January 02, 2005

More on classroom dynamics

We have had two visiting speakers since the previous posting. The first of the two was a businessman who lived in New York for a while and brought back a NY cart which he parked near a local station and sold coffee and hotdogs. That's how we came to know him. We briefed him about what we were expecting, based on our experiences of the previous speakers: students seemed dull and uninterested in studying in general; they seemed to have few clear goals or dreams, if any; that they seemed interested in previous speakers' accounts of their hard times and real-life experiences.

He talked about living in New York, taking his family with him. He often bought coffee or doughnuts at a cart near where he lived, and he showed some pictures which included the prices, showing how cheap things are. He talked about the people who run these carts and what kinds of people they are, and their entrpreneurial spirit, and how this inspired him to bring a cart back to Japan. He also spoke about business and he encouraged the students to use their imagination and come up with a new idea for a business, something original. He also asked about their dreams or goals, and said "dream is business, and business is dream", meaning that to make a business can make dreams come true. He also mentioned the importance of image-ing and imagination, and pointed to one girl, saying, "I can imagine you walking in Paris in the Champs Elysees". If you can imagine it, he said, that's one step on the way towards making it happen.

(Some pix of our visitors can be seen here).

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