December 1997

December 1997


1 Monday

    • Go-chu
      • I made a schedule to interview all of the san-nensei students. A totalof 90 students and only 4 days in which to interview all of them; thisis going to be interesting. Hmmmm. YOWZERS!! If it all works out accordingto plan then I’ll have no problem interviewing all the students. IF, that’sIF, everything goes according to plan.  Ganbattemasu!
    • City Hall
      • Philip, Liz and I discussed the three week setup for the 15 week term.We proposed that a 3 week visit would be more beneficial to the students,the teachers and to us. Hopefully it goes over well this upcoming Thursday.We can only hope.
    • After Work
      • Iaido tonight. I got my real fake sword!! he he he. IT ROCKS!!!! I gota discount on it, and well ahhh, I just gotta say it again — IT ROCKS!!!It cost me about $332.85 vs the $400 it was supposed to cost me! Hahahahahaaha!I own it! AND — yes there’s and and. I actually learned — well beganlearning — how to do the particular moves that are performed in this martialart. I actually did something! ROCK ON and on and on! HAHAHA!!! A goodnight at Iaido. The group at Iaido has apparently accepted me as a newmember. They see that I am interested in Iaido by my attendance to thepractices. And they can tell, by my partial understanding of Japanese,that I am trying to learn more about the Japanese lifestyle (culture, language,etc…) A nice way to end the month… Let’s do for another.
    • Just finished my second book while over here in Japan.I think that’s more than all of my college career. How ’bout that.
      written by  — RYU MURAKAMI

    • It’s a strange book. I have no idea how to explain it to you. The textprovides for some interesting pictures — the more wild you imagination,the crazier this book gets. It’s a good book, but nothing that you needto race out to get — of course this is only my opinion. Then again, thisis only my journal, so I hope it’s only my opinion. Stranger things havehappened, haven’t they.

2 Tuesday

  • Go-chu
    • Interviews began today with all of san-nensei. Guess what happened to myschedule, (well go ahead and guess, it’s ok …. i won’t criticize youif your wrong. go ahead, try..) it got botched! the schedule has gone ‘kerplunk’ into the water! ahhhhh! I was to interview 7 students after school,but they didn’t know about it! AHHHH!!!! I only hope that I’m able to findtime to compensate.
  • After Work
    • Nanae came over for our weekly study session. This time she brought food.It was a Japanese meal semi-prepared beforehand. I had my first ‘willingexperience’ with mushrooms and cabbage. Nothing special — glad I knowthat I haven’t been missing out on anything ‘spectacular’. : )
      • Nanae was in complete disagreement with me when I told her I was full.She thought I just didn’t like it so I said I was full. “Surprise! HeyNanae guess what, my stomach is really small! Get this, my girlfriendsis even smaller that mine! How about that!” She said “Bull*&@$” youget the point. I then tried to explain my eating habits in the states,she didn’t believe me….. surprised? I wasn’t.
    • Anyway, it was a good night. I actually got to hear a lot of Japanese tonight.Lots and lots of new words, yowch! Lots of new words.

3  Wednesday

  • Go-chu
    • The interviews continued today. I interviewed 12 students after school.Talk about saying the same stuff over and over. WOWZERS!!! The first instanceof a negative interview happened during that block of interviews. One ofthe girls was nearly in tears because she couldn’t answer any of the questions.I had to shift gears from interview to conversation pretty quickly so shewouldn’t hate English for the rest of her life. I was trying to boost herconfidence by allowing her to see that she can speak English, and thatthis was just a test — nothing to base her conversational abilities on.She had a  partial smile when she left. I felt bad, but what elsecould I do?
  • After Work
    • 10 shirts. 4 Pairs of pants. 1 load of laundry (washed anddried). What do these things have in common? They were all a partof my catch up to today faze. I had to iron the shirts and pants, thattook soooo long. The other stuff wasn’t anything difficult just an extrathing to do while I was ironing. It really is amazing how long ironingcan take. MOM — I totally appreciate your ability to do what you do withthat iron of yours. I bow to you. *B* … and again, *B*.  You’vegot the skills! Damn that took a long time.

4  Thursday

  • Go-chu
    • I interviewed so many students today. I think it was, ummm (thinking)20 or so. 13 during one class period. The most I had done duringone class period was 10. Talk about lots huh. I left school at 2:45 –I had a 10-15 minute bike ride ahead of me, and the big hill awaited. dahdah dannnnn.
  • Roku-sho
    • I thought I was gonna be late but it turned out that Mrs. Ozawa was muchlater than I. I wasn’t even late, although I thought I was going to bebecause of a fault I made. I rode my bike a bit far. I almost went allthe way back to city hall before I realized I’d gone to far. Ooops. : ) Everything fell into place and we all had fun. Ahhh, a happy ending.
  • After Work
    • More ironing. This time it was only 3 shirts; I couldn’t do the two pairsof pants because they were still wet — bummer huh. I’ve ironed enoughfor a family or two in the past to days. Shheeeessshh.

5  Friday

  • Go-chu
    • Last day of interviews and of my visit. I ended up having to skip lunchso that I could interview that last few students. DONE! I did it! I interviewedall of san-nensei in — four days! 90 students! BO-YAH!
  • San-chu
    • How many classes will -the man – will skip on me? Time will tell. Somethingthat makes you go ‘hmmm’.
  • City Hall
    • Changed some stuff with my phone (missed it by a MINUTE!!! DAMMNIT!!! Arrghh!(it will be done on Monday)) and got my schedule forthe next term. Ich-chu is where I’ll start the next term.
  • After Work
    • Enkai with the Volley Ball Crew. go-sen en, or 50,000 yen. $50 for allI could eat and drink. A cool night with the crew.  It feels likeI’ve really found my place here in Asaka. Philip has his music stuff, Lizdoes her random stuff, and me… the sports thing — surprising huh.

6  Saturday

  • Out and about with Kazi in KAWAGOE
    • We’ll Kazi and I did the browsin’ thing. I picked up a CD and a few otherthings.
      • The CD I bought was: B’z “Survive” This band has been going downhill fora while now, but this album brings them back. It’s a cool album, “LiarLiar” – the first single is a rockin’ tune! If it were in English I thinkit might do well in the US; but it’s not, so it won’t.

7  Sunday

  • Volley Ball Tournament
    • Hajimette! That’s right, my first time to ….. sleep through my alarm– or whatever happened. Needless to say, I woke up at 9:15 — I was supposedto be at the gym at 9. Ooops. After I got there things went well. I playedin the second game, which turned out to be the last game/practice for theyear. What does that mean? It means that I have time to wrap up thingsI haven’t had the opportunity to wrap up. I have time to just, chat withpeople instead of running out the door going to practice.
  • After the fiasco (waking up late and playing v-ball)
    • I went into Ikebukuro to buy some X-mas stuff. I bought a small tree, Imean SMALL! I think it measures 45cm. BIG huh? I have to decorate a little.I also bought the movie KIDS.
      • KIDS is a great flic! It’s a very real movie. A documentary like movie,following a group of teenagers around the city of New York. It all happenswithin a day and is very believable. Check it out at your local video store— BLOCKBUSTER won’t carry this flic.

8  Monday

  • San-chu
    • I wore a santa hat to school today and got plenty of cool reactions fromteachers and students alike. I bought it yesterday along with the KIDSvideo (a shamfull plug). The day was interesting,Araki spoke more Japanese in today’s class then I’ve heard from all theother teachers put together. WAY TO MUCH!!! Jeopardy appears to be theactivity of the next two weeks. Two teachers asked me to make questionsfor their classes.
  • City Hall
    • GOT THE TICKETS!!!!!!!
      • That’s right, the tickets for April and me arrived today. WAHOO!!! IT’sofficially official!!! Strike up the band!! Ha ha!
    • Had an interesting, ah…, discussion, well I guess it was a discussion,with Liz about the use of the words X-mas and Christmas during the holidayseason. Originally, we were discussing what the students were going towrite on a card that we were going to help them make for their family duringthe English Club. She took the discussion personally saying with a heatedface “I’m not taking this personally” then huffing and puffing. Philipwas lucky enough to have been out of the conversation. I was trying tocalm her down, but she wouldn’t have it. The religion thing she has inher head wouldn’t let go….it did eventually. I was able to watch herface return to her normal skin tone, and her voice calmed down dramatically.At that point, we established what we three would do during this weeksEnglish Club at ni-sho. Give the students the option to write either X-masor Christmas. Quite a sight — glad that’s over.

9  Tuesday

  • San-chu
    • Jeopardy day? I think
      that I’m going to use this Jeopardy thing lots. Idon’t know if that’s good, or bad.  I was right, Jeopardy all daylong. Three classes, and three games of Jeopardy. I’m glad I made up 5questions for each of the 6 categories. That leaves me with the chancefor a little bit of variety in each of the classes I host the game.
  • After Work
    • Nanae came over and we didn’t do very much in-terms of teaching languages.It was more of a discussion night. We discussed things about Japan andthe US — freedom of press, taxes, the collapse of Yamaichi Bank (4th largestin JPN), why I came to Japan, the treatment of foreigners by the nativepeoples, etc. It was a cool night. A nice way to relax and let the termjust come to an end. Even though there is another week left to the term,it just felt like the term was ending and there were no worries. I’m notstressing out about this Japanese language thing again till next term,or at least not until this one ends. I won’t let it happen. “Not gonnado it.” Thanks George (Bush – talking about his oppositionto raising taxes, as we all know that was a farce.)

10  Wednesday

  • San-chu
    • Uhh, well, to be honest with you — I don’t remember what I did. Why isthat you ask. The answer is that I havn’t been on this crazy computer thingfor a while. Reflecting on the day I can’t seem to remember anything vitalthough — so it would appear that nothing significant happened. Hmmpphh.: )
  • After Work
    • Right, uh huh, yeah. Nothing, and I mean nothing at all is in my head referencingthis evening. Ohhh yeah. I remember what I did. I feel asleep at about9:30. he he he.

11  Thursday

  • San-chu
    • Nothing special. As he breaks into tune….”I’m sorry, so sorry.”
  • Ni-sho
    • Christmas party
    • A great day in the class room. Lots of fun with the RUNNIN’ REINDEER. Itwas a costume that Philip put together for a few presentations at the grammerschools around Asaka. It went over really well. The cards came out great!Eveyr student finished at least one card. A good day.
  • After Work
    • I actually did the cleaning, laundry thing this evening. Crazy mad stuff.Shirts to iron and pants to iron etc…. I may have the weekend set bythe time it arrives – in terms of cleaning and stuff…

12  Friday

  • San-chu
    • Not one class was skipped by – the man.
  • Iaido or Uto’s house? NEITHER! How about that. I ended up attempting toorganize my apartment. The attempt was a complete success!!!! I found thingsthat were wasting away in random drawers/shelves. Talk about having a fulltrash can! Hot digidy dog! The place looked pretty good though. I’m verypleased with the appearance of the place — I just hope it stays this way.I doubt that it will with all the preparations I want to complete beforenext Satuday.

13  Saturday

  • Mr. Saitoh’s abode
    • The day began for me at about 11. I left the apartment at 12:50 to meetPhilip at the station. The day ended when I walked back from the same trainstation, about 12 hours later. Indeed a long day, but a MOST enjoyableday!! Mr. Saitoh and his family were absolutely spectacular. The food wasgreat, the laughs were in abundance, the madness was everywhere — it wasgreat! Philip, Liz and I received a present from Go-chu’s ichi-nensei classes– a hord of cards! Lots and lots! It was a most inexpected surprise thatwe were very grateful for. A great day, I hope to go out there again. Ithink it’ll be fun, maybe it’ll be even better.

14  Sunday

  • Kawagoe
    • SANTA? How many Santa’s? 1? <<BRRRR>> Sorry, that’s not on the survey.2? <<BRRRR>> Strike number two, good luck. 3? daa da daa (bing) Thenumber two answer. For a while. 4? DAA DA DAA (bing) That’s the numberone answer! Congratulations Doe Family you’ve won on Family Feud! Wahhooo!!The say was filled with “…Santa-san…”, “…Mery Christmas…”, “……huh?…..”,”kakawii.” etc………… People are just soooooo unused to differentthings. It appears that the people ‘think’ they’re doing something different(ex: with each persons fashion sense — each person tries to out do everyoneelse). BUT when it comes to breaking a ‘norm’, like… oh say….. wearinga Santa hat while walking around — that’s when heads turn! That’s theindividual coming out, that’s being different. The funny thing is thatit’s no big deal to me! This has been happening for a week now! PeopleLITERALLY stop walking, stuter step, or stop walking and take a step back.I could go on, but that would just make my hand hurt — ahhh there it goes.Times up. Sorry. Gotta go relax these poor weary hands…………(timegoes by/just like syrup/on a tree/just like heinz/from the 14th story -the newest hit that’s gonna rock the US pop charts!! Wahhooo!!) It’s justa great thing sometimes, and other times it’s just funny. People are soobvious, they just STARE — and for long periods of time too.  Somethingto keep in mind is this — This is allllll happening in close proximityto Tokyo! That is where the biggest grouping of foreigners reside in Japan.The people are surprised just the same! WILD!!!! Crazy Mad Super FunkyFreaky Dumb Silly Gumby Gold, i think. he he he. O yeah, it was a goodday. We all had fun. : )

15   Monday

  • San-chu
    • Same program 3 times today. It’s “The Man’s Problem”. He’s got to carryhis CAT, his CHICKEN, and his BAG OF RICE in a boat across the river.Theproblem – he can only carry one at a time…… The cat will eat the chicken,and the chicken will eat the bag of rice. Yes I have definitely done thisprogram a bit much. The BEST part of the matter is that I get to do it3 more times tomorrow! Wahhoo! – or something. : )
  • After work
    • Damn the apartment got wrecked! When? Over the weekend. Why? The photoalbum stuff was the primary culprit. I have to vacumm!!! There are a lotofshreds from the pictures and the magazines alll over the place. AHhhhhh!anyway. This was an evening to call people. Cheap rates start at 12:00amTUES. I called a few people before 12:00 thought because I wanted to callthe people that I tried to reach last week but were unable to get aholdof because they weren’t home. Big phone bill, but it’ll be worth everyyen. (every penny — HA!!) bad joke, ouch. sorry

16   Tuesday

  • San-chu
    • I enjoy this school. The lesson about the man and his problem went reallywell in all the classes. One was really really realllllly quick in solvingthe problem. Another was a bit slow but got it after a while. A most intriguingthing to teach to students in a foreign language when some people can’tfigure it out in their native tongue. hmmmm.
  • Nanae (and Maki – the late arrival)
    • It appears that I’m learning more than I thought. I understood a lot ofwhat was said in Japanese tonight. The problem — replying. Bummer. I thinkthat’ll come next term though. My ears and brain have accepted the soundsof Japanese. Now it is up to the mouth to accept a little more than italready has. “Time, tiiiiiime is on my side – yes it is.” a little bitof the Rolling Stones for ya. ha ha.

17   Wednesday

  • San-chu
    • Another day at the school with the crazy group of students. At school I’vebeen correcting papers. And man-o-man are there a lot of papers. I’ve gonefrom interviewing all of san-nensei to correcting a paper writen by everysan-nensei student. The difference — this school has about 200 studentsin san-nensei. A bit different from 90 huh.
  • After Work
    • I’ve been trying to clean this apartment….. I think I’ll finish on orabout Friday. WOW, there is a lot of dust and stuff…..WOW!

18   Thursday

  • San-chu
    • Calligraphy. That’s right. I did it for the first time today. What didI write? I did something I know – my name. It came out ok. I wish I couldhave done it a few more times, but time was limit
      ed today because teachersneed to get grades in before the term ends. Classes were cool today aswell. I did a T/F test about Christmas for ichi-nensei. They did reallywell. It was very encouraging.
  • After Work
  • …in Shinjuku
    • Why you ask. I want to get some stuff to read for Saturday. You see I’llbe at the airport from 11:00 am till about 6:00 pm. Soooooo, I thoughtthat some light fun reading would be a good thing to pick-up before I wentto the airport. Good idea, u no. haha.
    • I almost finished the apartment – just a few more things and I’ll be done.I must say I’m very impressed with the way it looks now. Hmmmm. maybe Ishould go into home decor…. nah I think I’d get sick and tired of lookingat everyone’s …. uhh…. everyone’s….. toothbrush. YEAH! That’s it,I’d get sick of looking at everyone’s toothbrush! Ha, ha. You didn’t thinkI’d come up with somthin’, did-jya. haha.

19   Friday                         LASTDAY OF THE TERM

  • San-chu
    • Last day was a good day. I finished alllllll of the san-nensei stuff. Igot to play a little bit of soccer with some of the students. AND I gotto talk to a pair of san-nensei students as well. It was a nice way toend my visit. I was actually very sad as I was leaving the school today.It wasn’t that “yeah the term is over…time to party.” It was kinda depressingthat I wouldn’t see the students again for a while. I’ll see these studentsagain in March. It’s on to Ich-chu at the beginning of the next term. Iwonder how that’ll go. April will be going with me to a bunch of classes.I wonder how that’s gonna turn out. I know it’ll be good, but how………hmmmm.
  • Iaido in Shiki
    • I learned more and more and more. I actually got through 5 of the 10 techiniquesthat make up Iaido. The problem is I won’t do this again until next year.Bummer!!!!! Ahhhhh – ok – time to chill. Ahh, I feel better.
  • After/After @ home
    • I have finished finished the apartment. It is now completely clean. Allof my clothes are ironed and hung. I have a table that I can use. It’sall as it should be. Wahooo!! Haha. A gooooood thing. Well, it appearsthat tomorrow will be an interesting one…. A fun one, but a long one….

20   Saturday                                       TheArrival

  • To Narita
    • Im going to the airport with Liz, then I’m gonna wait for a while – about6 hours – until Rille arrives. It’ll be fun. I’ll probably sleep some….mmmmmmmsleeeeep. : )

21   Sunday
22   Monday

    • It’s departure day. Rille and I are heading off to the SUMMER heat. Changein climate, just a bit.

23   Tuesday
24   Wednesday
25   Thursday
26   Friday
27   Saturday
28   Sunday
29   Monday

  • Japan
    • Welcome back. The week will be over and the temp will be considerably lower.I think.

30   Tuesday
31   Wednesday

  • Party?
    • It would appear that the New Years Party will begin in Ikebukuro and endin my apartment. I think that its gonnnnnaa be fuuuuuuuuuuun. Heee heeeheee.

SORRY I REALLLLLLLY don’t have the time to get caught up with thisthing. SOOOooooo what I’m gonna do is post the emails that were sent outduring the break detailing the events and happenings of the past few weeks.EMAIL1(thebulk of the visit)    EMAIL2(inbetween #1 & #3)   EMAIL3(endof the visit)

1 Comment

  1. A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.

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