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UWF nursing students attend Japanese tea ceremony

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

UWF nursing students attend Japanese tea ceremony

A group of University of West Florida nursing students recently had the unique opportunity to attend a Japanese tea ceremony at the University’s Japan House.

Kathy Jones, program manager for the Japan Center at UWF, told the students before the event that the ceremony was more than just preparing and serving the traditional green tea, but also exhibited discipline, focus and practice.

“Through that practice, you are learning how to relax, how to focus on each movement and how to just clear your mind, your spirit and your heart,” Jones said.

Shigeko Honda, who was director of the UWF Japan Center and Japan House for 27 years, presided over the ceremony. After watching the preparation, each student was able to sample the tea as well as sweets that were offered.

“I feel like it was a very special experience,” said Toni Dudley, a junior nursing student. “They made it beautiful. You actually felt like you were part of the culture.”

Dr. Jill Van Der Like, director of UWF’s Nursing Skills & Simulation Learning Center, said her students benefited from having an appreciation of a different culture.

“An important part of nursing is reflection,” Van Der Like said.  “I hope one day when they are in the hospital with a patient, they will think back to this moment and have a better experience and a better bond with a patient.”

Van Der Like’s students learned that reflection is a significant element of a Japanese tea ceremony.

Brandon Smith, a junior nursing student, said attending the ceremony showed him the importance of taking time to relax.

“One thing that was going through my mind was in America we have a tendency to rush everything, rush to get coffee, rush to the Starbucks drive-thru, but to see them take the time to actually prepare, it gives you mental clarity with experiencing the whole thing,” Smith said.

For more information on the UWF Japan Center, visit uwf.edu/japan-center.

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