First Day of Summer School – Downey Class

Today was the first day of summer school. I went to Downey today, as this is a new class, a new lab, and a new teacher in the program. He started the day with making ID Badges for the students with a logo for the program.

As this class will be doing digital still photography, and storytelling through pictures, he started with a lecture on composition, color and movement. He showed a series of student shot pictures as examples of the types of photos these students will be taking for their projects. By the end of the three weeks each student will have completed six photo storytelling assignments that will be compiled by teams on DVD.

The next assignment of the day was to pick a partner from the other school (Modesto/Kyoto) and give a short introduction for that person to the class. They were to tell the class what their partner’s name, age, favorite color, food, and music. This activty broke the ice with each student being required to talk to one of the other students, and then to get up in front of the class and introduce them. Some were a bit shy, but they eased up as we went through them.

The big event of the day was silk screening team shirts. The Downey facility has a full silk screening lab. John Scott (teacher) had prepared the screen ahead of time.

Each group got a quick lesson on how to apply the ink smoothly and evenly.

There were lots of pictures snapped and surprised faces when the screen was lifted to reveal the shirt.

Everyone got a shirt, even my youngest son who was there helping with the class along with his three older brothers.

When we came out from the silk screening room the students were gathered in groups talking and laughing while sharing stories.

Class got out at 5:00pm and the students headed out to get ready for the BBQ a few hours later. The host families and students were all meeting up at a local park to share some food and play some games.

We had a great turnout for the BBQ. Everyone showed up with an appetite for hot dogs and hamburgers.

After dinner a group of students played volleyball while others played catch with footballs and Frisbees.

The Frisbee kept getting stuck in the trees. Whenever this happened a group would come over with a basket ball and volley ball to knock it out.

It was dark by the time most people left the park, well after the planned end of the BBQ. Everyone had fun tonight. This was the first time all of the Japanese students were back together since they got off the bus on Friday. It was great to see them all greet each other sharing stories about their weekend with their host families.

Now it’s back to class tomorrow. I’ll get some pictures up from the other class at Johansen tomorrow.


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