The CIP that I chose was calligraphy with Asakusa-sensei. I found this class through a fellow study abroad student’s host mom, who took me to the location on the first day of class. Because we are only in Japan for such a short period, instead of starting with the basics, the teacher let us write what we wanted. In the class, we learned the proper holding technique for the brush as well as the importance of a kanji’s writing stroke order. Each class, we choose a character that we would like to write, practice it a multitude of times, and then write it on a good sheet of paper to take home.
I think I was able to learn quite a lot about the relationship between sensei and gakusei, especially since the class size was so small. Through the semester, omiyage was of course not required, but I feel it really did help shorten the distance in formality. I was also able to practice keigo for the beginning of the semester and went into simple desu/masu form near the end.
Overall, I really enjoyed doing this CIP throughout the semester because it was a good change of pace from classes. Additionally, we were able to arrange a class time that was dedicated to the KCJS students, so even if you mess up with your Japanese, there is no rush for the teacher’s time. I think that this was the best fit for someone like me who was searching for a more arts and crafts/hands on activity.