(English text to follow)
5月末から先週までの夏学期には、今年はテンプル大学フィラデルフィア本校から教員5人と院生1人が来日して、ここジャパンキャンパス(TUJ)で授業を担当しました。その中の一人、ジーン・ウィルコックス先生がTUJで過ごすのは二度目で、今夏を振り返った寄稿を紹介します。（大学院生イーリン・ウーさんの寄稿はこちらから→My experience of teaching in TUJ by Yilin Wu）
By Jean Wilcox（Assistant Professor, Temple University）
My last day of classes was really sad. I have so enjoyed these students. They are different from the ones I have on Main Campus — many of whom have grown up in the Philly area and have never done any foreign travel. The students here are more outgoing, more curious, more worldly. They are a little older on average than in my U.S. classes and so they have more life experience. They were interested, engaged, did the work, asked good questions, and made arguments. I loved it!
The study abroad students from the U.S. have had the guts to pack themselves up and move to another country. Wish I had done it when I was their age. Most of them are embracing the experience. Cramming in every bit of sightseeing, traveling, and eating that they can before they have to go home. (Just like I am!)
I had students from a variety of different family backgrounds … American, Japanese, Chinese, Pakistani, Sikh. Some from mixed heritage: German father, Japanese mother – spoke English with a German accent; Japanese mother, British father – spoke with an English accent. I have these kinds of students in my U.S. classes, but they get lost in the numbers. My classes here (17 students) were about a quarter of the size of my U.S. classes (72). The class rooms are smaller. They are flat, and they have movable tables and chairs, so I could get out among the students. Easily put them into group work. Rearrange the furniture. Get to know them.
I had several U.S. military vets in my marketing class. I get one or two veterans in my classes on Main Campus, but here they made up about half the class. Whether here, or in the U.S., these are guys and gals who are used to knuckling down and getting the job done. When I’d assign a group exercise in class they put their heads together and got working. Their experience also enabled them to add so much to the class discussion. I was talking in one class about how the “price” of an item depends on the context in which it’s sold. The price of a bottle of water at a convenience store may be $1.25. That same bottle of water at the movie theater is at least $5.00. One of the vets shared that he’d been at a festival in Japan where they were selling “hot dog” water for $40 a bottle! He wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but it supposedly had health benefits.
My last class ended on a really funny note. The final assignment in the business communications class was to give a speech. I gave them a list of 30 topics to choose from, and they each had a maximum of six minutes to speak. I was using the clock on my phone to time them. I made them stop talking when the timer music went off.
The penultimate speaker talked about her search for her path in life. Something I can relate to. I’m still searching at this advanced age. When she finished I told her what I tell all my students … “What you do the day you graduate, doesn’t have to be what you do with the rest of your life. Look at me, I have a Ph.D. in chemistry and here I am teaching marketing and communications in Japan.” I got the usual reaction. A gasp. A question … really? The class philosopher wanted to know the title of my dissertation.
Then the final speaker, who is dealing with a serious illness, got up and talked about the power of laughter. What a great final topic. When she finished, I got up to give my final remarks. I was about halfway through what I wanted to say when the timer on my phone went off. Everybody burst out laughing, especially me. “Well, I guess times up! I have to stop talking.”
Assistant Professor of Practice
Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Personal Blog: https://www.ginkgofrogblog.com