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Mei-Writing Summer Camp 2014 Special Interview
We interviewed Nathan Hamlitsch, who joined the summer camp as the camp organizer in 2013, and Ikue Suzuki, who is the Mei-Writing coordinator in charge of administrative affairs.
Nathan Hamlitsch is currently in the first year of a Ph.D. program in the Graduate School of Languages and Cultures majoring in Linguistics. He has been an organizer of the summer camp since 2013. Although it was his first time being interviewed in Japanese, he answered it clearly and fluently.
Ikue Suzuki is the Mei-Writing coordinator in charge of advertisements for the summer camp, etc. she made the introduction video for the 2013 summer camp published on the official Mei-Writing website.
Interviewer: OCW student staff
1. The outline and purpose of the summer camp
— First, I would like to ask you about what participants will do in the summer camp.
The summer camp is conducted for five days and four nights. Every morning, Professor Lai will give the participants lectures on logical thinking. In the afternoon, the participants will prepare for the presentation contest on the final day of the summer camp. Students are divided into several groups, each of which has its own student leader. The reason for having participants work in groups is to enhance their ability in making presentations, developing leadership skills and, of course, working cooperatively in teams.
— What about the content of classes?
The content of the classes is centered on logical thinking, and having students apply it to their own research, so, for example, they will learn how to create logical connections between the support(s) and conclusion of their research paper. It is very meaningful because it is directly applied to the individual research of each participant.
— I see, and they will have a presentation contest too.
Yes. The participants will make presentations divided into several groups. Each group will work hard together, and encourage each other. The winning team will even be given a prize. The reason for the presentations is to have students put what they have learned in the summer camp to use.
— What is the purpose of the summer camp?
The purpose is for students to develop their ability in logical thinking, make presentations, and learn effective communication in a team.
— I see.
Summer Camp Promotion Video 2013
— Students from various academic and national backgrounds have joined past summer camps, right
Yes. In the past, it been about half from Japan, half from other countries. Of course, we welcome all academic disciplines and backgrounds to join this camp
— I think working with people from various backgrounds will also be a good opportunity for students to challenge their own thinking
That right. It will be an excellent opportunity for students to challenge themselves. But regardless of one background, we all agree on the rules of logic. Anyone and everyone can think logically on an equal footing despite his/her cultural differences. This is interesting.
— Who is the summer camp suited for?
It is suited for those who want to develop their ability in logical thinking, communication, and cooperative activities with a team. We welcome students who want to participate in and contribute to such activities. We also welcome those who are participating in Mei-Writing classes, and especially those who could not.
3.Events in the camp and its attraction
— I imagine there are many fun and engaging events including some possible challenges as well because the summer camp is largely different from a normal class in style. Can you recall any impressive events that happened in the past?
Yeah, one year, a group was having some difficulties. At the start, they couldn make a single project as a team.
— It seems really hard. How did they deal with it?
The leader managed it successfully. The leader suggested that the team should continue to make their projects in small groups, and after completion, discuss together how they could integrate those into a single presentation. Much to the leader credit, they succeeded in integrating all the individual projects into one single unified presentation. In fact, this group actually won the first prize. Everyone appreciated the team hard work and end result. At first they had some difficulties, but it was a good opportunity for the leader to show their leadership training, and with the best results possible.
— It sounds like it was a very good experience.
A saying in the U.S. goes something like, n order to get to know someone, you got to camp with them The participants in this camp will develop good relationships with one another because they will have experienced a lot together. The summer camp lumnioften have parties or get-togethers, so it a chance to make friends beyond the duration of the camp, perhaps even life-long friends. This camp seems to have a great impact on the participantslives, especially during the time spent at Nagoya University.
— I see, it an opportunity to have an invaluable experience that they won be able to have through other activities. Lastly, could you give a message to those who haven participated in the summer camp before?
I would like to tell them that they won regret participating in this summer camp. This camp will definitely be the most valuable experience in their student life.
— Thank you very much for your interview.
The registration of the summer camp is open until 28th August, and the camp will be held from September 8th to 12th. Additional information has been uploaded on the Mei-Writing website. The summer camp is becoming more and more popular year after year. Last year, the number of the applicants surpassed the fixed quota (30 people) for the first time. The application to apply is now available (since April). You can apply here:
For those who are interested in joining, please apply as soon as possible!