Hillary Fens: Doshisha “Photo Club” Member

Officially, I joined a photography circle at Doshisha for my CIP. I went in not knowing what to expect, and I’m coming out of it not really knowing what happened. I did not really do anything special to become a member, other than express interest in photography and in joining their circle. I noticed many things – namely, that not all circles are as serious as they are made out to be, and the theme of a non-sports-circle may have little or nothing to do with its members’ interests.

These were actually my two preconceived notions on circles – first that, as a circle, there would be a hierarchical order to the club members and that the club bonded them as friends; second, that, as a group branded with “Photo Club”, the members would be interested in photography.

Well, in my case, neither ended up being true.

This particular circle is pretty nebulous, a problem that prevented me from feeling like a full-fledged member of the club. The club only set out to have regular meetings because I had come into the club asking about meetings. So, they decided to meet every week on Fridays.

I thought this was exciting at first – I’m in a circle and we get together every week, great! They were excited, too! However, our “schedule” quickly devolved into members ignoring other members to get out of having to meet. While I never neglected to contact the members, after a while, I started hoping they would just ignore my contact – it was tiresome to go through excuses instead of just having it put directly: we don’t want to meet with you.

The times we did meet for dinner, our language barrier was a huge issue. It was hard to socialize in such a stiff setting. We were friends under very contrived circumstances. Even my one go-to topic, photography, was not successful in soliciting get-to-know-you small talk.

I did make one friend, though, and she seemed to be the only one who legitimately enjoyed photography! With her, language was almost a non-issue, because she had spent time studying English in America. I am happy to be a year-long student so we can hang out more next semester.

Actually, after having made this friend, my weekly CIP event became inviting her out on Friday nights for dinner, along with KCJS friends + other Japanese friends.

2 thoughts on “Hillary Fens: Doshisha “Photo Club” Member

  1. サークルもいろいろありますが、あまり活動的ではないものも確かにあります。写真というのは、言葉がなくても、人と人をつなぐものですから、一人の友達ができたのはよかったですね。フェンズさんの撮った写真を見るのを楽しみにしています。

  2. そうですね。たくさん人に会って、皆をまあまあしか知らないより一人の友達を本当に作った方がいいと思います。