24 June 2005

Involuntary talks

First. I can't get picures to look good in my post so just click on the links to see the magic.

So yesterday, I had to talk about America in front of the whole fourth grade class at ShitaYama. I sort of blew off preparing for it because I was like, whatever, America, no problem. I also sort of blew off the fact that I had to do it in Japanese. Japanese, I thought, what's that, just a bunch of different words or whatever. I'll be fine.

Anyway, my talk wasn't voluntary (for me or the kids) so the whole 4th grade class showed up, like 120 of them and I just about pissed my pants when I walked into the room. There are a couple of things that you might want to be careful about trying to do in Japanese in front of 120 4th graders. A) Tell jokes. Skip it, they're not funny anyway. B) Talk about the climate without having researched the vocabulary you might need to talk about the climate features of our great nation. C) Take questions. Yeah, how old is the Statute of Liberty, anyway? I got no idea kid. Ask me about my favorite food.

Today, however, I was at Honma sensei's school. She's so great. I smile everytime I see her. After school she was wearing this big floppy hat and helping the kids play croquet. I just smiled.

_Norweigan Wood_ in Japanese is just about all I can stand right now. It's so fabulous. I have these perfect moments of clarity about every five pages and it's like a shaft of light from Tokyo.

This here is a picture of the signature of my 2nd favorite sumo wrestler, Koutoushuu. He's from Bulgaria. And he's the man. Emiko is my hero for getting this for me. Seriously, I was so happy, I almost cried. Yeah, I know, it's pathetic.

Lastly, as a birthday gift to myself, I'm growing a moustache.