Hello. It is the sixth week of winter quarter here at HIUC. The winter break is just around the corner, and everyone has been busy. In ES195, the advanced listening and speaking class, students have been getting ready for their fourth presentation. Next Wednesday, each person will give a six- to seven-minute presentation about a local problem and possible solutions to it. Students have chosen topics such as invasive species, vandalism, and water pollution. For example, one person is going to report on the disappearance of playground equipment from parks in her area. Another student is going to explain how to deal with the problem of crowded roads in Osaka. In addition to the presentations, students have been getting a lot of practice with their note-taking skills. For homework, students had to watch an hour-long documentary about the development of robots. They took notes on the lecture for homework and shared their notes in class. Over the weekend, they will answer twenty questions about the video content.
In EN110, the freshman English course, students participated in their final panel discussion of a novel. The story is called The Old Man and the Sea, and it is over 120 pages long. It is about a Cuban fisherman who goes after a giant fish. In the panel discussion, three students led a talk about the final part of the book. They had to stand in front of the class and lead for the full ninety minutes of class. The discussion was lively. Both the members of the panel and the members of the audience had interesting explanations about the story. During the winter break, everyone will write their first draft of an essay about the story. The essay must analyze one part of the book, such as one of the characters or the symbolism. Students in this class have been writing weekly essays as well. On Wednesday this week, they handed in essays about advertisements. The essays reported on the techniques used by advertisers to sell one kind of product.
In addition to the regular classes, students are also starting to apply to colleges and universities. In the last couple of weeks, many have been begun visiting school websites and filling out application forms. Some have been looking for scholarships and asking for recommendation letters. Others are working on the first drafts of their college application essays. The application process usually takes a few months. It is a busy time, and there is no slowing down.
Take care and have a nice winter break.