During our festival, I talked to my peers, some for the first time.
Sitting under the cherry blossom tree,
Joking with classmates
who once were strangers.
I took this class on the recommendation of a past student after hearing the homework consists of writing a poem and drawing a picture. I thought to myself, “this sounds like something I could do pretty easily.” Man was I wrong. Writing these little three line poems turned out to be as hard as writing any three page paper. Having to be so selective with our words made the process more difficult than I ever could have imagined. But it also made it more rewarding. This class opened my eyes to things that in my Western mindset I overlook. While it sounds cliche, getting a better understanding of Japanese culture also gave me a better understanding of myself (not that I’m Japanese). As we talked in class, I realized that many of our subjects, like lyrical moments or Do (the Way), I have experienced before. However, without a means to properly appreciate them, I dismissed them. This class has allowed me to appreciate these things in a light untouched by Western philosophy. I take particular comfort in the fact that while we are doomed to fail at some point, we will also succeed at other points. Every low has a comparable high. I really enjoyed this course and it has been one of the coolest I have taken at Tufts.