Zoe Lockard
Published in
6 min readApr 5, 2018


A delicious assortment of Mindfood: We ask kohai and sempai to share what they are voraciously reading, ravenously watching, passionately doing, and binge listening. Whether it is performance, architecture, or critical theory, our intellectual pursuits feed our projects and grow our pool of references.

Kohai Jeppe (Bali ’16) creates Dilijan Collective, a collaborative learning adventure in Armenia. How the desire to create something more in Dilijan, his Danish roots, and Gakko come together for Jeppe:

Jeppe soaking in Gakko

Gakko is the seemingly simple act of putting a bunch of incredible people, with crazy ideas and magical fusion, together to form something beautiful. If the people are curious and passionate, there’s food on the table. We have the possibility to exponentially increase our shared knowledge at our shared table. All that remains and matters is this magnificent group of individuals occupying a physical and mental space full of ideas, beauty, and passion! This is something Gakko taught me, so I wanted to try it out myself mixing it with the schooling traditions of my country, Denmark.

Collective Dilijan will be a co-living and working space for individuals with a passion. Besides working on a personal project, we will all build a cafe/venue/bar in the Dilijan National Park in Armenia. It is open mainly for gap-year takers.

Looking forward to seeing this project blossom! For more information, please check out

Farid climbing a bamboo ladder.

Kohai Farid (Bali ’17) immerses us in the streets of Florence in his photo-poetry project called Fifty Faces of Florence:

Eight friends of mine and I traveled to Florence, Italy, to engage in a self-designed project called ‘Fifty Faces of Florence’. For one week, we explored numerous crowded streets and unwalked corners of Florence in attempt to gain intimate insights about the city. Through days full of creamy ‘Gelattos’ and conversations with heartwarming humans we encountered, we were able to capture the feel of the city through photographs and poetries. At the end of the project, we compiled all our photographs and poetries to publish it as a book — a physical evidence of our memory made in Florence.”

For more beautiful writings, pictures, and all around awesome project, check out Farid’s blog

Embracing the moment

Kohai Susie (Romania ’17) is reading Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton:

It’s wonderful. It narrates the struggles and challenges of a strong, little girl whose parents are Japanese and Afro-American. She is confronted with many racist and sexist situations and questions, but she believes that constant dripping will wear away a stone. Her thoughts are presented in the from of little poems for every situation. A very wonderful book.

Monique making us smile.

Kohai Monique (Japan ’16) is documenting the Climate refugee crisis in her native Indonesia and warming our hearts (no pun intended) with Gakko memories.

Having attended a class on Refugee Stories last semester in college, I have been working on a photojournalism project on climate refugees in my country, Indonesia. My aim is to capture the stories of individuals who have been displaced due to flooding and volcanic eruptions and bring them to national attention. Climate refugees are a class of migrants, who are often undocumented and unexplored within the scope of climate change and refugee movements. I am trying to change that. Furthermore, my colleagues and I are trying to provide literacy to children in these high-risk areas to ensure that they are capable of following with school when they find a more permanent home. Having interviewed a few last winter, I empathize with their vulnerability and hope that this can help them get a step closer to their dreams. My project will start June 2018 and so far, I have just started gathering funds and support for the idea.

I think it’s important to mention how GAKKO has helped me become an innovative and careful thinker. Through the final projects that we were asked to present in Chiba in the summer of 2016, I profoundly learnt how to express my ideas openly to public audiences. GAKKO is truly a transformative experience and the sempai that year — shout out to Leyla, Dylan, Simon and many others — were extremely supportive in advising kohai on how to find one’s niche, reflect on one’s core values and learn what one can provide to the world around. Until today, I still remember the anthem of GAKKO Chiba 2016, “I Don’t Care to Stay Here Long” and am often nostalgic at the memories.

To hear more or get involved, reach out to Monique on our Facebook community board!

Lula fostering a creative and beautiful learning environment

Kohai Lula teaches English and transforms a school using paint and enthusiasm.

My Project, Project E-Right, went to Vietnam, where we travelled to the countryside and taught English, as well as gave workshops on Leadership to kids from a unprivileged school. We tried to make the school more child friendly, so we painted murals with them and the teachers! :) It was really productive and the kids were really nice, they told us they learnt a lot from us.

Bảo vệ môi trường translates to “Protect the school” or
“Environmental protection”

Kohai Mint (Japan ’17) designs a toast rack in her Design technology IGCSE coursework.

Mint and her exquisitely designed toaster rack.

Kohai Jeppe shares his favorite recipe, Pickled Herrings.

Un-Pickled Herring

1 glass of pickled herring (800g)

1 bundle of dill

1 bundle of parsley

For the Creme

1 dl good mayonaise

1 dl creme fraiche 18% fat

2 tablespoons sweet mustard

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

5 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish or two bags of grated horseradish

Salt and pepper


If the pickled herring is already cut, fine. If it is not cut, cut it into pieces as long as your thumb. Cut the parsley and dill and mix all ingredients together. Eat on rye bread.

Disclaimer: It might be difficult or impossible to find pickled herring in your country. You can either make it yourself or just use salted herring cut into pieces.

This recipe is a remix of original Danish pickled herring.

What have you been munching on, deep diving into, reading, listening? Tell us at for your moment of newsletter fame.