Day 9: Konnection. Yes. With a “K” / by Sarah Kakusho

So, one of the highlights of my day was that I went to visit Fundacion Universidad del Cine, the place where I will be taking the majority of my classes. We went as the film track (8 of us, plus Clara the coordinator) and we got to meet the director of the university and got a tour of the technical building where all the sets and post-production stuff were. I’d never been into an actual film school, so it was awesome to see things in real life.

The school itself has its on café and private screening room that seats about 50 people. It’s awesome. When I heard that the library in the university will be open to us, I was thrilled. I think I’ll do some “pre-Capstone” research to pinpoint what I want to concentrate my Capstone on, in relation to the film industry and Soka education.

The longer I stayed at the university, the more I didn’t care about getting a reply from Mary. I just found a paper that said “the SA Committee advises students to select courses that reflect the ability of students’ target language, their interests, the educational goals of the university unique to each site and SUA’s academic requirements.” So, what I’m assuming is as long as I have a legit final product in the Spanish language I can take those classes. And, I know I’ll have a paper and an oral exam. Yay.

Aside from that, our film group went out for lunch a few blocks from the university. It was fun. I got to meet more new people and get acquainted with them. This group of people was especially important because I would be going to the same university as them, as COPA Butler students. It’s crazy how so many people have such specific majors like linguistics, film, and English lit.

I’m just floating about here as a liberal arts major, concentrating in the humanities.

…uh, so what does that mean again?

Yeah. But, I was able to spread more Soka love. It’s amazing to encounter people who share the same missions as Soka, outside of Soka because up until this point I had never met anyone who shared the same ideals as me and SUA. I’m glad though. We have the backing of each other to create a better world.

I also didn’t feel so bad when I heard that the people I was having lunch with [because we split into 2 tables] haven’t gone out much, or even at all. I thought I was probably the only one who hadn’t gone out drinking and hanging out at the boliches yet.

I had yet to experience my youth in Buenos Aires.

But apparently, I have company in my boat. Maybe this weekend, though. One of my friends, who’s been introducing me to so many people, and I are going to find a Peruvian food to satisfy our spicy food craving, because as of yet, I haven’t had any spicy food. And I’m dying for some.

I’m starting to get into the swing of things, I feel. My speaking-on-the-spot-without-notes ability still sucks, but I’m able to comprehend much more than before. I was talking to Mario, the director of the program. He wants me to give all the COPA alumni from Soka “un gran beso” and a shout-out to Alex Okuda, too.

I started reading the newspaper today as part of Castellano orientation pt.4 and I was given La Nacion, one of the hardest newspapers to read, and I was able to get the gist of a political article that I had no background context on. Yay! I think I’ll start buying Pagina 12 tomorrow as a start to keep myself informed. It’s definitely training for when I go back to Soka, because all I had was the internet, and I hardly kept myself aware of what was going on around the world.

I knew in the back of my head that it’s my responsibility to keep myself informed, but I lacked action toward it. Don’t we all at times? But, I think now, I can start getting the newspaper, maybe not daily [cuz I won’t be able to afford it later] but maybe 2-3 times a week? If worst comes to worst, I’ll just sit in a café and wait till someone just leaves it sitting on the table. Hahah, right?

After orientation and stuff, I went back to my room, and started watching an animated movie called “Kappa no Coo to Natsuyasumi.” It’s good. Really touching and has many different facets that I liked. The story itself, though linear, had multiple issues, such as the growth of humanity, human behavior, and so on. I like it and it’s definitely something I’ll watch over and over while I’m here. It’s the only Japanese movie I have. I miss hearing Japanese, though in the situation I’m in, it may be slightly detrimental. I miss the food. I miss the people. But it’s okay. It’ll be 1000 times more refreshing when I go back in December.

So, after I watched that, a couple of the girls in my group and I met in a café to work on our presentation/exhibition of pictures for tomorrow. We talked about many things and it’s amazing how like-minded a lot of us are. We all packed the minimum and regret it, left our favorite things at home, felt reluctant to buy things because we know we have the things we want at home, started a blog for family and friends, and felt that everything we wrote is cheesy or overly poetic.

I made a Konnection.

You know, Kusho.Konnection.Studio was just a silly name that I put together, with the help of friend back in my sophomore year of high school. And then, right before college, it became an idealistic concept: one person, aspiring to express herself in a life of creativity, to make a deep and lasting connection with everyone she meets, and to inspire them to do the same.

I don’t know if I’m inspiring, but now, when I think about it, it’s crazy how many people from around the U.S. and around the world I have met and still talk to since that humid spring day of my sophomore year in high school. There are still many, many, many more people to meet, but it’s still so surreal how far I’ve come from just from a name that just popped out of nowhere.

Konnected and still konnecting.