I volunteered for the Japanese Table at the Language Fair. My duty was to answer questions from anyone who visited our table about the Japanese department here in the University of Memphis. We had several flyers that advertised upcoming JAPN courses and showed study abroad programs to Japan that we handed out to interested high school students that would hopefully enroll in the UofM this upcoming fall. A lot of people came to our table, which was surprising, as a lot of people are not particularly interested in Japanese as a major. As a Japanese major, it made me happy to see other people that were interested.
I volunteered at the MBG’s Cherry Blossom Picnic event in affiliation with the Japanese department at the UofM. There were multiple stations set up in the Japanese Gardens to help promote Japanese culture. The station I volunteered at was the Kanji Fans station. What I had to do was explain what kanji characters were to the guests and help them create their own fans with kanji characters and decorative stamps on them. Guests were able to create their own fans by choosing from a list of common kanji characters and painting them on a blank fan with paint and bamboo brushes. The stamps were able to be applied by using an ink pad. Overall, it was pretty fun, but it was a little hectic as we got more and more crowded. It seemed as though our station was very popular with the children!
Harwood Center hosted their annual Dash for Disability 5k Race, and I volunteered at the water stop station. What I had to do was pour cups of water and hold them out to the racers as they passed by. It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but after a while, I got the hang of it and found it pretty fun!