"It is my meaning," announced Bogey this morning, "to turn your Japanese speaking into true Kansai-ben!" Bogey is my highest level student. We have had classes together for months but only recently has he caught on that I am studying Japanese with some success. My lust to learn creates a whiff around me and I
Yesterday, at the end of Japanese class, Himalaya-sensei slid a sheet of paper across the folding table. I narrowed my eyes at it but it didn't help me read it any faster. "Last year ... class ... one year ...." I mumbled, passing my fingertips over the text. Himalaya-sensei came to the rescue; it was
An bhfuil cead agam dul go dti an leithreas ma se do thoile, a mhuinteoir. This impenetrable phrase (plus several accent marks my computer failed to produce) means "May I please have permission to go to the bathroom, teacher?" in Irish. Like all Irish schoolchildren, Sean and his classmates were required to recite this phrase
Unsmart ... because Coming of Age Day is not static. In 2008, it fell on January 15th - yesterday - which is why I had a day off from school. I have seen the honored 20 year-olds in their kimonos, pushing through subway gates, as I headed to the park for a lazy sunset walk.
Last night, I went down to the 1st floor of my building to visit Sean, who I found sprawled on his bed next to a large open box of decadent Swiss chocolates. Before he noticed me lingering at his door, his face was a mixture of beatific contentment and chocolate lust. "What?" he asked. "They