Look out Tokyo! I’ve arrived and I’m rearing to go. Here is the view from the tiny apartment that I’ll call home for the next 2 weeks.
My plane landed yesterday afternoon and with legs that felt like tree trunks after a 13 hour flight I made it to the GAKKO studio in Tokyo and found the minimal Japanese style apartment that I’m writing from right now.
The leg cramps have eased, but I’m still feeling a bit jet lagged. It’s funny how despite how exhausted I was, I still woke up in the middle of the night (as it was noon in my homeland) and was hungry for lunch. Now that I’ve been up and at it for 3 hours, I’m ready for a nap. #jetlag
This morning was nice and slow, and my three roomies (more about them later) and I went to explore the local grocery where we snatched up some mackerel, eggs, and #potstickers. We whipped up a light breakfast and soon we’ll head to the studio to begin our first official day of GAKKO all hands prep.
Prep for what you ask? In short, I’m going to be in Tokyo for 6 weeks working with GAKKO. Today I will begin a 4-week interdisciplinary collaboration that will create summer camps for high school students from scratch. The first two weeks of this awesomeness will take place in Tokyo with 29 people from around the world. Together, we will collaborate to build workshops, classes, and activities for nearly 130 high school students. Together, we will become 先輩: Sempai (an upperclassman, someone of a higher age, or senior) and will collaborate to build workshops, classes, and activities for nearly 130 high school students, or 後輩: Kohai (a protégé, or junior). We will then split into three groups where we will continue to build the camps in assigned locations. One team will relocate to Indonesia, another will head to Romania, and I will travel a short distance with my team to Chiba, Japan. Once there, we will be joined by our kohai and the real awesomeness will begin. After all of this, we’ll hit the road again for a meet-up of rest and reflection in Bali, Indonesia.
GAKKO was created by Yale University student Kenta Koga in response to his frustrations with the education system as he saw and experienced it. It ran its first iteration in 2012 with the intention of challenging the way we learn and look at the world. Here is a short article about the project’s beginnings.
Well, I’m off to get this show on the road.