Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One of the coolest things ever...

Been a little bit since the last update but as school starts soon there will be even more stories to tell, like today when I saw one of the coolest sites I've seen yet... more on that later.

So I think I left it off with monday. It was a normal day at first, then the boys soccer team asked me to supervise them while they went swimming. Now I love swimming and never really did much of it back home mostly due to time and money investments to do so. I was their hero for the next couple hours as they got to swim around in the cool pool under the hot summer sun, I know I enjoyed cooling down but atleast nights here the temp drops a good 10 degrees or so. I wouldn't be able to sleep if it was too hot. Anyways I taught the students how to play marko polo :) they thought I was crazy at first but ended up playing it for about an hour. I went home later and I've been watching this show "Daxter" alot lately, it is amazing. It is kinda twisted, especially for the faint of heart. What it is about, is a serial killer who only kills people who are evil. It is brilliantly written, but as I just found out tonight Matt left out an episode near the end of the season so now I'm stuck on a cliff hanger until I get internet; estimated connection date Aug 28th but who knows really.

Anyways so tuesday Aug21 rolls around, I put finishing touches on my speech and started to prepare a "self introduction" lesson which I should have started a while back as it is the single most important lesson I'll teach really, and I'll do it atleast a dozen times maybe more. After work I was planning on going to Ina with Jake to watch a movie Neal recommended. I don't know the name off hand but when I found out the movie had a price tag of $3500 yen (about $33) I had to decline. I kinda feel bad about it... but holy crap over $30 to see a movie in a theater? And transportation for the night would have cost about $6 as I found out today. I might have to watch that movie again sometime in the future, but save $40 doing so. So I was at home watching Daxter again when a friend from work Kubota San called. I invited him to the movie earlier but he thought it would cost 1800 yen and opted out because of the high price. Anyways long story short he came over and we hung out for a bit, looked at pictures from home and later watched the movie "Orgazmo." Hilarious movie if you havn't seen it, just know it's not for kids, I brought it from home.

Today Aug 22. I got up at 6:45 to catch my train to Ina. Most people know that I have maybe gone to bed at that hour more than I have woken up that early so it was a bit of a struggle. The fear of being late and/or missing my train... again.... helped give me the adrenaline kick to the butt to get moving. I got to Yayoi High school and it is a very nice place. The girl students have a white shirt blue skirt dress code and the boys have a white shirt black pants one. There is another high school nearby (Ina Kita) and they have sailor outfits for their uniform. That reminds me of a funny story we heard at Tokyo orientation. During one of the large speeches made by one of the more powerful people in charge of Japanese education, one of them mentioned the sailor outfits for girls. "I don't know who chose those outfits, perhaps they had a fetish". Comedy gold right there folks.

So we got to the school, I wandered the large hallways for a while trying to... figure anything out ;) somehow I luckily found the principals office. It was funny as I hadn't changed into my indoor shoes yet because I couldn't find slippers so before they would say hello or even shake my hand they helped me take my outdoor shoes to my own locker and got that all sorted out. THEN we exchanged formalities, it was very neat. I showed my Kyoto Sensei (principal) of Yayoi where Regina was on google maps and gave him other data such as how I lived near "Prince of Whales" (a point he mentioned during the gym speech) how many people live in Saskatchewan and other stuff like that. We later went to the gym after a short teachers meeting where in front of all the students and staff of Yayoi I gave a speech. Before we were in the gym one of the students talked to me... and did the vulcan V thing with his hand. I'm not sure what it is called but when you see it you know it is from star trek. "Live long and prosper" he tells me ;) heh I guess there are trekies in Japan as well!

So anyways, one of my speeches was in English, the other in Japanese. It was really neat as many of the students were slightly whispering when I was speaking in English but as soon as I started with the "Mina san, ohaiyo gosaimasu" (good morning everyone) there were large GASP!s heard throughout the gym. And dead silence. I'm not the best public speaker but I did pretty good today, although I did shake like a bowl of tapioca pudding on top a 5 foot steel pole during a 5.6 magnitude earthquake. Luckily my baggy pants hid the violently shaking knees and at one point my hand was shaking so badly I had to brace my arm against my chest for solid support. But I went through the whole speech, got some giggles when I mentioned how Chris introduced me to Japanese Anime and Manga and got a thunderous applause when I finished. Later I met up with the star trek fan again. I mentioned in my speech how I graduated from Electronic Systems Engineering and he tells me when he is done school in.... February I think their semester is over, he will go to college to do Electronic Engineering himself.

I am dead serious. All the stereotypes combined into one. It was so eerie, but at the same time.... I knew he would find a proper home there. He gave me another Vulcan V salute and I gave him one back; my future brother of engineering. I wished him good luck, but I know he will be in good hands in University with what he will be studying.

The walk back to the teachers room was covered with questions from students wondering what Anime I liked. When I said One Piece was my favorite they were amazed and thrilled, and other questions followed like who was my favorite character (Sanji). The first day back all the students had to write tests... to show that they all studied during their summer vacations. I think there would have been some mutiny back home if that would have happened but it also meant I didn't have to teach that first day. Which is great, considering I hadn't met many of the teachers yet nor know what they wanted me to do. I guess at the end of the day I'm still not sure what they want me to do but luckily that self introduction lesson will buy time for me to get more answers.

There were scattered small conversations with students here and there throughout the day. I found out there is an English club at Yayoi that I will be head of and they are going to throw a party for me :) It runs Mondays and Wednesdays (the days I teach at that school) and I don't know much more than that. It should be exciting though, the students seem very genki (happy/energetic) so it should be easy to feed off that energy. The day passed at a moderate pace as I had a mountain of reading to do and many people to meet and talk with for the first time. The end of the day came and I was walking around the school a bit to maybe help me not get so lost next week when I come back. I was chased down by 3 screaming girls "Toni! Toni!" I tell everyone to call me Tony as it is a million times easier to say in Japanese than Anthony and I don't mind either way, plus it is a good conversation starter explaining nicknames, but I digress.

So they hunt me down and start asking what anime I have seen or whatever and we talk for a little bit. They ask about Naruto, I tell them my friend Chris likes it. They ask about Gundamn I say I know of it but havn't seen it. They start poking around with a "Dragon..." not quite sure what they are trying to say. So I ask "do you mean Dragon Ball Z?". They scream a little and laugh wildly and then two of them proceed to do a fighting/dance move that showed up later in the series. People who know, know that it is the Fusion dance used by Gotan/Trunks and Vegeta/Goko to form super fighters Gotanks and Gogeta respectively. My mouth dropped and I could think of nothing but taking a picture. They posed for me and it definitely was one of the coolest moments ever. Evar. Man I'm such a nerd.

My mind is still kinda blown, it was so cool. I took the train home, was advised to buy a train pass so maybe it will be cheaper, I'm not sure. I just know train transportation for the day cost about $6. It took me about an hour to type this and I should have gone to bed but I have a feeling the rest of the week might be its own posting. I read something about how one of the largest raves of the year is being held in Tokyo this weekend and it costs $100 just to get in. I should email around and see if anyone is going, but if that falls through there is a BBQ party or something this weekend instead. I can't get my car even looked at until September at the earliest unfortunately but hopefully that won't dampen any possible events.

I'll close with some funny stories I also remember from the some of the orientations I've been to recently. One girl came as a JET from England. The school she went to had a strict "don't dye your hair" policy so when she came with dyed blond hair... she had to keep it that way. She was like "don't even ask what the prices were to have dye shipped from home every now and then". Pretty amusing. I guess every now and then a 'rebel' student will show up to school with dyed hair to whatever color, only to be called to the principals office and having it spray painted back to black. At the Nagano city one on friday one guy was talking about how much stress students are under. "And here is a picture of the students at their desks, with all their parents standing behind them; pressuring them to do good in school, do good in college, get good jobs... and eventually have them move in together to be taken care of."

"Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!" -Anne Frank



Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hahaha, I agree:
"I don't know who chose those outfits, perhaps they had a fetish" is probably the best line ever.

Patricia said...

I get to wear sailor uniforms all the time!