The children aren't supposed to speak Japanese in class, but they do. I'm supposed to discourage them but, out of laziness and selfishness, I don't. Lazy, because when they speak Japanese to each other I can tell if they understand the day's lesson and selfish because I've learned more than a few good turns of
... and as if I needed even more motivation to get cracking on my Japanese study, I have discovered Emily. Emily - a nice, super-intense American gal - is something of a YouTube Celebrity, made famous by her "Pretty Intense Japanese Lesson" clips. Sean and I have been staring at her videos for the past
Six months to go until the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and what have I learned? That I wish it hadn't rained today. He made me forget my umbrella! Whenever I forget my umbrella, I get wet! So I made him buy me cookies. For an apology. Whenever I eat cookies, I become happy. Cookies? Crunchy,
Times have changed; I've been in Japan for over a year now which means I've finally been accepted into Japanese society (!!!) ... at least when it comes to the cost of living. As an expatriate, my first year in Japan had been a blissfully inexpensive one, especially compared to my life in New York
My students have discovered that I - old and therefore clueless - might know something worth knowing from time to time. In between learning games, they love to find out exactly what knowledge is rattling around in this aged brain o' mine. "Mario to Luigi shitteru?" they demand. "Yeah, I know Mario and Luigi." "Ehhhhhhhh!!!!!!"
,,, I was actually pretty relieved that our apartment didn't come with a tatami room because, to me, tatami smells like pet store. Speaking of the apartment, the no natural light issue is really becoming insufferable. Due to being shrouded in either catacomb-like darkness or piercing florescent office light, I haven't had a good night's
I am jealous of Sean because his position as a children's karate instructor gives him the perfect excuse to punt, kick and thwack the little buggers when they misbehave, whereas I have to settle for supremely ineffective time outs.
When my private student didn't show up on Friday because of a business trip, I was faced with with long gaps in my work schedule. Obviously, it was the perfect time to head over to the bathroom and photograph the toilets. Don't judge me. Toilet culture in Japan is schizophrenic, and therefore fascinating. Even after
A large portion of my students are businessmen who must learn English for their jobs, but perhaps a larger percentage of my students are housewives who've taken up English as a hobby. A ridiculously large chunk of these 45+ women is absolutely. Freaking. Gorgeous. "How gorgeous," you ask? Stunning gorgeous, I say. Envy of all
At least once every few years while I was growing up, my parents, brother and I visited my father's family in Guatemala City. These were always highly anticipated visits; from the instant the rolling green mountains swam into view from the plane window and we lugged our luggage into the great, cedar-fragrant Colliseum-shaped arrivals area