I hope everyone had a wonderful Spring Break and is back in the swing of things. We are planning the events for Japan Week and for the remainder of our meeting times. (See the meeting schedule on the back.)
As far as Japan Week goes, most of our plans are set! Tuesday April 1, is the kick off for Asian Heritage Month. Club Nippon will be taking part. We will have a booth set up, and will either be demonstrating a tea ceremony or how to make sushi. Japan Week officially starts on the 21st of April. Monday, the 21st, we will be having culture night at the Pollack house. It is from 6:00 - 8:00. There will be Japanese food! Events will include the Japanese Koto (played by Megumi Suizu). Chie will demonstrate ikebana( Japanese flower arranging). Calligraphy demonstrations will also take place. Tuesday the 22nd, is designated Animation day. From 6:00 - 9:00 in the Union, we will discuss Japanese animation in various forms. Examples will be shown. The last day for Japan Week is Wednesday April 23. A cultural discussion will take place. We hope to perform some skits and talk about some of the main cultural differences between Japan and America. This will also be held in the union.
I hope that all of you have a wonderful semester. Good luck in all of
you endeavors and I hope to see all of you during Japan Week!
It's well past midnight.... In the next twelve hours I have to decide
if I will renew my contract for next year and remain a teacher in Japan.
My friend Peter from Ireland is here, also trying to decide We're commiserating
about the pro's and con's of living in Japan. Both of us want to stay,
and yet at the same time we want to return home. The fact is, however,
that returning home is not as easy as it once was, and after another year
or two, it will likely become even more difficult. We have become people
of two countries.
I doubt either of us will ever feel completely at home in our home countries. I have become very accustomed to bowing, and much more comfortable at speaking Japanese. Peter has become pretty fond of sashimi (raw fish) which I doubt is as abundant in Ireland as it is here. I doubt I will feel at home again in America unless Mos Burger and Lotteria decide to open chain stores in Wisconsin and Michigan.
My second biggest regret at having come to Japan this year is not having
seen the Packers win the super bowl. If anybody has it on Video Tape please
send me a copy so I can actually watch the game. The students at my school
can all tell me who won the superbowl, "The Packers," what city they are
from, "Green Bay," and why they won, "They're the best." Sometimes, being
a teacher is cool, because you can teach students to believe in anything
you want, especially in Japan, where the teacher is always right!
NBC has a program called UPRU Today. It used to be called Hot Potato. I will be cooking meatloaf and then Hirai san will ask me about my job and why I came to Japan. I am a little nervous because after talking to me she decided that we wouldn't need a translator for the show. I am a little worried about making a mistake on TV, but, shoganai. Work is keeping me very busy. after talking to other JET teachers I have learned that I am very unique in Nagasaki Ken. About half the time I teach by myself with no other teachers. Not many other teachers EVER teach by themselves. But Rikitake sensei is very busy, and I'm glad that she trusts me to teach on my own, even if it does cause me a lot of headaches.
The students enjoy it when I teach, but they laugh at me when I make a mistake with my Kanji. My Youchien kids are by far the quickest learners. I can actually have conversations with them now, and they don't speak the dreaded Katakana English that is frequent in the Junior High schools.
Thank you very much for your help.