Tea and tradition

Japanese Embassy’s Women’s Club visits Fox Run

Meghan Streit
August 20, 2018

For people who are interested in learning about new ideas, places, and cultures, Fox Run is the perfect place to retire. With more than 100 resident-run clubs and committees, an opportunity to expand your mind is always right around the corner.

There are lifelong learning courses on a range of topics every semester and several foreign language study groups. There are clubs for those who want to learn more about everything from history and music to politics and current events. And for people who enjoy experiential learning, there are frequent trips to destinations near and far.

Learning with neighbors

One of the resident-run clubs that brings interesting events to campus is called Your Own University (Y.O.U. for short). The group hosts a monthly film screening called "Movies That Make You Think." After watching a thought-provoking movie together, the group has lunch and discusses the film.

Y.O.U. also hosts speakers on a wide range of topics. Past events have featured a docent from an art museum, an astronomer from the Cranbrook Institute of Science who talked about the solar eclipse, a pianist who learned how to play music with only her left hand after suffering a stroke, and two local newspaper reporters who talked about current affairs and politics.

The group also hosts events that focus on the lighter side of learning. Last year, for instance, they put on a three-part wine-tasting seminar.

Traditional tea ceremony

Recently, they organized a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Y.O.U. chair Pat Kridler says she and the committee brought in the Japanese Women's Club from the Japanese Embassy for the event.

"They present a ceremony, and they bring all the things they need, including boiling water," Pat says. "A speaker from the board tells the story of the history of tea ceremonies and what they stand for."

The Japanese women also brought traditional Japanese sweets and décor, which made for an authentic experience. The event garnered quite a bit of interest among Fox Run residents. In fact, it was such a success that Pat says Y.O.U. plans to host another tea ceremony in the fall.

"The ladies who served the tea were marvelous," Pat says. "It was a lovely afternoon."

The group planned a number of interesting events for the summer, including bringing in a musician as well as a psychologist.

"We're also having Brian Dickerson, the head of editorial writers for the [Detroit] Free Press," Pat says. "He's coming to talk about the issues on the ballot, like gerrymandering."