I was always the type to get the best grades, or be at least above average. Please don’t take it the wrong way – I’m not some kind of genius, my parents just always put quite a big pressure on grades and, seeking their approval, I took my time to study. That was also part of the reason why it was so hard to readjust to the University system. I can not just sit down and learn the material – I need to create a project and execute it and it’s way harder to fix any mistakes or predict the grade. I made my peace with it.
But then ! I came to Japan where, again, I can actually do my reading and prepare for the class just like I used to in highschool. So, when I saw the Tea Ceremony Exam approaching and realised I’m very, VERY bad at it, I started stressing out.
I barely sleep the whole week – coming back from Tokyo and using the tea ceremony room whenever it was free. But it did pay off – I was able to actually say I learnt the movements. Even if it wasn’t perfect (there were at least two slip ups I realised during the ceremony) I did my best and was quite happy with it.
I believe it is also some sort of art. Not only surrounding the ceremony scrolls, caligraphy or ikebana – but the ceremony itself.
One needs to make particular movements, in the particular way, in the particular order. And most of the movements are supposed to mean something deeper or indicate something else. It’s like a very contained form of dance, where one needs to follow the movements exactly to make the magic happen.
So, we finished our classes for this year. I also had a presentation for our Japanese Business Management class (for which I made this little timeline graphic below)
We had a lovely Christmas party, gave eachother the secret santa gifts. Now it’s time to say bye-bye to my American friends and try to organise some time just for myself!