Did anyone go out on Sunday night to recite poetry to the moon? My daughter and I did. She
made up a poem, in fact. The moon was magnificent: at about 8 p.m. it was as big and orange as
a Harvest Moon cliche!
In this issue, lesson ideas are both topical and timeless and they run the gamut from the
computer game/violence connection to Zen to the whole science vs. theory debate, Chinese-style.
I think each one can promote interesting discussions about contemporary life on a national and
international scale. I hope you agree.
As you might know, here at the Center we are managing an initiative and a website under the
aegis of the Kansas Committee for International Education in the Schools
(www.kansasintheworld.org). If any of you use any of the lesson suggestions and ideas found in
Outreach Notes or create your own successful international ed lessons, would you please email
me and tell me how they went ? I would love to spotlight your most successful international
lessons on the Best Practices webpage.
I. IN THE CLASSROOM
a. Lethal Computer Games in Korea
b. The Zen of Zen Gardens
c. Science or Superstition: A feng shui controversy
II. EVENTS AND EXHIBITS
a. Hair Power: Recent Drawings by Hong Zhang
b. Korean Film
c. The Sacred and the Secular: Buddhist Imagery in Religious and Popular Contexts
d. International Career Day at KU
III. TEACHERS' WORKSHOP
a. Kansas City Japan Festival K-12 Teachers' Workshop
a. KOREA -- LETHAL COMPUTER GAMES (K-12)
Can computer game playing become a fatal obsession? Here is an article about a man in Korea
whose obsession led to his death. A story like this can inspire a debate about an important global
issue: Just how involved are we becoming in our cyber universe? Is the line between virtuality
and reality becoming too blurred particularly in so-called MMOPRGs (massively multi-player on-
line role playing games: see article for more on this) And how healthy is this? Is it causing us to
pay less attention to the problems and pleasures of the real world? A debate would be interesting
with one side making the argument that computer games are just entertainment and the other
arguing that virtual reality is "destroying" our connection to "real" reality. Also, what do they think
of computer games as a professional sport?
b. JAPAN -- THE ZEN OF ZEN GARDENS (K-12)
The purpose of a Zen garden is to promote contemplation and meditation. Many Zen gardens
through the ages, have been created by Buddhist Monks who pour their faith and spirituality into
their work. Here is a link to an article about an 18th-generation monk whose gardens are
considered works of art. After discussing and listing the important elements of a Zen garden with
your classes, perhaps you could have your students design one. Maybe you could even get the
school to give you outdoor space to create a Zen garden. I've also included a link to a page that
will give you some ideas on how to create a Zen garden as well as a website featuring photos of
Zen gardens. The last link below will take you to the KCTA webpage: click on Teacher Resources
then on High School then scroll down to find a lesson plan entitled "Creating a Japanese garden".
One Monk's Zen Garden Art
The Basics of Zen Gardens
Photos of Zen Gardens
Click here for a lesson plan about making your own Zen garden. Remember: click on Resources
for Teachers, then High School then scroll down, look for the title "Creating a Japanese Garden"
and click right on the title.
c. CHINA -- SCIENCE OR SUPERSTITION? A FENG SHUI CONTROVERSY (Gr. 6-12)
Here in Kansas, a battle is raging over introducing the idea of intelligent design into the school
curriculum. In China, a similar battle has begun: should feng shui be taught as a science in
schools or is it just a superstition? Here is an article that talks about this fledgling conflict in
China's halls of education. After reading the article, you might have your students discuss the
similarities and differences between the controversy here in the US and the controversy in China.
II. EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS
a. Hair Power: Recent Drawings By Hong Zhang
September 19-October 28, 2005
Drawings exploring hair imagery by Hong Zhang, an artist from China and wife of CEAS faculty
member John Kennedy, are currently hanging in the Kansas Union Gallery and will be there
through October 28, 2005. These graphite drawings are beautifully rendered, witty and Magritte-
like in their surrealism. The Union Gallery located on the 4th floor of the Kansas Union, is open
Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. at 4.30 p.m.
b. Korean Film
Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m., the Spencer Museum of Art at KU will screen the South
Korean feature film A Single Spark (1996, Park Kwang-su) as part of the “At Work” film series
being programmed in conjunction with the Lee Friedlander At Work exhibition. Admission is free.
Based on real life Korean political/labor activist Jeong Tae-il, A Single Spark chronicles his
struggle to enforce anti-sweatshop labor laws in the face of government corruption and apathy.
Jeong ended his life in protest by dousing himself with gasoline and burning himself. This film
was well received at its screening at the 46th Berlin Film Festival. CEAS faculty member Michael
Baskett will introduce the film.
c. The Sacred and the Secular: Buddhist Imagery in Religious & Popular Contexts
This new exhibit opening in the Spencer Museum’s Asian Gallery on October 4th illustrates how
Buddhism manifests itself in Asian Art.
d. International Career Day at KU
On October 6, the Office of International Programs at the University of Kansas invites area high
school students who are interested in learning about international career opportunities to the
International Career Workshop. Participants can learn about job opportunities from area
international businesses, not-for profits, and government agencies. If you are interested in
bringing your students to this event, please check out the registration procedure at the website
III. TEACHERS' WORKSHOP
a. The Greater Kansas City Japan Festival 2005 K-12 Teachers' Workshop
October 8, 9 a.m.-12 Noon
Johnson County Community College
There are still a few spots left for our workshop "Beyond Origami: Art-driven Lessons About
Japan". The workshop will consist of lectures by KU Faculty and workshops including one on
making a Samurai helmet and one of Japanese brush and ink calligraphy. The workshops are led
by KU faculty and K-12 Art teachers. Admission is free. To sign up, please send an email to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited and places are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Kansas Standards addressed include History Standard, Benchmark 1 and Extended Benchmark
2; Art Standard 6, Benchmark 2. Participants in the workshop receive free admission to the Japan
Festival and are free to explore other presentations once the workshop is over. Visit the Japan
Festival website at: http://www.gkcjapanfestival.com/
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions about ways I can make this e-mailing
more accessible and useful to you in your lessons. So, let me hear from you. But please
remember: if you want to send comments or open a dialogue with me, write to me by sending
your note directly to me at my e-mail address (email@example.com) and not by replying to this email
which inevitably ends up as a List Error message. Thanks.
If you prefer not to receive notices about East Asian Outreach opportunities for K-12 Educators,
remember to send an e-mail directly to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me to request removal from
the list. My e-address and phone number are listed below.
That's all for now. Keep in touch.
Randi Hacker, Outreach Coordinator
Center for East Asian Studies
1440 Jayhawk Blvd. Rm. 200
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045