Scholarship winners share tales of travel

Katie Roupe

The Japanese family pulled Emily Buchanan through the lucky post. A legend states that anyone who passes through the lucky post’s hole in the Todaiji temple will have good luck for one year.

For Buchanan, graduate fashion design major, a trip to the temple was just one highlight of her June research trip to Japan.

During yesterday’s Brown Bag lecture, Buchanan discussed her trip to Japan, and technology specialist Mark van’t Hooft spoke about his trip to China.

“Japan was beautiful,” Buchanan said. “It was an experience of a lifetime.”

The Center for International and Intercultural Education sponsored the Brown Bag lectures, which are informal lectures where attendees are encouraged to bring a sack lunch and ask questions, said Linda Robertson, the center’s director.

Yesterday’s lecture focused on the center’s scholarship winners.

“Each year the center gives two scholarships for people to travel for presentations, research or thesis dissertations,” Robertson said.

Scholarship winners Buchanan and van’t Hooft discussed their overseas trips. Buchanan researched the Buddhist religion while traveling in Japan for nine days.

Buchanan said she enjoyed her stay at a Buddhist monastery. The monastery was simple and traditional and had sliding rice paper doors and communal baths.

In addition to touring monasteries and temples, sampling food became entertaining, Buchanan said.

She sampled sparrow on a stick, chicken hearts, eel and a whole fish, with eyeballs.

“I was really surprised, but it was delicious,” Buchanan said.

She said the group would buy a variety of foods, and then share each dish so they could all partake in the experience.

Buchanan said she made sure not to bring a camera or even a journal; therefore, she could soak up the culture, and not just know it through a camera lens.

“I wouldn’t trade those days for anything,” Buchanan said. “It was definitely one of my favorite traveling trips.”

Van’t Hooft shared his experiences giving presentations at a technology conference in Shanghai, China. His presentations focused on using mobile technology and ubiquitous computing, making the most of digital technology for teaching and learning.

“Technology changes kids,” van’t Hooft said. “Kids want to be challenged, want to learn and want choices.”

Van’t Hooft encouraged educators to let go, to some extent, and allow technology to take a greater role in education.

“Learning doesn’t stop when you walk out of school,” van’t Hooft said. “We need to bring the world into the school or bring kids out into the world.”

The next Brown Bag lecture is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 3 and will feature Kent Koleji Updates and Teleconference with colleagues in Istanbul.

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Katie Roupe at [email protected].