For my CIP I chose to enroll in Apollo Art Academy, an art school that was only about a 10 minute walk from my homestay. My hobby has always been drawing, so I wanted to get involved with art in some way during my stay in Japan.
A fellow KCJS classmate, John Evans, also enrolled into the same school as me and we both had classes on Thursdays. The thing about art classes is that they usually span over a long period of time, so it came as no surprise to me that the class I took ran from 1:30pm to 5pm. In fact, most of the other students in our time slot stayed longer than 5pm to get more progress done on their works.
When we first arrived at the academy, I was not sure what to expect, but Tanaka-sensei and everyone else were very welcoming and helped us fill out the short application sheet. Afterwards, we started with a trial class before beginning an actual lesson course. Evans-san and I had both originally wanted to take watercolor or oil pastel lessons, but Tanaka-sensei started us out with pencil and wanted us to slowly progress upwards to working with color.
Originally, I had been considering joining an art circle at Doshisha University, but I am glad that I chose to enroll at Apollo instead, because I heard that art circles usually consisted of students all sitting separately and working silently on their own individual projects, and I felt that I would not had had the chance to practice much Japanese. Midway through each class, everyone gathers around a big table and we get a chance to chat with eachother while eating snacks. In addition, Tanaka-sensei usually walks around the class giving each student individual criticism throughout the class. Though there are times where I am not 100% sure if communication was clear, attending these classes has been a very fun experience getting to know the other students in my class while also improving my art skills and I will most likely continue with this CIP in spring semester.