Monday, November 21, 2005

Shio ame?! (and the kids)

I think it's about time for another edition of Funny Things My Students Have Written. It's been a while since my last (and only) edition, and the summertime essays have yielded a healthy crop.

But first, while I've still got it in my mouth, there is such a thing as salt candy. Cheeky Supervisor gave me a piece, insisting it was delicious. It's sweet, and kinda salty. I don't know how else to describe it, except that it reminds me of gargling with warm salt water, and that reminds me of yuck.
He gave me a piece of molasses candy a couple of weeks ago, in an attempt to make up for the Werther's he'd swiped from me, but I don't like molasses. He asked me what kind of candy I do like.
"Um... Werther's."
He still hasn't replaced it.

But back to the students. Here's something I've had sitting in my notebook for months now. I think the assignment was to write about their favorite part of the school day. Most kids, naturally, wrote about their free time between lunch and fifth period, and some about their club activities. This one, though, was a little different:
My school has a end finish time.
Because Thank God!
We can go home at last.
The next one is one of the poems the 3nensei students have to write, which featured prominently in my last edition.
I'm tired
I'm very tired
I'm very very tired
According to my JTEs at Yokota JHS, this poem was written by a boy who "always writes like this." I was really at a loss as to how to grade it. On one hand, he only used three words. On the other hand, it made me laugh, and I think that was intentional; he effectively communicated something. I gave him a B+.

These last two are from 2nensei at Nita JHS writing about their summer vacations.
Tuesday, August 16
I was sleepy.!!
I was tired. [sweat drops]
I was sleepy!!
I went to bed at ten.
It's funny that she seems to be defending herself.
The next one is my favorite:
I went to a flea market last Sunday.
There CD and books and clothes.
There were lots of people.
They were lost in the forest.
It was terrible.
Whoa, what a plot twist! Did anyone see that coming? This kid's got a future in Hollywood. On second thought, maybe Japan needs good scriptwriters more than the US does.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My relatively tidy apartment

It's pretty small.

From the bottom of the photo, it's about six feet (two meters) to the wall and balcony behind me. You can see the front door at the end of the hallway/kitchen. Out of view to the right of the hallway are the toilet room and bathroom (they're kept separate from each other in most Japanese domiciles).

The low table in the foreground is the kotatsu. The tabletop lifts up, and you drape a thick blanket over it and replace the top. Attached underneath is an electric heater. Plug it in, turn it on, and it's an immensely cozy place to sit and read (or play Game Boy) for an afternoon. You're not supposed to sleep under it (something about catching a cold), but Shhh....

The ceiling (not shown) is really high, as are the door frames. I'm about 5'7 (170cm), and when I stand in the doorway between the main room and the hallway, I can just reach the top of the frame with the heel of my hand. The sliding glass doors (double-paned!) to the balcony are two meters tall. I think this is more typical of modern apartments. And modern cars; they've got tons of head room.

I'm standing on one of the three tatami mats that make up my sleeping space. A foam mattress on tatami seems to be the perfect thing for my back. Offscreen to the right are the TV, DVD player, and Super Nintendo, all infrequently used, all sitting on the floor. I need to do something with that corner, especially since I know that the day I get this apartment just the way I like it is the day my supervisor will find a bigger, nicer one for me. Might as well hurry the process along.