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Colleen Benjamin Writes

Colleen Benjamin Writing About Asia – 11/7/09

            I’m not a person who has always lived a wide awake life.  I’ve drifted through many parts of my like not jotting down, just making it from day to day.  Now I’m challenged not just to live but to observe.  It’s hard!

            Paying close attention requires work.  I’m constantly on the lookout for things to write about and things that I can share with my children and my students.  That seems more important since I’ve started to write more, as Lucy Calkins says, pay close attention, to be more wide awake.

            Life happens and forces you to look inward.  Sometimes you don’t like what you see.  Sometimes you do.  That’s what living and writing a wide awake life has made me do.  I’ve always been reflective but at times it’s excruciating.  Looking inward demands change and I don’t want to change.  Static sounds good to me, the status quo. I’m not that lucky.  My life is dynamic and constantly moving.  I want to get off and take that road that I’ve always looked at and see where it takes me.

            There’s that wide awake life again.  It demands that you are responsible, you do the right thing.  So, I look, I take note, and I move on.  I fear not remembering.  I’m afraid that one day I’ll look up and not recognize my children.  So out of that fear I live this wide awake life.  I jot down, I relish moments, and I pray that I remember.

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Gardner Center for Asian Culture and Ideas Writing About Asia Writing Group Begins

Fall, 2009 began the Inaugural lecture series with the Writing About Asia Writing Group. Each Saturday writers listened to the lecture from 9:30 to 11:oo;wrote in the galleries; and then share d their writing from 12:30-1:30. Winter, 2010 began Health,Sex and Woman’s Rights in Contemporary Asia.

This coming Saturday March 20 begins the next series in the Saturday Univeristy: Contemporary Asian Religions and their Expressions in Contemporary Asian Society. This community of writers is accepting more writers to join our group. Please write [email protected] for more information. Interested teachers can earn up to 24 clock hours.

NCTA East Asian Resource Center

University of Washington and Seattle Asian Art Museum

Saturday University Lecture Series Asia in Focus


Writing Workshop: Spring Enrichment


Engage in the writing workshop process –

writing and sharing thoughts about Asia


Place:  Seattle Asian Art Museum

1400 East Prospect Street
Volunteer Park
Seattle, WA 98112–3303



9:30 – 11:00 Enjoy lectures on Asian Culture
This lecture series by The Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas, founded by Mimi Gardner Gates, SAM’s director emerita, advances the region’s engagement with Asia through dynamic public programs that provide informed perspectives on Asia, past and present. Together we will explore a holistic look at Asia and seek to find our voice around the challenging social issues and international relations.  

11:00-1:30 Write and Share your Writing with other Writers Interested in Asia

These workshop sessions will nurture you as a writer helping you reflect on your own writing process as you participate in a community of writers whose main interest is Asia. Admission to the lectures, the following writing workshops and 24 clock hours is funded through the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) with generous support of the Freeman Foundation of New York.

Instructor:  Mary Barber Roberts

NCTA Master Teacher and Travel Study Leader with the University of Washington and published writer

Application process: 

Please fill out the brief questionnaire on the next page and return to Mary Barber Roberts at [email protected]


ALL teachers and library media specialists are welcome. This class has a limited enrollment of 12.

For the purpose of building a writing community, participants need to attend at least four of the six lectures.



Writing Workshop: Reflections on Asia



Saturday University

March 20-May 8



Seattle Asian Art Museum





Free admission to the lectures and following writing workshops along with free 4 clock hours for each session – up to 24 clock hours total.

Contact Email:

Home Phone Number:

Position and School:


Experience and/or interest with Asia:





To apply please send this completed application sheet to me. Thank You!


Mary Barber Roberts

[email protected]


Category:  Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas ,Seattle Asian Museum ,University of Washington     

Roger Shimomura




Category:  Japanese Culture      Tagged: , ,

What is one's own truth?

In researching more links and information regarding So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins, I came across this Australian (?) blog:


and website: http://www.alisonshomework.com/

Would be interested to know your thoughts.


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So Far From the Bamboo Grove

book jacket


Eleven-year-old Yoko and her family are stationed in North Korea during World War II while Yoko’s father works as a Japanese government official in nearby Manchuria. They live in a bamboo grove in Nanam until the Russian and Korean Communists invade their country and escalate their war against Japan. Because Yoko’s father protects Japanese interests, the family knows they are in particular danger and must flee the country as soon as possible. So Far from the Bamboo Grove tells the story of their escape. Yoko, her mother, and her sister Ko learn of the urgency of their escape one…

[The entire page is 264 words long]


Tamra Andrews.  ”So Far from the Bamboo Grove: Overview.” Beacham’s Encylopedia of Popular Fiction. Ed. Kirk H. Beetz. Vol. 14. Beacham-Gale, 1996. eNotes.com. January 2005. 14 June 2009 <http://www.enotes.com/far-bamboo-qn/overview>.

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Asian Art in Seattle…Explore!

Wing Luke Museum current home pagehttp://www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/visitSAAM.asp





Category:  Asian Studies      Tagged: , , ,

Ramayana, really?





Category:  Asian Studies      Tagged: ,

Japanese Paper Cutting Workshop!

Japanese Paper Cutting Workshop


Presented by Aki Sogabe

Grades 2-12

Kent Regional Library

Saturday, May 9, 2pm


Using her books as an introduction to the ancient art of Japanese paper cutting, Aki will help participants create an origami and paper cut project!


Registration required


Kent Regional Library

212 2nd Ave N

Kent WA 98032



The King County Library System will be one of 208 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read. This initiative, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, is designed to bring people from different generations and backgrounds together to read and discuss literature. The focus is to demonstrate that reading is necessary to the cultural, civic and economic fabric of our communities.

Category:  Japanese Culture      Tagged: , , ,

Laos to America…Southest Asian Men's Group (Seattle)


Category:  Asian Studies      Tagged: , , , ,

Korean Conference Notes

“On Saturday, May 2, 2009, I enjoyed a wonderful day at University of Washington, at the Spring Teachers’ Conference in Korean Studies for K-12 Washington State teachers. Both Mark Peterson and Mary Conner covered a huge wealth of material on both North and South Korea, teaching us about the culture, history, politics, art, geography, and poetry of this fascinating, but divided, country. They supported their presentations with power points, and took the time to answer direct questions. Mark Peterson even taught us the Han’gul alphabet and compared/contrasted the Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages. Our Korean box lunch was huge and delicious, and we now know the difference between a bowl of Korean, Japanese and Chinese rice just by looking at the material of the bowl and the design of the chopsticks:  who knew? I also thoroughly enjoyed the lesson on Sijo, a form of Korean poetry that is “more lyrical, subjective and personal than haiku.” We took home several free books and a dvd of Power Points to use in our classroom as well. It felt like Christmas in May! What a wonderful gift for educators. – Submitted by Brynne Garman, Kentridge High School”

Category:  Asian Studies      Tagged: , ,