This evening we had a welcome party for freshmen of our Earth-Sciences Department. Lots of foods, lots of people, but only soft drinks were available. This is because the drinking age in Japan is 20, and the majority of the freshmen were either 18 or 19 years old. Our university as well as most (if not all) universities in Japan do not allow to serve alcoholic beverages to freshmen's welcome parties which are commonly held in April when academic year starts. At this sort of party, faculty and staff members are not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages, either.
Still, we were all happy and merry. Nice conversation and chatting with students and faculty members creates a friendly and warm atmosphere that excels any alcoholic beverages!
This was such a wonderful icebreaker event to introduce each freshman to our elder students and faculty members. Each of us, young and old, had a chance to speak to the crowd using a microphone; some of them joked, some danced, some stick to their self introduction. I am impressed that these freshmen appear to have no fear for public speaking, as each of them spoke so naturally in front of the microphone. Each of them stood on top of a chair (some of them stood even on a table) and behaved naturally (see photo above). If I had to give a talk like one of them as a freshmen more than 25 years ago (well, I'm mid-40 now), I would freak out with stage frightening or fears of failure. What a change for the communication skills (rather, self confidence) of young students over recent years! Impressive.
Well done, guys! You all rock!
Posted on Thursday April 12, 2012