Slice of Life Writing Contest

Written by: Saki Arimoto
Editor: Trang Do

Every semester, the English Plaza Library Team organizes a Writing Contest on a timely theme where students can showcase their talents in writing and have their pieces read by other students. To know more about the contest, I invited one of the organizers and also an intern at EP Library, Avanthi, for an interview.

The Writing Contest has been a semester tradition for the EP Library team. They accept works in any style from students submitting anonymously. After the submission period, the team publishes all accepted pieces on their website so that the whole TIU community can enjoy and vote for the piece they like the most. Finally, the work that has the most votes would be hailed as the winning piece of the semester. As a consolation prize to all participants, all works are published as a physical book available in the Library so everyone can take a look at entries from previous semesters’ contests.

Last semester, with the Halloween theme, the contest attracted a great number of interesting pieces. This time, the organizers collectively decided to focus on a theme where students can be a bit more open to sharing, especially during this vulnerable period of time. They have named this theme “Slice of Life.” Avanthi, along with the team, thought that this was a topic many students can write about while at the same time, unleashing their creativity. Participants were encouraged to be as expressive as they wanted. 

This event garnered the most entries with a total of 16 impressive submissions. Among these, the most-voted piece of this semester was “Send to today me”, which we are featuring as follows!

If you are interested to see other entries of this semester’s contest, you can find them here. They will also soon be published in the form of a physical book that will be available in the library like previous entries so do not miss out on that!

E-Plaza’s Survival Night

Author: Blazee
Editor: Saki Arimoto
Translator: Kotoko

E-Plaza (EP) recently held their event called ‘Survival Night’ on May 13, 2021 via Zoom. The survival event was a series of different and unique activities and games where all the participants contributed and had a pleasant time. They were given an opportunity to meet and connect new people and befriend them.

The event began with an ice-breaking session led by one of the organizing EP staff through a wheel game. The wheel game operated via an algorithm of a program that chose a random question and assigned it to each participant to answer, letting them know a bit more about one another before starting the main content of the survival night.

The theme of the event was set in such a way that the participants were left on a deserted island and had to earn points in coconut units to buy basic survival kits and then to escape from the island. Everyone was provided with 5 mini games where they were able to score coconuts for every correct answer with a group effort.

The order of the games was as follows:

  1. Identify the song: This was the first game where participants were asked to listen to the initial section of some shortlisted songs. They were then asked to identify the song and the singers.
  2. True or False: In this game, some information regarding Japan was given to everyone. The participants’ task was to guess whether the given information was true or false.
  3. Family Feuds: This was a tricky challenge where some hints were given to the participants and based on that hint, they were tasked to guess 10 objects closest to the given hint.
  4. Scavenger Hunt: This was an interesting game because this stage was to know how organized or well prepared everyone was for any foreseen or unforeseen situations. The game proceeded as one of the EP staff of the Survival Night asked participants to show certain things they have such as a water bottle, hand sanitizer and so on. In this stage, coconuts were distributed accordingly.
  5. Trivia about the World: This game was about universal knowledge of the participants. Randomly picked questions were asked and 4 possible options were provided each. Participants were supposed to tell the correct answer from among the provided options in order to earn extra coconuts.

Finally, the last things to do were counting the total number of coconuts earned and using them to buy survival equipment.

After the event ended, some staff were interviewed regarding the survival night. There were lots of insights gathered among which can be read below:

Hai: Every challenge we encountered conducting this event was pre-expected and we were completely prepared to handle it but when we found out how happy and connective it was to the participants, we had to let them enjoy some more and so the event was a bit longer than originally expected.

Victoria: Everything was prepared well and so working hard and seeing all those happy faces made us proud of our efforts. The scavenger hunt was the most interesting game for me because it allowed us to witness how prepared some were and how funnily humorous most were by their shown material.

As for me, I personally made many friends and got to learn many new things. I am glad I joined the event and hope to see similar programs hosted by EP in the coming days.

The event was able to accomplish multiple agendas, including connecting the participants to EP staff, as well as fellow students whom they were completely unknown to. The event also allowed students to escape from all the stress they may have, and this is being said only after the level of participation and enjoyment of the audience from both E-track and J-track was observed. I was present at the event to observe but the level of excitement and joy was so high that I was unable to resist the attraction. Before I knew it, I was participating actively, as well. As an observer and a participant, I felt this night to be a wonderful one and a complete success for the EP event organizing members.

First-ever Virtual Halloween Party led by the E-Plaza Team

Author: Tin D.
Editor: Tin D.

Someone said ‘Spooktober’?

During the event, midterms were upon many students, including me. Assignments continued to pile up, and so was our stress. However, there was also one very important thing to point out: it was around the end of Spooktober and HALLOWEEN was just around the corner.

And in order to relieve everyone at least temporarily from their busy schedules, our wonderful E-Plaza staff organized one of their yearly big events, the Halloween Party. During this two-hour virtual event, people are free to enter, leave any activities or games facilitated by the EP interns. A number of activities were held simultaneously at a time in separate breakout rooms. Having said that, I missed some of the fun but fret not as I made sure to include all games in the article.

Here are the activities held during the event.


Scavenger hunt

For this activity, we scavenge for certain items surrounding us to share with everybody else. The more items you manage to gather, the more points you get. For example, if the questioner asks for a ‘textbook,’ then you should look around your room to find a ‘textbook’ and bring it with you on-screen. Although I was not able to participate (I was invested into the Pictionary game at the time), at the very last moment, I remember people were carrying vegetables in their hands. I suppose everyone is living healthily these days.

Pictionary

Online software used

In this game, participants take turns drawing whatever word was given on their screens (with the theme being Halloween of course), and the others guess what the word is. We did have a point system but honestly, everyone was just having fun, trying their hardest to draw using a mouse, and struggling to guess from the “amazing” illustrations made by my peers. At one point, I was given the word ‘abstract,’ and my visual expression was so ‘amazing’ that no one got it right (you gain points by having people make correct guesses).

No cringe contest

I skipped this contest, but I think it would be something along the lines of people trying not to cringe whilst doing not-so-normal behaviors to break the opponent’s will. That was my speculation. I decided not to participate because I knew I would have experienced internal suffering from all the cringe, although for sure I missed a lot of laughs and fun.

Granny’s House

game played

E-Plaza interns also facilitated a meeting for people to play a mobile game called “Granny’s House.” I heard that the game was about cooperating with other players to escape the “Granny’s House,” where you are locked in.

Haunted houses

I missed Granny’s House but I did join a trip to Haunted Houses. A virtual experience of haunted houses. We were watching videos featuring other people’s experiences through a screen. It was personally not scary (not sure with all of you), but I got to see a variety of props, jump scares, etc.

Ghost storytelling

I am not very good at storytelling verbally so during this activity, I was mostly listening to everyone’s ghost stories and giving reactions in the chat box. People were taking turns telling not only scary narratives, but also their own experiences with ghosts and such.

Bingo game

We also had a bingo game with each cell filled with either Halloween, E-Plaza, or recent trends-related phrases. At this point, the event was going towards its end, so this activity did help calming participants down after all the excitement.

Costume contest

The final activity was the long-awaited costume contest. Prior to the event, participants were required to send a submission of themselves in a Halloween costume. The organizers then would decide the top 3 winners. There were also prizes for the during-event costume contest. Although many people decided to have either light make-up or put on simple Halloween-like outfits, there were also some who really went all-out. One girl was dressed up as Himiko Toga in Boku no Hero Academia. She was so impressive.

Winner of the competition

Overall thoughts

This yearly event organized by EP team is usually held on campus, but due to the current situation, the EP team was adaptable enough to move it online. 

The event was nothing short of fun and amazing! At any point during the event, there were around 30~ people. A portion of participants, including me, was not showing faces, but that definitely did not take away the joy and the Halloween atmosphere at all. 

The on-campus event would have been great for sure, but still, the virtual was still beyond amazing, and I was able to meet GREAT people at a GREAT event. 

Looking forward to the next one!

SLI Job Fair Fall 2020 – A Great Learning and Sharing Experience

Author: Hang
Editor: Saki Arimoto

What is SLI Job Fair?

SLI Job Fair is an Student Leadership Internship (SLI) event featuring all 5 teams, E-Plaza, Campus Globalization, Peer Assistants, EP Library, and Peer Advisors for Writing, of the SLI community that is held every semester.

Participants have the chance to meet current SLI interns and SLI advisors, ask them for more information about each team’s responsibilities, and listen to their experiences in their internship journeys. 

It is an in-depth information session organized by SLI teams for those who wish to know more about SLI and are interested to become an SLI intern for upcoming semesters. This also becomes an opportunity  for the current SLI interns to share their stories and pass on the same positive experience to future interns. In fact, the author, who has been to SLI Job Fair for 3 semesters consecutively, has personally learned a lot and grown tremendously as an SLI intern.


What’s new with SLI Job Fair 2020?

Before the pandemic, the event was usually held in one of the lecture halls, and teams had their own spots where interested applicants can easily go to. Because of the COVID-19 situation and difficulty of travelling to other countries, the SLI Job Fair has been held online through Zoom since Spring 2020. Indeed, it was a challenge to move from offline to online, but this was a learning experience to all the organizers of the event in becoming more adaptable and flexible during the trying times. Learning from our experience last semester, we have come back more prepared for our Fall 2020 SLI Job Fair and it was a great success.

To promote the event, SLI interns poured their time and efforts in creating impressive different visuals such as posters and videos to promote the SLI Job Fair. Check them out below.

On Job Fair day, interns received so many comments and interests from their fellow students, and a number of them showed their determination of joining SLI next semester which made interns feel extremely appreciated. Read some of the interns’ testimonials below!

“Our booth was visited by 4 students today,” said Hayati from PAW. “They all looked very sharp and interested!”  


“[It] feels like a great achievement being a part of such an amazing event and getting to motivate our fellow students to become part of our beloved SLI community,” (someone from CG team) commented.

P/S: Make sure to join next semester’s SLI Job Fair, and experience a glimpse of how job fairs in Japan are organized!

Being a CG Intern with Saki Arimoto

Author: Saki Arimoto
Editor: Tin D.

About myself

I am Saki, a 3rd Year Major in Business Economics. I have been interning at the Campus Globalization (CG) Team for 3 semesters, and I am currently a Middle Staff. Outside campus, I have had three internships, and I can say that being a part of the CG team has definitely helped me increase my chances of landing those positions. 

Photo from CG Team Fall 2019; I am one of the tiny interns, second from the left.

Before being a CG intern, I had not heard much about the team. In fact, I only knew CG during the Info Session for the Recruitment Period. I was (and still am) interested in creating videos, a frequent SNS user, and have somewhat the required language abilities, so I thought that this could be my opportunity to be more active and involved in the university’s extracurricular activities.


What is Campus Globalization?

Now, you may be wondering what Campus Globalization is. Tokyo International University offers Student Leadership Internships (SLI) to students to experience on-campus paid internships, and one of the teams is Campus Globalization. We are a small team of 9 bilingual talents, and our goal is to connect all students in TIU by making the community more inclusive and bilingual. We are able to do these through our tasks which can be categorized into 5: Workshop Planning, SNS Management, Video Project, Translation Project, and Student-led Project.

1. Workshop Planning

Every semester we hold 3 workshops for language exchange. Organizers choose any topic that is of relevance to the TIU community, and participants will discuss the chosen topic using both Japanese and English. This workshop enables bilingual students to meet fellow students who can speak both languages and at the same time, converse about pressing issues in more depth.

Posters from all the workshops I facilitated; most recent from the right

I can still remember the first workshop I led. I was nervous as I am quite introverted, especially before. I was also a bit insecure with my language abilities, but I realize that the workshop itself helped me boost my confidence and that making mistakes in grammar is completely fine as long as I am able to convey what I intend to convey. Of course, learning the right grammar is important but there will naturally be times that one would forget these, and that is okay. After holding a number of workshops, I got less nervous and I was also able to moderate other events well. Thanks to CG I got such opportunities.

2. SNS Management

We are also in charge of managing the tiu_sli account on Instagram. Not only do we coordinate with other teams for content, but also translate their captions into either Japanese or English so everyone can get a grasp and be updated with the events in TIU.

This task is obviously great for those who want to pursue marketing as their jobs. It also helped me when I applied to an international advertising company in Tokyo, and fortunately, got accepted. As I also use social media very frequently, I enjoy doing these tasks.

3. Video Project

We also do a number of video projects. We have collaborated with other SLI teams for SLI Recruitment Video, Welcome Message Video, and many others. We also contributed to creating a video for the Career Center with the Takadanobaba Office, and to editing videos assigned by the E-Track Academic Affairs Office. We used CG-exclusive equipment to film most of our videos, but as for our recent projects, since we have to move online, most were done at home, but heavily focused on editing. It is also another great practice to get used to different video-editing software, as well as meeting with professionals who can share their skills face-to-face.

Video Collaboration with Takadanobaba Office

4. Translation Project

As for this project, this is rather the simplest among the tasks mentioned. We are assigned by different offices in TIU to translate documents. This is also good practice for those who want to hone their translation skills while getting paid.

5. Student-led Project

This is still quite recent. With our advisors, we are encouraged to think of new ideas to help the TIU community to be more globalized. This website where you are reading this article is actually one of our projects. Especially if you are proactive and have new ideas, you can definitely pursue them as a CG intern.

My experiences

From these tasks, I have gained a lot of experience and skills that I can add to my resume. On top of that, I get to apply these skills in multiple organizations that I am part of. Working with my talented teammates also makes the experience more fun and more interesting. It is not always that one gets to meet highly talented, creative, and skillful people like my teammates so I am grateful to work with them, especially on challenging projects. There would be instances that we get too many projects, but with the help of my fellow interns and helpful advisors, we are still able to manage and make our projects as best as we can.


Lastly…

The iconic CG logo

Many people still ask who CG is, and I, with the rest of the team, tried to explain it a number of times, and so I have made a conclusion about our team.

We definitely are not as publicly visible as the other SLI teams. I actually call our team “the backroom boys (and girls).” 

This, therefore, is a good place for students who are not interested in frequent face-to-face interactions but still desire to learn and build highly technical and social-communicative skills, as I do. I believe it is quite a unique internship as we have multiple things we are in charge of. It gets challenging from time to time, but I can definitely say that being a CG intern is a fulfilling experience, and I would recommend qualified TIU students to try this too.