Getting Ready to Say Goodbye

Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002

Subject: Vocalization


I put up my posters for my farewell Voice session yesterday. We'll see how it goes... It'll be at 4:00 in the afternoon, since my last day's an early shift due to a swap, so it will likely be staggeringly unsuccessful. I did, however, have fun wandering over to my old branch to put posters up there as well.


I am enjoying the fact that I now have no trepidations about talking to my students whenever or wherever I please.

Damage Control

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002

Subject: Stuff


I'm happy to be way over here in some ways, but in others I'm worried because it means I can't really gauge how this is affecting everyone, and I don't know how much damage control I need to do.

Fellow Swordsman

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: Shinsen-gumi Kata


S is in charge, eh? Cool.


Look out for an anime called One Piece when it becomes available. It's the most popular thing in Japan right now. The animation looks really crappy at first, but it's quite endearing. All the characters are pirates, the leader is made of rubber and totally stupid and irresponsible but invincible, while one of his buddies includes a guy with a three-sword style... the third sword is in his mouth. All the enemies have ridiculous powers like shooting afro balls or swallowing their allies to make themselves stronger. Good fun. I watch every week.


I've been doing kendo since I got here, although I only finished buying all my armour two days ago. The rules are limiting compared to gumdo, but you can't do much swordplay when your hands are in mittens, so it makes sense in a way. Besides, if I tried to pull anything fancy they'd thrash me since almost everyone at my dojo is at least first dan. They're all so damn fast it's amazing. I can't keep up so I often just use brute strength, but that runs out pretty quick.


Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002

Subject: Ive


How've you been, anyway? All is stressful down here between the article fiasco, my moving and all my friends trying to say goodbye (my private students & kendo friends all said they were sabishi... I feel so bad... almost enough to stay with Blight...), and my friend The Rover is showing up in the middle of all this while I still have little info from my new employers. There's something wrong with the colour on my laptop, too... argh.


I've become a bit of a LotR addict... I feel stressed whenever I'm not watching the movie.

Another Article

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: New draft


Heh... the Star wants to use the article I gave them about the day I handed in my thesis. Good thing they lost my first draft... it sucked, and I sent them a totally new draft.


Irony: this article is totally innocuous and they asked if it was okay to use my name.


Very cute of them.

Learning Japanese

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: Hello Mike!


Do JET. Good call. I just quit my non-JET job to get a job just like JET but for much less money.


If you want detailed accounts of my life in Japan, I can add you to my mailing list of my exploits, but I warn you that they're usually 4000-8000 word light-hearted essays.


My Japanese sucks, which is part of why I'm changing jobs. I've been here five months and learned very little because I live with English-speaking people and teach English all day. With JET, you work with an all-Japanese staff and cultural exchange is encouraged. A friend of mine who used to get rocked by Japanese tests now has Japanese ten times better than mine and he's a JET.


I didn't write anything while I was at Queen's. I wanted to, but I kept getting distracted by work, hence the article you read in the Star. I should have written anyway, but we won't go into that. The last Letter to the Editor addressed that issue.


One cool thing is that Gundam models are really cheap out here. Everything else, however, is expensive.

The Rover Cometh

Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: Details, man! Details!


On the Friday, some of my Japanese friends want to go out drinking. I'd love it if you'd come, but I hope you won't mind being with a bunch of guys who can't speak much English but will be more than happy to try what they've learned with you.


Another friend is looking into going to an amusement park.


I have a kabuki rehearsal on Thursday afternoon at 1:00. If you'd like to come out and watch and meet some of my friends, that would be very cool. That evening I'd like to go to kendo. It would also be cool if you want to come watch that - they're great guys, but no English at all. But if you like, I can skip kendo that day. Depending on our plans, I might go Saturday night too (tentative).


I'm still trying to sort out Tokyo... and how I'm getting to Izu...


It's about 16 plus degrees these days. I usually wear a rain jacket over the dress shirt I wear to work.


We'll definitely be in Tokyo for a bit, if you follow me while I have training the second week. Tokyo is about nothing but shopping.

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