Category Archives: Courses

kelseydo motorcycling

Full Service

Nick started motorcycling a few years ago and from the moment he got on a bike it has been his sometimes all-consuming passion. I have sat on the back of his motorcycle many times. Sometimes holding on for dear life and sometimes barely holding on at all. I have experienced every human emotion on the back of that motorcycle, from terrifying fear to overwhelming joy. I’ve even fallen asleep on the back of that thing a couple times.

My brother Dylan also rides motorcycles. He learned from a friend of his. He now has a road bike, a dirt bike and a track bike. Yes, I would call it an obsession.

Last year Nick, Dylan and I bought motorcycles (two of them, I sat on the back of one) in Japan and went on a 21 day trip from Kyoto throughout Chugoku, Kyushuu, Shikoku and back to Kyoto again. You can see many photos from the trip on My instagram (@kelseydo) or Nick’s instagram (@nickcarota) but you are going to have to scroll back through about one year in photos. One day Nick will make the millions of hours of footage he filmed of the trip into a documentary. We all hope that one day is soon but you know- you can’t rush the artist’s process.

Nick and Dylan both have a few years experience, thousands of miles on bikes and motorcycling onesies. I will never be as cool as them. Also if you ever get a chance to watch the incredible documentary “Why We Ride” (2013) you’ll understand when I say I don’t have the ‘motorcycling seed’ but they do. All that being said I still (after being pressured by Nick) took a motorcycling course with ProRide (highly recommended) and plan to get my full licence within the next 6 months.

I am pissed cuz Nick is making me do u-turns 30 billion times in a row

I am pissed in this photo because Nick is making me do u-turns 30 billion times in a row.

He makes me a better person.

Say hello to my little friend

This lil guy rode all the way from Deep Cove to Mount Seymour with me.

Your band's next album cover

This photo was taken by Nick on my first big road trip to Duffy Lake and Ashcroft, BC. Dylan joined us on the trip, so I basically had an escort the whole time- one bike in front and one behind- and Yoshino (visiting Canada for the first time from Japan) was there to take in the sights and give me moral support. I only had one meltdown on the whole trip!

My next bike- the new Honda Grom- is soooo cute!

This face says: I love/want this bike. The new Honda Grom. Isn’t it cute?

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kelseydo Spinning Thread

In one of my classes at Ritsumeikan, Service Learning, we learn about social issues, community and not-for-profit organizations (NPO). The course is taught half in the classroom and half through field work in Ritsumeikan’s neighbourhood and the local community in Kyoto.

Last week I got the chance to visit a local community radio station, Radio Cafe, which in part is an actual cafe where they do live recordings, and also a conventional radio station. The cafe was really cool and had this amazing sliding door made out of some kind of crazy soap stone mosaic (at least that’s what it looked like to me). The people in the cafe seemed really down to earth but also quite hip- kind of like Main Street in Vancouver but not trying as hard.

Radio Cafe Paraphenelia

We took a look at the radio station and got a run down from the head honcho and our teacher about their recent work on staying connected with people and stories from the areas and communities affected by the 3/11 natural disaster in Japan. Because they are a community based radio station and not in the mainstream media, they were able to do more personable interviews with survivors, researchers and experts on the subject of the disaster. When the natural disaster occurred on 3/11 a lot of people couldn’t connect to the internet or watch TV to gather news or information, but they could listen to the radio.

At Radio Cafe, they believe it is important to keep sharing the stories and happenings in these communities beyond  3/11 to inspire people to become more proactive within their own communities. They’ve inspired a lot of other areas to start up their own local community radio stations as well, which is pretty cool. In our class we will work on creating a type of broadcast that we will record and send to a local community centre near Sendai in an area that was affected by 3/11.

Another cool project we got to work on today was making thread from cotton balls. Our teacher is involved in a program that teaches communities, recently in the areas affected by the 3/11 disaster, how to grow their own cotton so that they can make their own clothes and become more self-sufficient.

Removing the seeds from the cotton (harvested by our teacher in Ohara) and making the cotton “fluffy”

Spinning thread

Photo op. I already spun my thread but I just wanted to prove to you I was there.

My spindle of thread…kinda lumpy…the teacher was real nice about it, she said it was cute. Of course the Japanese students had PERFECT spindles.

In the end, we will dye the thread in Ohara with vegetable dye and then weave it into a tapestry that we will send to one of the local communities that our teacher worked in after 3/11.

I planned to take a trip to Japan in the summer of 2011, but because of the disaster, Nick and I changed our plans and went to Southeast Asia. It didn’t seem like a good time to be a tourist in a country that was trying to put the pieces back together. I always felt like I wanted to contribute something to support or aid of the disaster affected area but I wasn’t sure what I would do. I think this class has helped me become connected to the communities that were directly affected more than I expected to in Kyoto, miles away. I hope this is just the beginning and that I can make some even more meaningful contributions in the future!

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