Last week, I took part in an English Camp on Kasado Island, which is part of Kudamatsu City Proper – representing the eastern seaboard of Yamaguchi. The island is relatively small with not a whole lot on it. There are some fisheries, a hotel (complete w/ onsen!), and maybe a few restaurants. I have not had the opportunity to explore it much, but the fact that it exists about a 30-minute bike ride from my doorstep excites me to know end – beautiful place.
The English Camp was a 2.5-day affair that had 7 of us Assistant Language Teachers helping run the show. We organized a few lessons and handed out many, many stickers to the young and eager English speakers for communicating with us in English. Their enthusiasm was inspiring and I was extremely happy for the opportunity, as it was my first time to get up in front of a class and try and sort something out. It went marvelously.
One of my fondest moments of the weekend (that took place in the middle of the week) – besides the awesome students – happened during the second night of the camp. Roughly 10 of us – ALTs and Japanese Teachers of English – were sitting around in the large tatami room having a few choice beverages and some snacks. The mood was jovial – lots of joking around, kiwi-throwing, and some picture drawing on the whiteboard.
At about 10pm, my friend Steph started to get super excited about this photo contest Belle & Sebastian are currently having for their forthcoming record. Being a B&S fan, I took to her excitement and listened as she unabashedly spoke about the contest.
“You just have to take a photo with ‘Write About Love’ written somewhere in the photograph, but it CANNOT be permanent. For example, using chalk,” she beamed in her British accent.
I was confused, probably a little tipsy, but the entire concept sounded awesome! After about a 10-minute debate, it was decided that we would somehow use the light of a cell phone coupled with a 30-second shutter speed (?) to capture ‘Write About Love’ in the photo. I really have zero idea how any of this works, but thanks to Steph and Mike (the man behind the photograph), it was explained in a way that made sense, at least at the time.
So, here is how it went down:
All of us had to hold a pose for 30 seconds in the completely dark room while Mike took the light of the cell phone and scrawled ‘Write About Love’ backwards in mid-air (keep it mind he only had 30 seconds to complete this, not to mention writing it backwards). After three or four takes, Steph confirmed that “Oh my god, this is it!” And it was it! Just look at how artsy that photo is!
It was a special time – the entire room was buzzing with this creative energy and the result is a magical photo that captured a moment. Really captured a moment.
You can view the photo contest over at Flickr.
Photo taken by Michael Leung