TEDxUCSD | 2017 | kyoko-ishikawa
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Kyoko Ishikawa ’19

Major: Communication | Critical Gender Studies


Tell us about yourself!
Half Japanese, half Korean with a black asymmetrical bob, about 166cm tall (I refuse to give into the feet and inches thing), rather strongly opinionated and excessively chatty. Born in Osaka, raised in Kobe, Japan (yes, Kobe as in Kobe beef) on a tiny manmade island right off of the mainland. And no, I don’t take a boat to get from the island to the mainland.
In my free time, I’m most likely taking photos, drawing, doing some free writing, or browsing social media.
In regards to TEDxUCSD, I’m one of the internal operations co-chairs and was one of the marketing chairs for the 2015-16 school year.
What is your favorite TED talk and why?

I came across this talk on random at some point during my high school career. Since then, it’s stuck with me as my “favorite TEDx talk” but I never had an exact reason as to why it resonated with me. Why did I like a talk that was executed so awkwardly, when there are so many others that are so flawlessly rehearsed and performed? You can’t help but cringe at Russell laughing nervously to herself multiple times throughout the talk.
To be honest, it wasn’t until I watched it to answer this question that it really struck me as to why this has stuck with me these past few years. After being a gender studies scholar for a few quarters now, I can see why this talk is my favorite.
Russell ends the talk with this line: “But mostly, it was difficult to unpack a legacy of gender and racial oppression, when I am one of the biggest beneficiaries.” I’m really not too great with explaining things, so I’m going to leave you with that and let you watch the talk yourself.

What enticed you to choose your major(s) and/or minor(s)?
I think there’s so many interesting things about people and the way we interact with one another… which is an incredibly clich√©, basic response for a comm major. But it’s true! That’s really why I’m pursuing a communication major. That, and my initially wanting to go into the advertising industry when I graduate university. Not my plan anymore, but that was definitely one of my initial reasons.
But moving onto why I decided to declare a critical gender studies major: I think it’s really important for me (and everyone, in my opinion) to be informed about different social issues, and as a woman myself, I find it important to be a part of a bigger movement in bettering the lives of myself and others around me. It’s just genuinely interesting too, and I enjoy studying it because it applies directly to real life.
What is your interpretation of this years TEDxUCSD theme, Madness and Miracles?
Without madness, there would be no miracles…
Who/What inspires you?
As tacky as this is going to sound… My friends and peers truly inspire me. In particular, the people who can assert for what they want but not be unpleasant are people that I admire. The people who can work for themselves and but at the same time work for other people, too. Vague? Maybe.
If you could have a super power what would it be and why?
The power to transport to any location at any time… (if you watched Doraemon, you’d know what I’m talking about) On a logistical level, it’d save me a lot of money and I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to travel anywhere they want, whenever they wanted?
What's one thing you can't live without?
Masking tape. It’s an obsession – a bad one. But if any of y’all reading this are masking tape lovers like me… you understand. It comes in handy in so many situations!
What is one life goal that you have?
To be able to preach and practice the same things.
Choose a song to describe you and explain why you chose this song.
Relax, Take It Easy by Mika. Because why not, right? Give it a listen.