AHS Japanese Olympiad Team Travels to Purdue University

Kaitlyn Mason | Web Managing Editor

On Feb. 22, Avon’s Japanese Olympiad team traveled to Purdue University to compete in an annual competition hosted by the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese (AITJ), an organization Mrs. Amanda (Sensei) Ramirez was President of for the 2019-2020 school year.

This isn’t the first year the Avon club has competed; starting the tradition in 2018, participating Japanese students have traveled around Indiana to show their skills and learn more about Japanese culture.

As far as preparation goes, the club has had meetings since October of last semester. For junior Alyssa Dawson, preparing meant going through the study guide provided.

“The culture [section] was probably the hardest one to [study],” said Dawson. “It wasn’t just a word I had to master.”

Dawson said her favorite part of going to the competition is not, in fact, the competing itself: it’s being able to visit different colleges and learn more.

Junior Brianna Bodie agrees.

“It’s really enriching and I’m really lucky to be able to see [cultural performances] that you’d normally have to travel to see,” said Bodie.

For both of the competitors, the tea ceremony demonstration after the actual competition was their favorite part, with green tea that came directly from Japan and real China bowls. Junior Leif Blake said his favorite part was competing against fellow Japanese students.

“I really like seeing students from other areas in Indiana,” said Blake.

While his team didn’t place, Blake said he is still happy with their hard work and determination.

“I’m proud of my team members,” said Blake.

If you’re a Japanese student looking to join, look out for the call-out meeting for next school year – anyone above Level I Japanese can join and compete.

To the competitors: よくできました!

Pictured from left to right: Alyssa Dawson, Ashley Horne, Brianna Bodie, Leif Blake.

Photo submitted by Leif Blake.

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