My life, stories and shenanigans from Japan

Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Today, I Almost About Choked on a Sandwich

Every Thursday, I have lunch during a free period with the exchange student organizer at my school. 

Today, we began a conversation on a farewell speech I’ll have to give in December. (Sad)

He then went on to say that because my Japanese has improved so immensely, that I should give it to the entire school during our semester closing ceremony.

I was surprised by this, considering other exchange students have has a tendency of just doing it to their classes, but it didn’t compare to what happened next.

Assuming the speech would have to be short, like my 2 minute introduction speech at the beginning of the year, I asked how long of a speech would be good.

"Hmm.  Anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes would be good.”

…what?…

I can speak Japanese alrighty, but I sure as heck cannot give an interesting speech, in Japanese, for 20 to 30 minutes.

 

 

After a small discussion, though, the time got pushed down to tidy 5 minutes. 

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Myeh

So, with the recent outbreak of H1N1 virus as well as a coming typhoon, my school was randomly cancelled out of the blue this week.  Which is really annoying, considering we had some random holiday last week as well as it was a week of holidays the week before and thus I’ve had very little school. And then I have the school festival this weekend so part of next week is cancelled.

I haven’t  been to school on a Thursday in over a month.

I like school in Japan.  So it sucks when all I have is holidays.  I seriously got angry when they announced they were cancelling school because of the H1N1 virus.  Psh.  My friends thought I was crazy.

Quick update

I have some free time so I figured I’d write a quick update on my blog.  And by free time, I of course mean it’s about 1:30am and as I’m up late already, I figured I’d write a blog post.

I started my second term of school on Tuesday.  Though Tuesday was an opening orientation, Wednesday was a full day of tests, Thursday I only had two periods, Friday I was sick, and today was a half day, so I can’t exactly say I’ve felt the rhythm of how the second half of my school year will go.

Let’s see…my classes are very different from my first term.  First term I had about half normal classes, and the rest were private Japanese lessons or special courses for me as an exchange student

This term about all of my courses are normal courses.  Almost every single one of them.  Which means I’m also taking courses such as Math II (I’m still deciphering the meaning of the “II”. Whatever it is, it’s a very difficult II), Contemporary Japanese Literature, Biology, and Japanese Classics.  By the end of this year, I may not be able to say all my zoo animals but I may as heck be able to use vocabulary contained in literature from ancient Japan. 

Today, I had Chemistry (It’s not even on my schedule? Though for some reason I had it), Math II, Japanese History, and Japanese Classics. 

While the Japanese Classics teacher was explaining how the book he handed out in class would work throughout the year as well as gave an introduction, all I managed to do was translate the title of the book.  Turns out the book was assembled by the school, and thus the title was the course name.  I felt it wasn’t a good start.

I’m going to start Lacrosse on Monday.   Well, technically I’ll just be watching but that sounds really boring to write on a blog post.

Hmmm that’s about it.

Oh I saw this ad the other day in Shibuya advertising a skin lotion that raises money for a charity that combats sex trafficking. 

PAP_0001

I don’t know.  It just didn’t seem like the right shop to sell it at.

Oh my.

Today, in English class, one of the class discussion questions was “What  would you say is cool and not cool in Japan”, in order to exercise the word “cool”.  It provided some very…er. sad. results. There are a few things people said:

Things that are cool:

  • Akihabara (the electric town)
  • Maid Cafes (one of the sadder experiences of my life)
  • Wii
  • Television
  • 80s music
  • Video games

Things that aren’t cool:

  • Outdoors
  • Rap Music
  • traveling to foreign countries (they claimed it wasn’t cool to get sick with swine flu)

—–

My calligraphy class.  You can just see everyone is feeling the rush of drawing Chinese characters in an artistic fashion: DVC00078

I feel like it is my duty to note, though, that this was in fact the break between the two periods.

That’s right. Stitch is American.

Here’s a list of things from Japan that people are surprised Americans know about: The list was longer in my head, and I’ll probably update at some point.

  • Pokémon
  • Nintendo
  • Playstation (PSP)
  • Mario (The name “Mario” was given by Nintendo of America…)
  • Dragonball Z
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Sushi
  • Japanese Game Shows
  • Disney (What? It’s American…They’re always surprised when I recognize Chip N Dale or Stitch from Lilo and Stich or other characters, and then proceed to ask me if we have them in America) By the way I’ve grown to really like Stitch in my time in Japan. He’s so awesome

Things they think we have in the states but don’t:

  • Electric Toilets
  • A Nursury right in the high school for teen mothers
  • A McDonalds right in the school
  • Everyone carries a gun to school

On a related note about Disney, I figured out why the 7 dwarves have such weird names.  They’re Japanese, and didn’t introduce themselves to Snow White when they first fricken met her, and she had to make names for them based off of a characteristic of them. I mean seriously.  It’s been like 2 months, and I still mentally refer to most people with names such as Blondie, Screamy, Sleepy, Sex-y, Booky, PSP-y, Spikey, Late-y, Dozey, and Goku-y (it’s due to the spikey blond hair).  And when I do get around to asking their names they say both names together really fast and I’m left with nil (“What’s your name?” “KUCHIYAMAHIROYUKI” “Oh ok. Thank you, Kuchi..hiro..something..”)

 

Today Colin did not Shine

Today, when asked “What’s the capital of Rhode Island?”, I replied “Quahog”.

family-guy

 

Not only is Quahog not the capital, it isn’t even a real city.

My schoolbag can’t gracefully be held

I bought a schoolbag.  Because everyone at school had one and I stuck out with my backpack.  And everything fits nicely in the bag. The bag looks like this:

DVC00003

(And yes. That’s a duck.  Everyone has keychains on their bags, even the guys. I like my duck. So shut up.)

The only real problem about it is that there is no possible way to gracefully carry it home each day.

There are two ways you can carry it.  One, you carry it at your side.  Though this gets very tiring. And when it rains you feel like Mary Poppins when you walk around with your bag at your side. Two, you put the strap on your shoulder.  The problem with this is that it makes it feel like a purse.  One of those arm-y purses that force you to keep your arms in effeminate positions when you wish to use the arm carrying the purse/bad/murse to, for example, answer the phone, because your other arm is doing something like holding a refreshing cool beverage or holding onto the strap things for standing people on the train.

gucci handbags Mary-Poppins-mv03

I can’t say that either are looks I’m really striving for.

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