Students explore Samurai code
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Workshop combines traditional wisdom, personal development
Scientists think the average brain takes a break every seven seconds. Students concerned about focus and productivity learned how to counteract the tendencies of sluggish synapses at an interactive workshop this week.
The Samurai Game, held in the Student Union on Feb. 20, used Aikido, a martial art, to teach students about values and principles that will prepare them for success in their classrooms and careers. The Game is a leadership workshop that strives to develop more focused, efficient students through nontraditional learning exercises.
Debi DeSchryver, a participant, attended the workshop hoping to sharpen her leadership skills.
“The Game continues to remind me of all the work I still have to do on myself,” she said, adding that the experience will affect her learning in the future. “I keep playing the Game in my head.”
The Samurai Game asks that participants show integrity, honor, resourcefulness and respect and come together as teammates and opponents to challenge each other.
Instructor Lance Giroux facilitated the Samurai Game. He attempts to push participants into battle-like situations to teach them to make every decision as though it is a matter of life or death and to take nothing for granted.
Giroux asked students to translate the Game to relate to their own experiences and apply what they learn to real life.
Participants took part in an exercise designed to build creativity. They wrote their names with their right hands as many times as possible in the given time, then switched to the left to activate the parts of the brain that control artistry and invention.
“Put the pen in your other hand and you get creative,” Giroux said, explaining how hands-on experimental learning can let students absorb information better than traditional techniques.
Freshman Steve Ahn found the interactive learning style the Samurai Game promoted fun, commenting that it kept him awake.
“I’m someone who learns better with visuals… so this way would be a better way of learning rather than sitting through lectures and keeping my nose in a textbook all day,” Ahn said.
Participants hoping to gain knowledge for application to their careers benefited as the Samurai Game emphasized practices that can help businesses run efficiently.
Students learned how a meeting room can affect its productivity and how a strong handshake can give aspiring leaders a leg up on their competition.
Giroux focused much of the instruction in the Samurai Game on the importance of staying focused on one task at a time. “If there is one thing you take away from today,” he told participants, “Be here, now.”