Friday, August 29, 2008

Internship Reunion Party!

Richard here!

l-r Mark, Richard, Arakawa Sensei, Kei (back), Lawrence, Natsumi & Paul

During the Wadokai World Championships week in Vancouver, Canada, the three people to have completed the internship - Mark Taylor Intern-1, Paul Atkin Intern-2 and Lawrence Liang Intern 3 - got together with myself, Arakawa Sensei, Kei Suzuki and Natsumi Tanaka on Thursday, August 21 for an internship reunion party at the North Vancouver Cactus Club on Pemberton.

Kei is actually an original Shiramizu adult class English student from when I started the internship even before Mark arrived in early 2005! And Natsumi is Paul's girlfriend whom he met while he was an intern, and she followed him back to Kelowna! Kei came to Canada on this trip to go visit Paul and Natsumi in Kelowna, and then come to the Wadokai Worlds to see her two sons compete in the Junior events.

l-r Mark, Paul and Lawrence

During the dinner, Arakawa Sensei and I were able to surprise the 3 post-interns with completion certificates, created in both Japanese and English!

Mark's certificate!

Paul's certificate!

Lawrence's certificate!

For some updates on what the guys are up to now, Mark returned to Canada in August 2006 to take over the Simon Fraser University Karate Club (SFU) while entering a carpentry apprenticeship program, Paul returned to Canada in July 2007 to help his father's Shotokan Karate Club in Kelowna and Lawrence stayed on in Japan in July 2008 to help me with the International Department at Seiritsu High School in Tokyo.

Actually, since Lawrence now works for me at Seiritsu, his desk is beside mine in the staff room, so I had to work on these certificates in secret every time he wasn't squatted beside me slaving away, from work I had given him of course!

Once I was done, I sent them to Arakawa Sensei for layout design with logos and printing on to proper Wadokai certificate paper.

Seriously, our internship is the only structured program I know of in Japan for karate, so we are very lucky to have it! Each of the interns spoke glowingly about having completed the full year at Shiramizu and each said he wants to return again one day.

So future interns, you too might receive an Shiramizu Internship Completion certificate one day! Soon we will begin accepting applications for Intern#5 for next year after our English-English current Intern#4 Carl!

(And yes, we are very interested in accepting applications from women too, we just haven't to date.)


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