- Instructor (Social Studies) and baseball coach, Meisei High School
Ryoma Ogawa Graduated 2014, Faculty of Law, Department of Political Science
I was not an ideal student. I didn’t have any particular goals, so I spent my first six months just passing time.
Wanting to change something, I asked an acquaintance to introduce me to a high school in Kanagawa prefecture, where I started studying as a baseball coach. I think making the decision by myself to take this step had great significance.
The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred while I was a university student, so I participated as a disaster volunteer. I strongly felt that just watching the coverage on television wasn’t enough, that there were things I couldn’t understand without going there.
I wanted to see a world I couldn’t imagine myself, so after graduating university I worked for two years promoting baseball in Senegal as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer. Children there had never even heard of baseball, so just explaining the rules took a year. Today, I fondly recall those days of repeatedly asking myself if I was doing a good enough job.
Now I’m working as a high-school instructor. Thanks to my experience in Senegal, I’m able to engage with my students based on an understanding that we take different things for granted. I spend my days at school being a teacher who doesn’t seem like a teacher, and as a baseball coach who tries to bring something new to high-school baseball.
I hope you’ll spend your time as a university student gaining many new experiences with a broad perspective. Learn a lot, play all you can, visit new places, and while doing so, find the path you’re meant to follow. I believe we set our own limits in all things. Don’t make excuses about what others will think or the environment you’re in, just take on any challenge you find.