October 1997

October 1997

Clickhere to read about the craziest daythis month…

Clickhere to read about a new type of student

Andthen I learned that  I’m actually making a difference

It’sbeen said that the Japanese are really organized

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1 Wednesday

  • San-chu
    • Back to the beat again. Yes indeed school again, and guess what! I actuallyhad class with Araki-sensei today, twice! How ’bout that. Well the classeswere cool, nothing special. Three classes: 2 were very enjoyable and 1was kinda boring. Not a bad day, BUT, there is onething to tell you about.
        • The third class ends and Araki-sensei and I stepout of the room and POWW! Mr. Araki is grabbing this girls’ arm and sayingsomething. She was moving all over the place and got free. It had to dealwith her wearing an earring. Students are not allowed to wear earringsin junior high school in Japan – there’s something new for you I bet. Sothey are yelling and stuff, and this went on for a while! A least 3 minutes,that’s a long time in that kind of situation (as ppl. that have been anR.A. would know). I couldn’t participate in this event though, to be bluntI had no part in the event. I felt sooo helpless when it began to turninto a shoving match and then kicking. The girl was trying her damnedestto get away — with what I don’t know.
        • Towards the end of this little skirmish, the girlkicked Mr. Araki a few times with him reciprocating with a weak kick. Thenshe shoved Mr. Araki back away from the wall. — I forgot to tell you thathe was shoving her as well, actually she went right into the wall whenhe shoved her one time. She broke free, and took off down the hall – knockingover the fire extinguisher as two of her friends followed, trying to comforther.  Mr. Araki then turned off the upset mode and turned on the Ijust finished a class and had a good time mode. ODDD!!!! He was happy,pissed and happy just like someone had turned on/off a mood switch. Wow!!Talk about strange. I felt so helpless! I do not like that feeling. Letme explain a little.
        • Why it is so hard to be a foreigner in Japan is becauseof the differences in the psychology of the mind. I have the psy. of anAmerican, and well, it’s  quite different to the Japanese psy. Itis o.k. for teachers to “lay a hand on” the students. Unfortunately someteachers go a little to far, just imagine…. But, it is permitted to pushstudents if the teacher feels the need is there. Teachers are looked atas the molders of the society. If a students does something wrong at all,people, newspapers, etc… will put the blame on the education system.Americans would put the blame on the parents, a little difference huh.Well If u have any questions regarding this stuff — clickhere and type away.
  • City Hall
    • Nothing doin’ at the office. No mail, no volley ball (again!), nothing.
  • After Work
    • Well I typed this stuff again, and am now using Netscape Communicator 4.03– it’s pretty neat. Totally different from Netscape 3.01 Gold — totally.I hope it helps me more and more and more. It already has helped save mequite a bit of time! I thought I was going to have to read all of the monthsover again to correct the spelling, but there is a spell check in thisversion, happy!

2 Thursday

  • San-chu
    • And so it begins with another day. Another class, and yes I mean class.Only one class today, and it was impossible to get the students in thisclass to participate! Arghhh! O-well, I tried and well apparently it justwasn’t enough. O-well you can only do so much, and my much wasn’t enoughfor these students. I don’t think there is an enough available in the worldfor these students! DAMN!!!
  • Roku-sho (number 6 primary school)
    • I like thursday very much. Each time I visit this school I have a greattime! It’s like the bomb!! The kids are totally into the whole questionthing, and they have fun! They ask questions in English and Japanese (notrealizing I don’t speak Japanese — still they continue asking), its fun! We did a fun introduction to the class. Liz and the teacher went into theroom and prepped the class, no lights, no sounds except the song “Thriller”and candles. Philip and I barged in when the song went Bang! Screamingand yelling and scaring the students! It was fun. We then explained howHalloween came to be and where it came from.
      • Originated in Scotland via the Celtic people. They built bonfires to wardoff the spirits that were in the air because of the seasonal change, believingthat the fire would ward them off.
      • America and Britain have since adopted Halloween as a holiday and go outtrick or treating. Australia does not have Halloween — a little fact youmight not have known.
      • Apple Bobbing is a game in which people ‘bob for apples’ with their mouth.Upon removing the apple the person is to peal the apple skin off in onepiece then throwing it over their shoulder. After it lands on the groundit is supposed to show the first letter of your ‘true love’. SomethingI never knew before, who knew?
  • City Hall
    • Picked up the mail. Guess what was there… u r correct nothing. No nono, I’m lying, there was something there just not from the mail. Time Magazineand Memo Random a news letter for the JET’s in Saitama. I was publishedwith the first poem I wrote while here in Japan. Waanna read it? OkCLICK HERE to read the poem…
  • After Work
    • Nothing important to tell you. Just watched “James and the Giant Peach”.I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t anything special. A nice movie to watch fora little bit of enjoyment. Nothing to run out to get, but it is a movieworth watching at least for its stop motion animation — it’s awesome!

3 Friday

  • San-chu
    • Well the day wasn’t the best and it wasn’t the worst. It was a day in thelife of an AET though. I had some classes, 2 to be exact. I could tellyou how the classes went, I could tell you what I thought of the classes,I could tell you the answer is 3 or 42 (depending on your own readings)I don’t think I’ll get into the school thing today. WELL, I think I’lltell you a little.
      • I played softball with a class today. It was fun. u likedthat didn’t u? I told u I would tell u a little. he he he
  • City Hall
    • Nothing to report from here…. NO WAIT a second. I just remembered something.This really isn’t the best of things to report but it is something thathappened.
      • Liz received a fax from her sister about her father. It appears that Liz’sfather went in for a tracheotomy on Monday — she found out today! She’snot doing very well. That is totally understandable. He has cancer andthis is causing him and the family some difficulties. On a good note: Thetracheotomy has relieved some stress that was on his vocal cords. He cannow sp
        eak and breath much better. A good thing.
  • After Work
    • I really didn’t do much — the theme for the day maybe???
    • I will be heading out to Kita-Sakado tonight. Should be a relaxing night.We’re going to see this dude we met 2 weeks ago at a local used CD storenear Kazi’s house.
  • CD’s I bought include:
    • Alice in Chains “Unplugged”, a disc I’ve wanted for a while. I got it forfree. How ’bout that. Kazi got two CD’s for 600 yen. Cheap night out huh?

4 Saturday

  • Kazi’s Place
    • Sleeeeeeeeeeeeepttt late!!! But we watched “Millennium”, episodes 3 and4 at the end of the day. That is an excellent show! Talk about cool topics!They deal with some touchy topics, I like that. The show seems to haveattempted things that others hadn’t. Check it out. For times and stationsplease check your your local listings. ha ha.
    • I don’t think I’ve felt this tired in ages!!! Awww man! I tell ya! TIE-YUD-ZA!You can say it again and again, and it’ll still be true. BABY! Gimme aT. “T” says u. …… says u. …..SAYS U.  ok.  “Tanks” saysI.

5 Sunday

  • Kazi’s Place
    • A much better day in terms of my consciousness. I felt great! I woke upa few times, but they were nice awakenings. I woke up just after dreamingof having a great time with friends and family back home. It was nice,thank you brain; I needed that really badly. Pretty much a quiet weekend.Something I needed.

6 Monday

  • City Hall
    • Stopped in to make the ‘appearance’ so that I could go get a re-entry passin Kita-Urawa. I need it soon, so I wanted to get it out of the way.
      • While in Kita-Urawa I had the, well, I had an interesting time when I wasthere; actually it was in Wendy’s where I had the interesting time. I wentin and the welcoming was incomparable to any other welcoming I ever receivedin a fast food restaurant! Incomparable! The three people at the registerswere so happy! Pleased to be there for help. They all began to focus onme, being that I was the only person there. I just laughed and greetedthem, konichiwa — with a laugh and a smile. Damn, happy happy joy joy!What can I tell ya? …more.
        • After I finished ordering the lady said something, I think it was this”ondoandc oudnfvklsdnosdnclsdnc ksuhvkjfnasdv lkuf kanf iuahfkjanf ah khiuhrikfhiufh asldnja ;dcusndkfj fh ” or at least that’s what it sounded like! Shesaid it sooooooo fast! Gomen-nasai (I’m sorry) wakarimasen (I don’t understand).
          • — fact – I just looked in 5 Japanese dictionaries and instruction booksand could not find the spelling of wakarimasen!  I had to call Lizand Philip (was out) to get the correct spelling. And get this, I had spelledit correctly! dant dant dannnn.
        • Will u be here– “Yeah, here, good English” said I. Nicely worded huh.he he he. suuuuure it was Gar, perfectly. So I finish my meal start walkingfor the door and hear, “Arigato gozaimashita” from three glowing faces.I turned an nodded and was then forced to stand in front of the door fora few seconds because the door wouldn’t open. Ohhhh mannn! Talk about hospitality!There’s a place to go to if your majoring in the field, Wendy’s in Kita-Urawa.Strange isn’t it.
    • Mail consisted of an AJET Letter and a Saitama News Letter. Some news fromthe area. Have yet to read either, then again its only been a few hours,and I would place dinner over each of those news letters. So they remainunread still. Well maybe not now..hell, it could be the year 2000 now.Who knows?
  • After Work
    • Got some food into the body. Tried to send some money via electronic transfer,but had no success. I’ll try again later, when I can talk to someone atthe bank.
    • I just spoke with Liz and she told me that she broke up with her boyfriend.She kinda told me in a strange way, just blurted it out as I was sayingsomething about the inability to find the word wakarimasen in the Japanesebooks. She says she’s all right, but I don’t know about that with the fatherthing still in the shadows. hmmm. Ganbate kudasai Liz!

7 Tuesday

  • At Home
    • Hmmm, this is different Gar, what could have happened before work?  ANSWER: I was awoken by the ring ring ringin of the phone. I was sooooout of it that I couldn’t find the phone that was directly across frommy bed, instead I went into the kitchen to answer the phone. OUT OF ITI WAS! But the call woke me up nicely! It was Rille, with lots of energy.She had apparently eaten a ???I cant remember what it was– ill find outtonight 10-07???  and it had woken her up almost as much as a nestof bees getting bugged by a 10 year old. LIVE—-LY!!! It started the dayoff on a nice high note. Graci Rille! Mucho graci. It was just a fun conversationat 6:45 in the mornin’, I liked it. I did, I really did. Would I lie toyou? NO I’m writing to myself; why would I lie to myself?
  • San-chu
    • This is the kind of day I look forward to when I get up at 6:45ish am everyday.Fun in the classroom! Non of this boring lecture stuff when there is nosign of life. Not that I fall back on that, it just feels that way becausethere is nothing to be heard in some classes. But, this was a good dayat San-chu. The last class I had was great, we laughed and laughed, andall that other fine jazz, or classical whatever your choice is, just noAmerican Express Cards please.
    • Yes indeed I enjoyed the class immensely! I even gave out my home addressin the states. They were that cool, almost the entire class was participating!It was great fun. I can only hope for that again.
    • After classes I headed over to the gym to play Basket Ball, yes the sportat which I excel at in every way. Suuuure. I played on the ancient squad— the teachers. We scrimmaged the boys and girls teams. The boys kickour rumps all around the court. Yes yes yes, they r good! I was most impressed.We then tied the girls after the boys game. I loved the action of runningback and forth and forth and back and so on. It felt good to do that again.—there hasn’t been volley ball for 2 weeks now but there is practicetomorrow, ahhh good.
  • City Hall
    • I received information on Iaido — clickhere to get the low down on Iaido. I’ll be attending a practice nextweek. Pumped and ready to go!! Sign me up! I’m ready to start this stuff.IMA!!! That’s pronounced E-MA, it means NOW!!!
    • Package received. What could this be, hmmm. It was the last package sentfrom home that would take two long crazy months. Food! lots of food! ThanksMA!! Tanks muchly muchly!
      • NEW AET’S!!!!!!  ********** If you want something in Japan and areplanning on sending it via surface mail, send it almost as soon as youfind out where you’ll be working. It will save money, and prevent unnecessaryheadaches from occurring. Email meif U have a question about what to send, etc…
  • After Work
    • I have had a good day. Reflecting on my usage of the Japanese languagetoday, I would say that I spoke more words in Japanese today than I havein a long time! I think after watching “American Gothic” episode 4.
      • In which a young boy in confronted with a situation where he can do somethingeasy and get a good grade or he can read about something, learn how itworks then do the presentation. He choose the earlier option, but was influencedto read the book. While showing his pre-made device in class he chose towithdraw himself from the competition because he felt he would have cheatedthe class. After explaining how he got the device he explained what helearned from the book and was rewarded with many congratulations from friendsand the spirit of his sister. He worked for something and the fruits werethere after. He was soo happy with his accomplishment. I remember whatthat feels like, and well, I want it again…
      • I realized — again, and finally — that I need to crack down on myselfmore than I have been. And it paid off today. I felt great and felt likeI was beginning to let the language into my
        head for a permanent residency.None of this temporary stuff. Your staying in this head Japanese language,you hear me?! Your staying!
    • Revelations happen time and time again, make sure you cash in on the revelationor it was just a wasted thought. Don’t let that happen. Good luck!

8 Wednesday

  • San-chu
    • An interesting day. I’ve discovered that I do not like the following schedule.There are 6 periods with lunch after the 4th period. I don’t like classesscheduled 1st, 3rd, and 5th. There is a break in between each class givingyour body to much time to relax — making you yawn, and want to sleep.Not good. I had that schedule today. It didn’t help that I went to bedafter 2:00am. Mom called, after I got off-line. Ok Ok, so it was only about45 minutes later than if I had gone to bed right after I got off-line.: )
  • City Hall
    • Get this, u ready….. I went in said hello then said good-bye and left.I think I was in the building for about 3 minutes. Slightly quick
  • After Work
    • Volleyball …. finally! It’s been three weeks since the last practice.It went well, nothing spectacular since we were pretty rusty. And get this,no practice next week. Hmmm, I guess it’s a good thing Iaido is startingnext week. Happy happy happy.
    • I totally revamped the home page(s). I changed all the colors and changeda few things — this will help me in the long run dealing with time. Whatdo u think? U like the colors? NO, tell me what you think would be easyto read. Click away

9 Thursday

  • San-chu
    • My last day at San-shu was today. It was actually pretty depressing. Iwould like to have team taught at this school before I left, but time didn’tpermit for such a thing so I have to wait until December.
    • Looking back on this school…
      • I personally think that there is a great atmosphere for the students, butat the same time it’s a little to lenient. The students can get away withjust about anything — that’s no good.
      • The students are a great bunch, they speak very freely and have a greattime doing it. These students were very experimental when it came to speakingto me, a nice change.
      • The teachers seem a little bit to involved with their computers. I thinkthat just about every teacher has a comp. and they are on that a littlebit too much — in my opinion. I also think that the teachers don’t havethe genuine concern for their students that I have seen at the other schools.If a students is in trouble it’s passed off like it would be in the states— ‘it’s not my kid, i have stuff to do anyway.’ That was a surprise tome, but something to go with nonetheless.
  • City Hall
    • A got a Time Magazine. That was it, nothing else. = (
  • After Work
    • I fell asleep at 9:00 pm!!! I planned on taking a nap for 2 hours, butmy body disagreed with that idea. I slept until 3 or 4 ish (fri. morning) and ended up sleeping until 8:00 when I placed a call….. read on.

10 Friday (Sports Day) National Holiday No School or CityHall

  • Before the day really began
    • I placed a call to the family in CT, because it was the perfect time todo such a  thing. The reason: Meghan’s B-day party. About 20 peoplewere there for me to repeat the same thing to, he he : )  In caseyour curious the phone call lasted about 1.3 hours. Not bad since I spokewith that many people huh. It was nice to sing “Happy Birthday” over thephone with everyone, despite the fact only one person could hear me. Itmade me feel like I was a part of the party, I liked that.
  • The Sports Festival
    • Yes there are sporting events held on Sports Day, strange huh. Any how,I went to this crazy event and became the first AET to participate in theactivities. How ’bout that.  What did I do? I did something I reallywasn’t prepared for, a 1500m run. Talk about hitting the wall!  Ihit it hard going into the third lap. my steps got shorter and shorterand shorter. My arms felt like lead weights, my vision began to fade inand out — heat exhaustion? — and my legs had the same occurrence as myarms. BUT. BUT. BUT! I finished the race in a fairly respective place —near the middle of the pack. I was pleased with the finish, but becamefully aware of how unfit I was in terms of running. Opps.
    • During the race
      • At each corner I heard my name from many different groups of students.It was cool, but I WAS RUNNING!! They were waving and were expecting somesort of reciprocation on my part. I tried to wave and say hello, but myarms were so heavy that all I could muster up was a thumbs up and a smile.This did happen every lap. EVERY LAP! It was really cool, but hot damnI was tired. A cool thing. A cool thing indeed. Try it out if you can (crazyAET people) your attempt will be fully appreciated. A lot of people fromthe office congratulated me on the run, it seemed to help with the internationalismthang. Good luck to you if you try.
    • After the Festival
      • After the festival ended I attempted to venture down the road to my apartmentfor some food. But as things would have it, it took me over and hour anda half to get to my apartment — which is about 4 minutes. I wound up talkingto students from the next to schools of which I would soon be attending.I also spoke with some students from Roku-sho, the number six grammar schoolin Asaka. At one point I had the junior high students teaching the grammarschool students. Not bad huh. It was cool. I kept saying things like “ahhahh ahh no Japanese” to both groups; get this, the junior high school studentswent with it trying to get the grammar school students to speak Englishonly! It was a very cool moment. After a while of that I was actually ableto go home — only because the two groups of students said they had togo. Hmmpff, nothing like being able to go when and where you want huh.
      • I guess I’m used to working 24-7. I think that work is never finished justbecause I’m not in school. It doesn’t mean I’m free from teaching. I thinklearning, for the students, reaches a much higher level outside of school— try it out. If you have the opportunity of course.
  • After the after
    • I went out with a group of AET’s tonight. Liz, Jerome, Peter, Cathy, andAndy(OSET-a JET like program, but it’s based out of Ohio – Saitama’s sisterstate).  We went into Shibuya and for dinner and a night out. Afterdinner we went to a bar (MY FIRST BAR EVER) called “Bar, isn’t it?” Niccccccccename. —lol.
      • FACT — in Japan trains don’t run all night. The last train runs at about12ish. So, if you don’t want to stay out ALL night, you better get thetrain back home.
    • Liz and Jerome went back home at about 11:40 pm. I stayed with the others.I wasn’t going to but I figured, ‘what the hell — I’ll try it out at leastonce I guess.  So I stayed! And well, it was worth it. After dancingfor about an hour we went to some restaurant to get something to eat. Afterfinishing our meal we broke into this incredible conversation about ‘time’,how we perceive it, the reality of it, the conception, etc… A very niceway of remembering words of your native language. We all forgot a few wordsevery now and then, but I feel that it helped us to get back to our normallevel of English. I feel I am able to fully express what my experienceshave ben over the past few days in a much clearer and more expressive manner.Ahhh, back to the beat again — I think.
    • The night concluded in a highly debatable time frame. I say it was Saturdaymorning, but others would call it Friday evening. It was 5:30 am when Iwalked into my apartment. Yes indeed the time had passed on from reallyearly morning to early morning. Strange thought huh? True, but strange.My first night out till the wee hours of the morning, another strange groupingof words. An experience that needs to be experienced if one is into thatexperience thing. Enough, the evening was over and tomorrow has alreadybegun. buh bye

11 Saturday

  • At home
    • No mail, sore muscles, time to relax, and a f
      ew other things. Yes Yes Yes!I have time to do the timely things, ironing, cleaning the apartment, staringat the dirt in the front of the apartment building to see if there is anysight of a worm, washing the dishes, thinking about the beginning of thefrozen food market in the US, updating this thing, counting up to one million,you know the stuff you don’t get to do when your busy.

    • As you can tell, I hope. I didn’t do very much today, but it was fun tryingto make it seem like I did.

12 Sunday

  • Early morning
    • I mean early morning when I say early morning — about 12:11. I talkedto Rille cause it was our 11th official month together. How ’bout that.A nice long conversation — about an hour and a half, (withAT&T’s new service 24yen/min.) It was hard to hang up, I thinkthe whole separation anxiety thing hit harder tonight than it has on anyother night since I’ve been in Japan. I think it’s because it is gettingcloser and closer to:  1. my telling of her surprise anniversary/christmaspresent and 2. her visit to Japan. Ahh well, all I can do is keep active,that’s the way I have been and it’s made it a whole lot easier. ThanksRille, 11 months have been achieved — now only another 30 more days togo and you’ll find out the ever elusive secret.
  • During the day
    • I woke up about 11ish and ate. While eating I read all of the comics thatwere sent to me by my mom a little while back — it was a typical AmericanSunday in the fall. Sunday Comics and breakfast with hot chocolate. Mmmmmm,sounds good doesn’t it — it was. Upon finishing that I showered and headedout for a venture, to where I could only guess.
    • I ended up shopping at the next station for a few things(CDlisted below), then continued up the Tobu Tojo Line to Fujimino.There is an outlet mall there. : ) Danger, danger Will Robinson! Danger!
      • It was a very, let me say again, very cool place. The prices were reallysimilar to prices in the US. Very pleased about that, Oh yeah, they havesneakers that fit my feet there (size29 in JPN). Ifound the coolest of cool shops as well, and in doing so learned how toask what something was in Japanese.
        • I asked “Kore wa CD desu ka” (kore is used when referringto an ‘object’ near–so this was wrong) but learned I should havesaid “CD wa nan desu ka” (the simplest question possiblethat will ask what the CD is). Its not the completely correct wayto ask, but it got what I needed; I found out what CD was playing overthe speakers in the shop. So what I asked was missing a part to the sentenceso the guy was telling me where it was. After a few moments, he then figuredout that I wanted to know what the CD was, so he brought me over to theshelf and showed it to me. I eventually bought it (I’ll writeit below). Pleased, but I desire more — of the language that is.I want to be able to ask questions effectively and properly.
      • So all in all it was a cool day, if I was asked to asses the day of course. Upon returning to Asaka I was greeted by some students from Yon-chu (#4j.h.). We talked for about 45 minutes. They spoke English very well,quite impressed. I’m looking forward to the next two schools, I think thecomprehension of English is going to be much greater than the previousschools, but that’s just speculation of course.
    • CD’s I bought include:
      • Tomomi Khala “Love Brace” J-Pop artist A popular artist in Japan today,this is her first CD. Just recently her second was released but I haven’tgotten it yet — that will happen soon enough.
      • Gipsy Kings “Gipsy Kings” This CD was released in 1987! It rocks! I heardit in the store and had to get it cause it was rockin and now it’s rockinin my apartment! : )

13 Monday

  • Before I begin telling you about my day outside the apartment, let me getthis off my chest. THE $*&Y#@&$@$(* @#$&^@#($& computer,rather Netscape 4.03 was pi… (gar there may be young readersout there) Ok, so the comp. was really annoying me! Y u ask. WellI couldn’t get the dang thing to open. It was working just fine, then —nope. HUH?? what the… huh??
    • Now, after quite a bit of time reorganizing and deleting the stuff seemsto be working properly. My guess to the problem is: there wasn’t enoughsystem resources available for the program to work properly. Now that thereis plenty of space available on the comp. I think there won’t be any problems.I hope. I am going to download a copy of Netscape Navigator 3.x J.I.C.this happens again though, that shouldn’t need as much system resourcesas the 4.03 version. (If I wrote it was a different versionb4 sorry, I read it sooo many times today I learned what version numberit was.)
  • Ich-chu
    • Day 1. I was scheduled for a total of, get this, zero classes today. But,I went to two classes. I couldn’t just sit in the teachers room, I wouldhave been crazy bored because all I brought to school was my introductionstuff. That would have been reallllly boring, but I fixed that problemreally quickly. he he he. This school (teachers, etc.) seemsvery, how do you say…. conscience of what their students can and can’tdo. They are much much much more respectful towards the teachers than San-chustudents, but a lot quieter. Give and take. Anyway that was the day atIch-chu.
  • City Hall
    • Nothing to report really, just hung out and chill maxed relaxed for 2 hours.Had some fun laughs, none of those boring ones, I don’t like those u no’s.
  • After Work
    • I received my Sports Illustrated issue at home! It has been changed! It’sofficial! I will not have to go to city hall everyday now, well actuallyI may still. I haven’t received a comic in ages! Quite perturbed aboutthat, I am I am I am!!!
    • Iaido   —– Rock rock rock on! I am soooo pumped up about thissport. I am really looking forward to participating. I got to see a beginnerand numerous experts tonight. You would never think this sport to be asdifficult as it is. It looks so easy, but quite the contrary. And get this,you can get a license to own, that’s right you need a license, a real KATANA!!I will achieve that level so that I may be able to get that license! Oyes, I will get that license. he he he.

14 Tuesday

  • Sports Day
    • More tomorrow. I need my journal to remember exactly what I did and whereI went

15 Wednesday

  • Ich-chu
    • Hello? Yeah right, a response of “hello” from the students of san-nenseiwould have been great, but that really didn’t happen. DEAD TO THE WORLD!At least that’s how they were in class, dead to the world. I only hopethat this changes, it really can’t get much worse than the class I hadtoday.
  • City Hall
    • Nothing that I can recall, but that doesn’t say much.
  • After Work
    • I was told last week that there would be no VBall tonight.
      • (10/16)Guess what, there was VBall last night, rrrggghhh! I would liketo have played. Ohh-well, “that’s the way the satellite bounces”– tellme where that’s from and I’ll be really impressed. I’ll give you a hint– it’s from a cartoon.

16 Thursday

  • Ich-chu
    • Two classes. Both similar, but with a minor difference — one class hada few people that spoke in class. Yes, it seems this school is the mostreserved to date. The students are very proper, and well, that’s greatbut the classes aren’t that much ‘fun’. They are class and that’s aboutit. Had to be one I guess.
  • City Hall
    • Talk about a quiet day… geesh
  • After Work
    • I got a letter from TONY AVELLANI!!!!! It had stuff about ninja’s in theletter/card. Such a change from the Tony I know, right. Thanks Ton-man,I hope the turn around letter get to you quick enough, since I wrote itand will be sending it tomorrow.
    • Philip and I went to IKEBUKURU
      • Dinner and a long chat about the crazy
        AET thing. It was nice to just shillout and talk about plans, ideas, criticisms, etc….. I’m glad I went.It was a nice night out.

      • The CD I bought was:
        • Garbage “Garbage” I was going to buy it in the states but never got aroundto it, I finally got the chance to get it, and I got some extra tracksfor my patience. : )

17 Friday

  • Ich-chu
    • Today was the downward sloping of happiness. HUH??? The classes went fromgood to well not so good. It got more and more boring throughout the day,it seems this is a typical occurrence at this school. Bummer
  • City Hall —- zip
  • After Work
    • TRACI DOUTY is next in line for a thank you. I finally heard from thatcrazy cousin in New Hampshire, and it appears that she’s doing really well.Keep it up Tra! Just get the nose thing fixed — apparently she broke itor something, I don’t know the details as of yet.

18 Saturday

  • I went to see MONONOKE HIME—more on that later.

19 Sunday

  • I brought Kaz to Fujimino, he wanted to kill me! he he he.

20 Monday

  • Ich-chu
    • And then there are days like today. Ohhhh MAN!! What a class, yes A class.Class 1-3 was simply outstanding. I had gone to bed at 4 a.m. this morningand was largely concerned about today’s classes. I didn’t have to worry,I had the time of my life as a teacher! It was the best class I’ve hadso far while teaching here in Asaka hands down. Just a MARVELous — nopun — class to have at the end of the day! Ahhh yes more please.
  • City Hall
    • Well two, yes 2 things arrived today. AVENGERS OCT #12 and GAME INFORMERSEP Issue. Talk about delays, I’d hate to have taken those flights! Geeesh.
  • After Work
    • Iaido
      • COOL!!! COOL!!! COOL!!! I want to do this crazy Iaido thing more often!It was so cool! There is simplicity to this art, and yet it is a magnificentlydifficult simplicity. Confused? You have to try it, you’ll think — ifyou watch the correct person do it — that’s easy. Then when you try it,nahh not what you thought. It’s awesome!! ROCK ON, MONDAY’S HERE I COME!!wow a reason to actually look forward to Monday, who’d a thunk it?

21 Tuesday

  • Ich-chu
    • “A good day at school,” I would say if it were to happen and guess what– it happened. So it was a good day at school. I really enjoy teachingwith the head of the English Department at this school, he conveys hisenthusiasm of the English Language really really well, and the studentsrespond to that in a very positive manner. It’s a wonderful thing to bea witness to.
    • I learned of a most intriguing type of student today.They are called HUTOKO STUDENTS. This student is unable to attend classeswith other students. They study at home, in separate rooms in the school,and various other rooms available in the school. This student is mentallyincapable of attending class, they have no physical disabilities — itis a mental disability of sorts. I was told that the student is “..to weak..”to attend any classes with other students. It’s a shame…
    • There are approximately 85,000 students that areclassified in this way in present day Japan. This type of student was notpresent in Japan before W.W.II. It was only after the war did this typeof student become prevalent in the Japanese society. During the time afterW.W.II, Japan was poor and children had to work to help their families.These children were the first to become HUTOKO STUDENTS. They found itdifficult to associate with other children or chose not to for numerousreasons. Today this student is still visible in the Japanese society, thoughit seems, in my opinion, they are kept out of sight because the elder peoplesare ashamed that this type student is still around today.
    • The only reason I was able to learn of these studentsis because I am now working with a Japanese man that has traveled the globeand has analyzed each culture/society that he has been a part of. I amvery luck in this way, I’m very fortunate to have been able to learn ofsuch a thing. I believe that foreigners generally wouldn’t have been witnessto such a thing in Japan. U have aquestion??? click away…
  • City Hall
    • Nothin’ ta’day.
  • After Work
    • Ahhhh yes, I took a nap. A 2 hour nap that prepared me for the rest ofthe evening. IT FELT GREAT!!!! I’m alive again.
    • The nap recharged my batteries and allowed me to be very very very productivethis evening. I found the fourth chair that was in front of my table –it was my “pile” holder it was getting a little toooo high; I cleaned thetable and the most important thing I did tonight was…….. put name tagsup all around the apartment with the word(s) written in Japanese.
    • “Y DID U DO THAT GAR?” ans:  We are a species that learns by constantrepetition, and by doing this I will, on a daily basis, be repeating theJapanese words for things in my apartment. Therefore I will learn the vocabularyof an apartment. I have also written down numerous things such as, who,what, where, etc… N.S.E.W., up, down, etc…… I think you get the point.It will help me to build a vocabulary without sitting down and readingthe same thing over and over and over — eventually falling asleep on thebook. It is a very practical way to learn these new words. I hope to addmore and more throughout the upcoming weeks.
    • A very productive evening… I am very pleased with myself.

22 Wednesday

  • Ich-chu
    • This school has turned out to be a very cool school. Even though a lotof the classes were boring in the beginning, they’ve turned out to balanceoff between nuts and sleeping. Something I was toldof that made me feel really good was…
      • The class I referred to as maybe the best class I’vehad in Asaka said something to their regular teacher about me. Some veryflattering things… I was quite flustered when told of the comments. Oneof the comments went a little like this — remember these are junior h.s.students in their first year: “Gary come here, you become AET. Go to anotherschool. Gary stay here.”
      • The teacher that was told this relayed that commentto me today. He also told me that that class was not one of the classesthat SPOKE in English. He said they like to think in Japanese and thenanswer in Japanese. BUT!! He said that during and after the class withme they thought and spoke in English. He said that he was very “shocked!”about their interaction with me. Talk about makin’ someone feel like they’redoing something good. I felt like I had actually gotten through to thestudents, had fun with them in class, AND actually taught them something.I’m doing something correctly, that makes me feel really good about whatI’m doin. Very very very very happy I is! I is indeed!!!
  • City Hall — why waste the space…
  • After Work
    • No VBALL!!!!! Arghhhh! So I watched a lot of television — Japanese television.I caught a bunch of words that I knew and a few that I’ve heard before.It’s nice to be able to understand what’s actually being said, I feel likeI’m on the right track. It seems everyday I feel like I’m getting moreand more comfortable with this crazy Japanese Language, I like that. Iactually feel like I’m beginning to fit in. It’s a nice feeling.

23 Thursday

  • Ich-chu
    • A fairly straight forward day. I had 2 Team Teaching classes (no intro.the teacher and I actually taught something) and they went well. It istrue, in my opinion, that AET’s need to be a clown like teacher to keepthe students interested…. It’s pretty funny but it’s true.
  • City Hall — Ditto to the above
  • After Work
    • Nothing much happened this evening. I watched some more Japanese soap operalike tv shows and just listened to the language so my brain will get usedto hearing the spoken language.

24 Friday

  • Ich-chu
    • Last day at Ich-chu, and how does it end — with the worst class I’ve hadto date. The students just got up and chatted with each other during theactivity!! I was in utter amazement— and there wasn’t a cow on the premiseseither!!!! Talk about rudeness in the howwwwse!! I say …. I say, I say!But as the wheel turned I did enjoy myself at Ich-chu, despite the factthat the last class pissed me off!! A very enjoyable place after the studentsgot to know who I was. I’m looking forward to going back to Ich-chu, I’mgonna have more and more fun, he he he.
  • Yon-chu
    • WOW!!! First thing that happens to me is a blitzkrieg of ‘welcome to Yon-chu”from like five students. HELLO, I haven’t had any classes with you yet– this is gonna be fun at this school, he he he he he he. : >  DangerWill Robinson, DANGER!! he he he.
  • City Hall — la di de, la di dum, la la la la la, la di, ohh nothin’ t’daysorry.
  • After Work
    • I just watched the most spectacular movie. It’s title, “The English Patient.”I liked it, I say to you I say I liked it!  The scenery was absolutelyspectacular — no Spider-Man wasn’t there– Absolutely fantastic fadesfrom one scene to the next. I felt like I was watching the best flashbackshow out there – Highlander!  Sounds were put into the present situationand were in perfect synch with the sound from the past! It was great!!Check it out if you get the chance!
      • The reason I watched it just this evening is because it was just releasedon video today.

25 Saturday

  • Out and about in Tokyo
    • I left the apartment at 9:30 am
    • Met up with Kaz, and two other guys that Kaz works with. One works in Japanat the same plant as Kaz, the other guy is from the branch in the states.We toured all around the Tokyo area, lots and lots of walking. I thinkI figured that we walked about 5 hours straight… Take your time if yourbored enough to figure out how far I walked. I have to admit that I’m notthat bored. : )
    • Things we saw include: the fish market – lots and lots of fish a lot ofpeople, a lot of billboards, more and more people, the Emperor’s Palace,electronic stuff, clothes, litter, fags (cigarettes),  and probablya bunch of other things. I want to go to Ueno again, a stop on the trainline that had a ton of clothes and miscellaneous things. I had a grandol’ time as did Kazi-man. We’re goin shoppin’ in the near future, he hehe.
    • Returned at 11:00 pm —- my feet hurt lots!

26 Sunday

  • At Home — I did the reset thing. I reset everything in the apartment.Cleaned, ironed, etc.. It was all done by the end of the day. Let the weekbegin.

27 Monday

  • Yon-chu
    • The day started out on a very quiet note because I was tired. I didn’thave a scheduled class until 4th period! That’s not good, 3 periods ofnothing, and that was the only class scheduled!! I remedied that with theaddition of two classes, on e before and one after. Ahhhh, stuff to do,I like-a-da juice. : )
      • The students at this school are of the open English liking crowd, it’sa lot of fun. They speak to me about things that they are gossiping about,I’m gettin the lo-down on the Japanese teenage mind, ewwww. Ohhh the gossip,not! It’s pretty simple stuff, only for the reason that they don’t speakEnglish fluently, u no’s. But it’s fun trying….   :)
    • English Seminar
      • An hour long segment in the day for the teachers of Yon-chu to try newphrases with the three AET’s. A good time. It was/is really impressivehow much of the English Language the Japanese people can speak. It is impressive,very impressive.
  • City Hall
    • Ready for this! I wasn’t!!!
      • The Spectacular Spider-Man  OCT- #250!! The Green Goblin returns inthis one!!!! He’s back!!!! PUMPED!!!! I got it finally!!!     ….it gets better.
      • A letter from Patti Sereduck!! A friend in the Peace Cor. in Kenya! Howabout that huh. It’s been a while … about a month or two. I wasn’t sureif the letter I sent got through, but it would appear that it did sinceI received a reply! She’s doing very well — Kenya is treating her well.Good luck Pat! Ganbate kudasai!!! Do your best!   ………itget better.
  • After Work
    • Mail??? I actually have mail today, and guess what it is……
      • The Amazing Spider-Man NOV #428!!!!! Two in one day, and this one wentto the apartment!!!  They should be coming here now!!! AHHHHHHH (ahappy yell!) Happy am I!!
    • Iaido
      • Practice was short tonight because the members were being tested. I cannot get a certain swing, the guy helping me isn’t explaining how to doit he just keeps doing it saying “Do this..do it this way”, I don’t knowwhat I’m doing wrong! AHhHHhHhHhHhH!!! I hope I can figure it out by thenext practice. My forearms are sore and my lats have gotten much tighter,I like.

28 Tuesday

  • Yon-chu
    • A day in the day of an AET. Yes I had classes today and I even moved onestep closer to finishing my intro…. yes I’m still doing it. Next week,I will be finished! One more week and then I get to Team Teach. I finallyget to learn how to team teach, finally.
  • City Hall —- don’t remember anything happening
  • After Work
    • I fell asleep at 6ish and woke up at 10:10 when Kaz called! HOT DIGIDYDOG!! I wasn’t tired, nahhhh. Kaz has been working until 10pm and 11pmall week because of the American dude, Dave, being in meetings with Kaz’sboss. Kaz is the translator for the two od them — a difficult and tiringjob. Get some sleep Kazi-man!

29 Wednesday

  • Mid-Term Seminar
    • WHAT A DAY!!! One of the best days I’ve had here in Japan was today. Theseminar was a bit boring but good just the same. Lots to listen to andlearn about. That wasn’t the good part though. Read on…
  • After the Seminar ended
    • The talent/gong show
      • More of a talent show, there was no gong to gong if an act really sucked.It was just a group of people going crazy and having fun up on stage. ANDas you may have guessed ……I was one of those people that went up there.I went on stage with approximately 20 other people. We did what JapaneseCheerleaders do, WE SCREAMED A LOT!!!!! It was a mockery of the Japanesecheer leading. We had fun.  *****BRIEF DESCRIPTION BELOW***** I was one of the screamers along with a group of AET’s and Japanese students(who happened to show up randomly — good for our group) We went nuts onstage. IT was great!!!! We took first place as well!!! How ’bout that.
      • People in the Japanese Cheer leading and what they do….
        • The flag holder – usually holds a HUGE flag weighing lots and lots. Heis to hold it perfectly still for LOOOOONG periods of time.
          • Our flag holder was holding a small stick with a fish on the end of it.The fish looked liked the kind of wind gauge used at airports. He was doinghis best to keep it still, RIGHT!!! He was moving alllll over the place.Not bad huh….  : )
        • The Leader of the screaming conducts the band and leads the screamers withrhythmic motions in a set pattern making everything look great.
          • Our leader had on a NY Yankees Hat, a reflective vest, and held two longthings that look like the instrument used to guide planes towards the runway.She was dancing around, making strange motions with the ‘batons’ …..for ex: vogue– strike a pose!
        • The Screamers, well, they scream and jump around in one place. It’s amazinghow good they are at screaming and jumping how they jump. I don’t knowhow to explain it really, you have to see it.
          • Our screamers we’re screaming and stuff, but we added a little to it. Firstwas the scream and jump, then the punch and scream, then Y.M.C.A., finishedwith “I’m OK, You’re OK!!!!!” It was great!!! The last part was from oneof the speakers we listened to during the day. It was the bomb.
        • The Thanker come out onto the stage between each scream session. So inbetween the screa
          m & jump and the punch & scream he would comeonto the stage and thank everyone. He speaks slowly then reallllllly fast,usually saying, “DOOOOOOOZOOOOOOO!!!!!” long and slow then “Arigato Gozaimasu!!!”super fast!!!

          • Our thanker came out and did the slow fast thing but said something likethis: “Todayyyyyyyyy,   is Octooobbbbeeeerrrr twwwweeeeennnnnnttttyyyyyyniiiiinnnneeeetthhhhh niiiiiinnnnnnnne—teeeeeeen niiiiiinnnnnety-sevvvvvvven.Thiiiissss iissssss tttthhhhheeeee JJJEEEETTTTTT SSSSEEEEMMMMIIIIAAAARRRRRinnnnn OOOOOmmmiiiyaaa!  Myyyyy naaammmmeee isss Stttuuuaaaaarrrtttt”slow.  —-then. I’m from Canada, I’m 23 years old, I have no brothersor sisters, I like hockey and I can speak Japanese!!!!!” FASTTTTT!!!!!It was great!!!!
    • The restaurant
      • I have no idea what the name was, I don’t care because we had a blast andit didn’t matter where we were. WE???? Who’s we? ANSWER —- About 20 AET’sthat wanted to go out and drink and/or have a good time with everyone.I put the or in for me.  🙂    We laughed and laughed.The Brits were drinking and drinkin’. I don’t know what the other 10 ppl.were doing because I was at the British table. Meaning—- I was the onlynon-British person at this table.
      • We were seated in a tatami room. The funny thing about this is that thethree ppl I was sitting with were all way tooooo tall for this style ofroom. All of them are taller than 6’4” or about 194 cm.(i think) Anyway, they were sitting in the oddest ways, it was funny to watch eventhough I felt bad for ’em. What could I do?? Not much. We (the 20 ppl.)stayed there until 11ish upon which Philip and I headed back to Asaka.
      • A fun night out, a fun show, and a decent learning day as well. A goodday.

30 Thursday

  • Mid-Term Seminar
    • A fairly straight forward day, meetings, opinions, etc…. Today was ouropportunity to respond to the speeches we heard yesterday. It was niceto speak with others about their present situation.  A fairly productiveday in my opinion.
  • City Hall
    • THUNDER BOLTS OCT #7 has finalllly arrived!!!! Tis about time I say. Iwondered if I was every going to get it, and I did. “I did taw a a puttytat. I did I did.” Tweety
  • TEIKYO POST UNIVERSITY
    • I can report that the poetry reception was held. I have no idea how itwent, but I’ll guess that it went well.

31 Friday                  H  A  P  P  Y   H  A  L  L  O  W  E  E  N

  • Yon-sho
    • Liz, Watanabe and I went to the fourth grammer school in Asaka today. Itwas quite the experience. About 500 hundred kids in the gymnasium. Andwhat were they doing? Waiting for these 2 crazy AET people. Liz and I hadthem do a simple game to learn basic body parts.
    • Head, shoulders, knees and toes…. Yes I played head, shoulders, kneesand toes. Liz sang the song, and I did the actions. The kids were goingnuts! All of the students but the oldest grade participated. Im noticingsomething – it appears that it’s uncool to be active in a strange activityif  you are a part of the oldest group in a school. Bummer, but that’sthe way it is I guess.
    • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…  Liz and I went to a first grade classand sang this with the students. It was very impressive. The students hadthe correct pronounciation and sang the song really well. It was also duringthis time that the students gave Liz and I ‘lei’ like gifts. They weremade of pine-cones and random foldings of paper. It was really cool!
      • One thing that the students really enjoyed was just shaking our hands.Kids ran up and were tackling each other just to shake our hands! It wascrazy! Yes indeedy I liked it I did!
  • Yon-chu
    • It’s Friday already, wow! Last day of the week. Next week I finish theintro!!!! Finally! Before the day began at Yon-chu some crazy stuff happened…
      • One month ago Mr. Watanabe called Yon-chu and toldthe head of the English Department that I would be attending Yon-sho inthe morning. I was told that everything was all set and ready for us tovisit Yon-sho.
      • As it turned out everything wasn’t all set. At about9:30, while Liz and I were talking to students Watanabe disappears anddoesn’t come back. Liz and I begin to wonder when were going to leave,so we looked for Watanabe — nowhere o be seen. Where is he? He was inthe teachers room. Y? Read on…
      • He told me what happened and it kind of upset mea little. The teachers at Yon-chu thought I was still sleeping!! They thoughtI wasn’t going to go to school today!!! They didn’t even call my apartment!I know someone had my number because I gave a teacher my business card,with my phone number on it. So what had happened was the head of the EnglishDept. forgot about my visit to the grammar school! He forgot! This isn’tthe first time this type of thing has happened. It seems that the schedulefor the AET is forgotten about by some of the English teachers. Not good.
      • One of the teachers was actually PISSED! He got angrythat I hadn’t showed up to work. This is the same teacher that I had beenworking with all week. I never gave them any reason to think that I wouldn’tshow up. I wasn’t late. I was enthused about classes and did numerous thingsoutside of class for the students. THAT’S THE REASON WHY I WAS A LITTLEUPSET. There was no reason to get so upset, it was planned by the cityhall and all the information was passed on from person to person in JAPANESE.Quite the laugh we had after I arrived to Yon-chu, but it didn’t need togo as far as it did.
      • Here’s the sad part about this whole event. The kyoto(vice princ.) was learning “don’t be late for work” in English! He waslearning it so he could tell me when I woke up and made it into the school!HILARIOUS! All because a teacher forgot about something scheduled a monthin advance.
  • City Hall
    • Package from Rille containing RENT!!!! YES I can listen to RENT again!!! I et to listen to RENT!!!! PUMPED!!!! AND I got a letter as well! A threepage letter included in the package from Rille! Thankful more and moreand more am I.
  • After Work
    • I typed over 22k of text and hot digidy dog are my hands sore from typingthat long. I typed about 10 emails and I typed for a long while.

Well there it is, OCTOBER comes to an end. Thank you for your patience.I hope this is helping you to follow my life here in Japan. Please rememberthat if you have any comments or suggestions I’d LOVE TO HEAR THEM!!     EMAIL ME with your ideas or questions.

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