Northside Competes With Japanese Language and Culture
By Joshua Savitzky
For Japanese students, Japan Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year. On Saturday, Dec. 8, Ms. Jeung-Hee Park, World Language department, and students in Japanese II and III took a bus to Glenbrook South High School where they competed against Glenbrook South, Whitney Young, and Lane Tech. This “Mini” Japan Bowl was relatively low stakes, perfect for practice for the real Japan Bowl in March . Students participating studied hard -- and the results certainly showed.
The Language Level II team, consisting of Joshua Savitzky, Adv. 908, Noah Echevarria, Adv. 001, and Agatha Cordero, Adv. 105, started. The round ended in a tie, but after several tie-breaker questions, Northside won first place. “I was a bit nervous when we sat down at the front table,” said Cordero, “I really did not want to lose since Park-Sensei worked so hard for us. But at the same time, I thought it was really fun being there since it was my first time participating in a competition. I felt really anxious because I did not want to cause our team to lose a point which mattered in the long run. In the end, the entire thing sort of flew by a lot quicker than I expected. Overall, it was an extremely exciting experience and I am glad I got to participate and even more glad that we won.”
Next was the Language Level III team. Northside’s team, Magaly Zuniga Adv. 004, Isabelle Lemma, Adv. 004, and Lylajean Bariso, Adv. 002 took first place by an impressive lead.
The Culture category was up next. Unlike the Language categories, this one was not split up between levels, but there were two teams from each school competing. The first team consisted of Gonzales, Franz Galvan, Adv. 008, and Muhammad Maroof, Adv. 106. The second consisted of Trish Le, Adv. 003, Aida Zeleke, Adv. 906, and Henry Nguyen, Adv. 100. At the end of the round, the two Northside teams and a Lane Tech team were tied for first. The first and second Northside teams were eliminated, earning 2nd and 3rd place respectively and resulting in a Lane Tech win.
The last event was a series of games. Six participants from each school were divided into teams of four with one person from each school. They then competed in games of Kendama, chopstick use, and Telephone. Northside participants included Martin Garduno, Adv. 107, Amalia Ruiz, Adv. 105, Melanie Muniz, Adv. 101, Aaron Soriano, Adv. 001, Dominik Zielinski, Adv. 005, and Everardo Luna, Adv. 008. By the end, Garduno’s team had the most points, followed by Muniz in second, and Soriano in third. However, not all the students enjoyed this category. “The games category was completely unnecessary,” said Zielinski, “There was no studying I had to do, and the fact that all the teams were mixed up left little preparation for team strategy. We all just did our own thing to varying degrees of success.”
The event ended with the awards ceremony, where the winners received their prizes, and a photo was taken with all the participants. The event served as effective practice for the students who have not experienced an official Japan Bowl, which will take place in March.