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Well it's been a minute hasn't it? Basically that's because I haven't gone anywhere recently. No one has done anything the...

Well it's been a minute hasn't it?

Basically that's because I haven't gone anywhere recently. No one has done anything the last 2 weekends, and this weekend its supposed to rain Saturday and Sunday...lucky me :( BUT hopefully I still get to go out and do something.

So let's see, this will be a random thought post, just a jumble of mess haha

I have been trying to eat healthier lately for starters, not that I eat unhealthy to begin with since living here, but I avoid the 600 kcal packs of instant yakisoba and ramen at 8 at night when its dinner time. I walk a lot still. And I run around and get pretty sweaty at recess. Which brings me to my next thought. I have been playing soccer pretty much all recess lately, so about 25 minutes. Well today I was going to shoot for a goal..and out of no where this kids runs out about 15 feet in front of me. I kick the ball pretty hard and it nails him in the back of the head/neck area. All the kids stopped playing for a few minutes because he was hurting pretty bad, the back of his neck was really red and he was crying but trying not to show it. I felt terrible and kept telling him I was sorry and asking if he was ok. He said he was fine but the rest of the game anytime I had the ball to shoot everyone moved out the way, including the goalie lol. Needless to say I didn't kick hard the rest of the game nor will I again in the future, I felt sooo bad.. I just hope he doesn't like tell his parents and them call the school complaining about me playing or something.

After school I have been playing outside for like an hour before I go home too. Today I played on the ropes with like 4 little girls. The girls are so frickin cute and they're always smiling and just gaze at me lol. I really enjoy playing with all the kids despite the language barrier, somehow it works out eventually. Class has been going well though and I really enjoy "work". One thing that did irritate me though is that I had the 6th graders write a sentence in English (romaji characters), they all did it fine, I mean it took time but nothing major. Well today the lady who reports directly with me told me not to have the kids write in English because it is too difficult for them. So apparently someone had to say something or else she would have never known. Its funny because the kids like writing in English, is it difficult, of course, but it's rewarding. Just as I like writing in Japanese, its difficult, but when I am done I feel good and I have learned more. The one thing that irritates me at school is that everyone seems to have this mentality that the kids there are not as advanced. They always say, "well maybe they can, but at Nagai the kids are not quite that high level". Basically my outlook on it is the school or area where the child lives has no relevance to the child's mental capability. If the students at Nagai are not as high level as students from other school then that is because of the teachers. I am going out on a limb here, but if the kids come to this school and the teachers start them from day 1 as not being as advanced then that is the problem right there. No not all the kids in my classes are good at english, and only about 1/3 of them actually want to learn English, but surprisingly enough almost all the kids try and participate. Kids here start learning English in first grade all the way through high school graduation. Where I am from you get 2 quarters (1 year) of foreign language throughout your entire public school career. Hmmmm

That makes me want to do a little comparison/ interesting facts on Japanese schools, well at least the school I am teaching at:

Random facts:

1. Playgrounds are dirt with pebbles, there is no grass
2. We have a chicken coupe with about 10 chickens/roosters...the kids, yes the kids feed, play with them, and clean the area. Un-attended by adults.
3. The kids go to the "lunchroom" and bring all the food for their class to their room. They eat in the classroom, there is no cafeteria. The kids serve each others food. The kids collect all the dishes ect. The kids return all the materials back.
4. After eating the kids (and I) clean the classrooms, hallways, chalkboards, bathrooms ect. We move all the desks to one side and sweep, then kids gets rags and run them over the floors. Then we bring the desks to the other side and repeat.
5. They have chimes and cool sounds for everything, not bell or buzzer.
6. Chill music or classical music is played while eating and cleaning.
7. Girls and boys interact even at a young age, I haven't noticed any type of "cooties" mentality going on.
8. The older kids help the younger wherever whenever, as I recall the older tried to make things as difficult as possible when I was in school lol.
9. All schools have pools.
10. Our staff room setting is much different than back home. I can't really explain but basically we all sit in the same room, including the principal and vice principal. Kids come in every 5 minutes on average to get a key or ask a question. I don't even think I saw the inside of a staff room till I was in high school lol.
11. There is 1 "Janitor", but I wouldn't even call him that, more of a handy man. He does a lot of the outside and repair work. The kids/staff clean everything like stated before.
12. When you walk into a Japanese school you remove your shoes, put them on the floor and stand on the wooden "sidewalk" as you put on the community slippers, unless you have your own. Shoes/slippers worn inside are not to be worn outside.
13. We are growing rice, and other various flowers/veggies.
14. We have a staff meeting every day at 8:20am... I rarely know what is being said lol
15. The only name I hear all day long is Brian Sensei or Eigo no sensei (English Sensei)
16. I say "wakanai" or "wakarimasen" like a 100 times a day..it means I don't understand lol
17. We have some form of cabbage almost everyday :/
18. School lunch is ¥235 ($2.50 ish) a day.
19. I am a member of the Coffee Club lol ¥1000 ($10 ish) a month for all the coffee/green tea I want to drink. I drink a cup or 2 a day so its not bad.
20. I really like my job, though I don't see myself as a teacher at all, I can only imagine doing it here. I feel like I am working/taking Japanese lessons at the same time.

So yea basically the kids are raised much more responsible and mature here than back home, not trying to diss America, but based on my experience and observations it's just plain true.

One of out students did well at a Sumo competition last week so here is the trophy for that.



Ok so that's that.

Um what else..

I started a drawing like a week ago, worked on it one night, then haven't since..but here it is so far... This will give Jordan a giggle I am sure



Ummm Japanese. My Japanese has increased greatly. I mean by no means do I even claim being able to speak, but it has improved so much just in the last month alone. I hope that by the end of my year that it will be considerably enough for a conversation. I mean I know enough to get by for my day to day, but I can't talk. I am really happy though with the progress. Because honestly I study Kanji a little but other than that I don't study much. My proficiency has increased solely by hearing words consistently enough to be able to remember them, look them up, and then use them asap. One thing I have noticed though is my thought process. Like when I first go to school, or see someone in the morning, and they say OhayouGozaimasu, I no longer think about saying good morning and then realizing I have to translate it to Japanese for them, it just naturally flows out now. Today I was writing out these directions from one of the Japanese teachers. I was getting directions for the girl that works at the school next to mine, she is an English teacher there too. Well she was telling me the name of a place sounding it out and I was writing in English, knowing that the other girl doesn't read Japanese yet, and all the sudden I realized that I was writing the last half of the word in Hiragana (Japanese). It was funny because the teacher and I began to laugh, but at the same time I was happy because it just came out, I didn't even think about it until after it was already down. Made me happy :)

I went to the market the other day and the woman said the price of my purchase, I didn't have to look at the screen for the first time to see how much it was. It felt soo good lol hyaku nanajyuu san en = ¥173

Slowly but surely I am catching on, it feels great, though I have only begun. I definitely want to speak Japanese more now, than even before. Hearing other people be bilingual makes me so jealous, and it is definitely a goal I have set. It is a long one, but I am setting a goal to be fluent by speech in 2 years. I say speech because being fluent in writing and reading is nearly impossible in 2 years. I know all 107 hiragana possibilities, about %90 of Katakana ( I am a slacker...I just don't like Katakana because they are uglier lol ) and about 30ish Kanji.. Yea my Kanji sucks bad, but that's why I am practicing. Yea 3 writing systems here, unless you count the Roman Alphabet too, which I guess you should, seeming they do use them very frequently, and the kids have to learn our alphabet in school as well. For the record there are over 50,000 Kanji, and you have to know 2,000 to be considered literate in Japanese culture..not exactly the easiest language to learn. Perhaps why Japanese and Chinese are considered 2 of the hardest languages for a foreigner to learn. Not to mention sentence structure and grammar are completely different from English, French, Spanish ect... I feel like I could learn Spanish in a month after studying Japanese lol.

Ok that's enough for now, no one is going to want to read when they see the novel I just posted lol....

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10 Comments

  1. You mean american always so rough...lol. that sucks but i am sure they all know it was an accident, you always have to be careful around the little kids but it is hard you get caught up in the game.
    Keep up the good work learning the lanquage you are really doing awesome and it will be great being there with someone who does speak enough to get by anyway.
    It was a nice novel though good to hear some of your thoughts and reasonings i think american schools could probably learn a lesson from the japenese system but on the same note i think your school could definately give the students there a little more credit. Intelligence has nothing to do with where you are from or raised, its the opportunities and ecouragement each mind receives. Love ya Dad

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  2. oh frick thats what im talking about. I started lmaoing when all the kids move out of your way now that you kick hahaha. Haha i love when bud draws, who is it? Its neat. Schools there sound alot nicer, so much more freedom and so much less bad behavior...hmm...Keep that drawing updated I want to see it, I still have the pikmin sketch!! I looked at it the other day, its not to shabby lol

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  3. Hey Brian:) I enjoyed your story....oh and try not to kill the kids in kick ball!!! Hope all is good:)
    Mandy

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  4. sorry I met Soccer!lol silly me;)
    Mandy

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  5. lol yea I will try not too, they didn't ask me to play today so maybe that's a bad sign lol

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  6. Wow Bud sounds like the kid deserved it! He should have stayed out of your way...lol. Awesome novel Bud i had to have dad read it to me, we always enjoy your info and keep working on the lanquage so we have a good tour guide when we come visit. Lov U tons MOM>>:)

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  7. cool update man, as always i appreciate your stories and experiences. keep it up. very nice drawing! you know how to do that in just 1 week??? amzing!

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  8. Brian seriously. If I'm like you when I grow up I'll consider myself accomplished.

    But seriously hopefully we can have convo's in Japanese when I come and visit. I've been slacking lately...

    P.S. Show them little Nyukkas how Americans play football!! lmao

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  9. Thanks everyone

    And Snoddy we can definitely try haha, stop slacking, ur gona regret it like I did when I got here.

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  10. nice to see your doing okay. see ya on the flip side homie lol

    love love love

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