledge and virtue” will become ever more important in Japan and the rest of the world today.

This experience also showed me that Chikuro Hiroike’s vision of unifying knowledge and virtue is not just a lofty vision, but a principle put into practice in today’s curriculum at Reitaku Univerity. This realization made me want to embrace education at Reitaku University and acquire both “knowledge” and “virtue” at the same time.

I was not the only one who became intrigued by the notice of “the unity of knowledge and virtue.” The survey conducted after my session showed that the largest number of freshmen chose the concept as the “most interesting topic.”

The two opportunities I have had to get involved in the Tanigawa orientation camp are valuable assets. I wish to thank everyone involved for giving me this invaluable chance.



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