Back to Japan (mentally)
So, I’m pretty much back to my normal living-in-Japan routine–no more visitors for a while. Feels a little weird, but it’s also quite nice not to have to spend hours and hours on the shinkansen every weekend. Spent most of today lying in bed, watching mindless TV and working on the new website for the Northwest Film Forum. No better way to numb the brain. Also had lunch with Grace and Rosalind at Pinokio’s.
Anyway, I think I’ll share some school pictures with you. The first is from a [very belated] welcome enkai that Grace and I went to with our Osaki Jr. High teachers on Thursday night. It was quite fun. And I got to experience daiko for the first time with Grace; daiko is a service that will drive your car home for you after you’ve gone out drinking, since Japan has zero tolerance for drinking and driving.
The next ones are from the big research presentation festival at Wakamiya Jr. High. The students have been working on various projects for the last couple of months, resulting in my sometimes getting interviewed about everything from traffic laws in America to anime to cold prevention strategies. Tuesday was their chance to show off their research via poster presentations and speeches. The latter gave me the first opportunity to experience the truly Japanese phenomenon of adherence to a program. Normally, what happens when part of an event finishes early? You move on to the next part, right? Well, not in Japan. In Japan, you sit quietly until the assigned time for the next activity comes along and then proceed. During the last part of the day, third-year students were supposed to give 20 minutes speeches that really only lasted 5-10 minutes, resulting in a lot of this waiting. I thought I was going to die. But except for that, it was a good time.
The girl in the last picture is one of my favorite students. I recently discovered that her mother works at one of our local karaoke haunts–I totally see the resemblance now.
I think that’s all, folks. More to come.