Wednesday, July 05, 2006


[I forgot to bring my camera cable to school, so only one picture today. I'll try to upload the other ones ASAP.]

We had a unit test on Monday. In and of itself, it was alright (I haven't had a multiple choice language test since high school), but what really mattered is that I'm now one-third of the way through my Road To Tokyo trip. It truly does seem that only yesterday I was stumbling through Narita Airport and wondering why there are so darn many vending machines around here. Time flies and all that, I know, but I think the real reason I feel this way is because I've been scheduled to the gills and probably will be until August. I generally don't get home until 7 in the evening, and between class, work, sleep, and the mandatory incidental trips I have maybe 2 hours of free time a day. One, of course, I usually spend writing this. Now you know why my writing style is atrocious the way it is.

My homestay situation is continuing to develop. It's definitely a step up: the Seses not only treat me kindly and feed me well, but involve me in their daily stuff (like watching TV) and gave me a (somewhat) air-conditioned room. Additionally, the best English speaker in the house (Take-san) doesn't get home until late, so I'm really polishing up on my Japanese skills here. I'm still getting to know them, it's forever away from Makuhari, and the aforementioned room's pretty tiny, but I think I'll live. I even had a fun conversation with my host mother about New York yesterday evening. Now to see if I can find out about doing laundry and using their computer...

Tuesday we spent at Ishikawa Elementary School, visiting class and eventually teaching our own. The educational system in Japan, generally, isn't stunningly different from America's--there's just a lot more of it. They also have a swimming pool.

After a quick tour, we split up into pairs to visit math, calligraphy, and Japanese classes. Yes, the first-graders can speak better than me. But I can read katakana. Ha! Anyway, next came lunch; we got our food (ham and corn on toast, chicken stew, and peaches in a thin yogurt) and then were assigned to individual classes and shipped off. I'm 6'5", all legs, with a wingspan that's actually even wider. Even now, I have no idea why I didn't get someone to take a picture of me sitting at a Japanese first-grader's desk, drinking my milk and eating my peaches.

Next was cleanup, which I have some fun pictures of, and then the featured presentation: Brice teaching a bunch of kids how to play 7-Up! I was atrocious, and I mean atrocious, with getting the point across entirely in Japanese and hand-gestures. They kept on peeking, and I kept on trying to say not to look, and they kept on peeking anyway, and yeah. Once we got the hang of it, though, they seemed to enjoy it. Then I went to another room and teamed up with Derek to teach Simon Says, which was infinitely easier.

Nothing of importance happened today.

Vending Machine Special #9:

What'd you do last night?
"Oh, not much. I got Crunky."


At 3:09 AM, Anonymous Julie said...

Weird....I hadn't thought of 7-up in years until my kids played it last week because they finished cleaning up their cabins early on the last day and had nothing to do. If it makes you feel any better, I doubt peeking had to do with your Japanese language skills as all the campers were native English speakers, and they still had to be reminded not to peek several times.

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous tami said...

OH what fun!!! Playing with japanese school children, leah and i would love that!!!
I hope you had fun and appreciated it for the special time it was. Something to remember long after you come home.



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