Time for my seemingly bi-annual update: I'm still in Japan. But now I'm in Gunma Prefecture, rather than Miyagi. I was
transfered here after the end of the Japanese school year in March. I teach at four elementary schools, and it's a lot more work
than my previous gig in Miyagi.
Something you may not have known was that despite not posting anything, I regularly uploaded pictures to the folder linked to in the previous post.
There was no interface or anything; just a bunch of filenames to click on.
I present to you: Picturetubes! It's an actual user interface to view those photos.
It's got thumbnails, comments, the works. Plus, you can still view the full-size images if you want to, unlike some
(coughfacebookcough) other photo viewing mechanisms out there.
Crotchward hands fly like
Death on the battlefield --
Thousand Years of Pain.
So, I took a Haiku class last year. Writing Haiku was never required for the class, but naturaly, I thought a
bit about it at the time, and came up with two that I liked. The one showcased above is a third.
The topic is The Kancho. Now that I'm in the land of Kancho I thought I'd share it with you.
I've been sure to make sure I know what's behind me when I walk down the halls in elementary schools.
Incidently, the word for "principal" in Japanese is "Kocho," and everyone calls the principal "Kocho-sensei." I just know one day
I'm going to screw up and call him "Kancho-sensei."
I've stashed away some pictures of my pad and locale here. Sorry there are no thumbnails or interface to speak of. I'm, ummm, lazy.
P.S. If you haven't figured it out yet, I moved to Japan three weeks ago, and I teach (talk at) Japanese school children in English for a living.
I just remembered an incident in which I was being really Goddamned annoying, but I didn't realize
it until just now. I must have been five. (Incidentally, almost all my childhood stories seem to start with, "I was
about five." I must be remembering them wrong. Or everything happened to me at the age of five, and it's all been
downhill from there. Or perhaps five was the age at which I gained full self-awareness and everything previous just
feels like it happened to me when I was five. Five is also a good age to use when you are telling about something bad
or stupid you did. It's old enough for you to be active and able, but young enough that you can write off anything
stupid you did as being because you were "young." There is some shit you can pull off at five that just wouldn't fly
at seven.) Anyway, I was around five years old, and for some reason my dad had to take care of me after preschool
or daycare or something. Noah wasn't there, so maybe he was with mom. Dad had an after-work meeting or conference to
to attend at the Game and Fish Department. I was super bored with the grown-up goings-on, so I went out to the lobby during
the proceedings. The lobby is a pretty cool place. They have all sorts of wildlife exhibits and a very large aquarium stocked
with the various fishes of North Dakota. So I was wandering around, checking out the flora, fauna and fishes when a particular
idea struck my fancy. I decided I'd try to imitate the call of the wild turkey. At the time I
thought I made a pretty awesome turkey-caller. So awesome, in fact, that I spent the next half hour to hour calling, loudly, to any
turkey/animal/thing in the vicinity.
It's not until just now that I realized how annoying that must have been to the people at the conference;
to have some five year old in the lobby making loud avianesque noises for the better part of the evening. At the time I
had no clue. When it was done I asked my dad if he had heard, any, I don't know, TURKEYS??? Guess What!! It was me!!
The view from my parents' house here in Bismarck is actually quite pretty. I don't know if I've ever really appreciated it until
now. It looks out over a small basin created by the Missouri river, which is visible in the winter through the trees. Now, however,
the leaves are full enough to completely block out the light glancing off the river. There are even hill to the south and west. Hills!
In North Dakota! Amazing! The hills are as far as the view goes, which makes it shorter than a typical view in North Dakota, which is for the most
part very flat. The limited distance of the view make the place seem cozier. Like the hills are giving us a big hug. Or something.
School starts next week. No, I'm not excited. Everyone asks that. I'm not dreading it either, though. It just is. I very rarely get excited about anything.
Before I left for Japan, everyone asked if I was exited to go. If I answered honestly, I would have said "No." I was ready to go, I wanted to go, but I didn't
feel excited. When I left Japan, the feeling I got most was the feeling of readiness. I was neither sad, nor excited, nor glad to leave, but I was ready.
I guess I just can't get excited over forgone conclusions, like school starting, or graduation, or birthdays, or moving to someplace new. If there's a set date
and a known conclusion, there's nothing to get excited about. The few times I can remember feeling excited, it was always a nervous or anxious excitement:
"Can the Twins come from behind?" "Will she say yes?" "How's Harry going to get out of this situation?" "What's under the Christmas tree?"
It's the same reason why roller coasters don't scare me at all: the conclusion is known in advance. But that doesn't mean that the ride to the end can't be fun.
When people out of college describe themselves, they often say, "I'm a professional." A professional what? A professional boxer?
A professional hitman? A professional wizard? I'm pretty sure it's doublespeak for, "I have a ridiculously boring office job," or
"I push papers."