Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Was In The Newspaper

Short talk: Do you still remember about the much-hyped Earth Hour 2009 on March 28? Well, I was still at Seoul at that time and the whole house of my friend whom I stayed over during my time there was in darkness for almost an hour. Well, I was halfway doing some stuff over the laptop and I didn't switch it off. But from the news I saw, the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower were among those who participated and remained dark for an hour on that night, which I consider a good start.
When I brought up this topic to Mr Haga, the coordinator of Chikyu Lab, even for someone like him who has a strong passion on topics like global society and environment, he just said that he wasn't really impressed with the effort and it was more like a gimmick. He added that the Japanese do not need Earth Hour to conserve energy as they have other better alternatives; barbecue during summer nights at the beach as the simplest example. Gimmick or not, I think the effort is more to raise the awareness of the importance of energy conservation, especially among the younger generations. Even though they are so much ahead in terms of technology, I believe the Japanese and Koreans still lack behind in such humanitarian effort.
Anyway, this entry was supposed to be posted long time ago, but due to my Seoul trip and a few other pending entries, I only managed to post this up now.
calvin news copy - Copy
Yes, I appeared in one of the local newspaper in Japan almost a month ago.
When I was younger, there was two times I got myself in two of the main newspaper back home - the first one was my tiger tail drawing for the Newspaper In Education (NIE) project was featured in the News Straits Times when I was in Standard Six, while the second one was my article about the Rapid bus service which appeared in the Letters' section in The Star.
Well, it wasn't something which was planned earlier, but it was a rather last minute thing. Mr Haga Ryusuke from Chikyu Lab texted me and asked me if I was free to join him for an interview, which will be done by the people from Niigata Nippo. Besides, he needed at least one international student to be there because after all, Chikyu Lab is meant to be a place for the Japanese students to with the international student. I'm currently having my five-week long spring break and have practically nothing much to do; so I said "yes" to him immediately.
Two ladies, one reporter and another photographer were already there interviewing Mr Haga when I reached there. They were accompanied by another 5th Year student, Kubota Yuta. The reporter interviewed Mr Haga most of the time, regarding the structure of Chiku Lab and the purpose of the setting up of such place in the college, and only a few times where she turned to Kubota and me for some questions.
Below is the translated version of the newspaper article.
"Anything is possible, from discussion about life up to doing English homework here," said Mr Haga, who is the co-ordinator of Chikyu Lab.
Born in Sydney, he came back to Japan when he was still a ten-month-old baby. His dad is Japanese, who married an Australian wife. He used to hate the fact that he is different from the rest, when he was still in his primary school days. However, it took a changed once he went into his junior high school.
"Wow, are you half? Kakkoii (Cool), eh!" was among the impression he got from his classmates.
He was shocked to get such positive comments from them, and it was from there that he'd never looked back. He won the Chuetsu district English speech contest as a 1st Year high school student and later, he attended a study trip to the US for one month that he saw it as a golden opportunity to open his eyes to the world.
calvin news copy
Upon his graduation from his high school, he went to study in Australia, taking IT-related course as his major for two years. Ironically, instead of working in offices, he later helped one of his dad's friends at the sheep's farm for three years. It was during this time he got the chance to team-up with farmers from more than twenty countries, in which he got to experience the different characters of the people from different nationalities. For example the slow work pace is a certainty for some group, while the rough temperament is bright for the others. The vital point is how to team-up different groups of people with various characters to ensure the work is done effectively.
"From this experience, I realised the culture difference is not a handicap, but a plus point," added Mr Haga proudly.
He returned ot Japan on May, 2007 and was invited by his dad who is the chairman of the to be the coordinator for Chikyu Lab. Chikyu Lab was is a place to foster more interest about the outside world through the people in our surroundings; in this context, the international students.
"I will try my best to assist the students who have interest on a particular topic, and also cooperate with them when they need any information, whether or not it has to do with their school project," said Mr Haga.
As you can see from the translated text from the newspaper article, none of what they interview Kubuta and me was mentioned. But nobody cares-lah, as long as my face is up there. But you know what, this wasn't the real thing. After the end of the interview, they kind of asked us to act as if the three of us were discussing about something. While doing that, the photographer turned into a tarzan, climbed onto the chair, table, and even a cute little fold-up ladder she brought along taking continuous shots for several minutes. I am quite sure that she took no less than thirty shots that day. A few days after the interview, Mr Haga texted me in the morning, saying that our story was featured in the front page of the Niigata Nippo. I was excited, and went straight to the library to pick up a copy of the newspaper.
Too bad that when I see the picture, I saw they picked the one which only showed my face partially which I don't understand why.


ericG said...

Wow... Lucky to be in the newspaper. Not everyone can be in the newspaper..unless if they commit a crime or is politician or did something famous...

calvin said...

@ ericg:
i was told beforehand that this interview will be done by newspaper reporters. that is the main reason i made sure i was there on that day lol xD

as far as i could remember, i didn't commit any crime, nor i'm a politician. perhaps i'm just born famous =P

Kae Vin said...

lol. You wore cow boy suit XD

mg said...

not lz enough? =P

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
the hat wasn't mine; but it fit me nicely =)

calvin said...

@ michelleg;
mr haga put that hat on me one =P