Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Random Wednesday

My alarm didn't go off for the second day in a row.

I ate mashed banana on toast for breakfast.

Today was my little school day. Maezawa Elementary School has 98 students and I taught all of them except the 15 first graders.

2nd Grade: Vegetables.
I did a vegetable chant. One would think that eggplant and perhaps green pepper would be toughies, but no, carrot and radish were the enemy today.

3rd Grade: Restaurant.
"May I help you?" "Yes, orange juice and steak please." "Here you are." "Thank you."
Students made up their own menus and then took turns waiting on each other.

4th Grade: Let's go shopping!
"May I help you?" "Pencil please. How much is it?" "It's $1." "Here you are." "Thank you." "Here you are." "Thank you."
Students set up a stationary shop and we used Maezawa Money that I made using a bunch of clip art and that I must say, looks pretty darn cool.

5th Grade: Telephone
"Ring" "Hello." "Hello. May I speak to ---?" "Speaking. Who's calling please?" "This is ---."
We used cell phones that I got from my friend Aiko who works at a cell phone shop. They were old demo phones that were outdated. Kids loved'm. We threw in "When's your birthday?" at the end of the conversation just to make the phone call legit.

6th Grade: Where do you want to go?
"Where do you want to go?" "I want to go to [insert Japanese prefecture here]"
Original and best answer of the day: "I want to go to bed!" Gotta love it.

During the day I was given fresh, homemade whole wheat bread, an apple flavored Kit-Kat, a lemon drop, homemade walnut ice-cream, 4 cups of coffee and a persimmon. Oh, and while we watched a recording of the latest school choral concert on a pull down screen in the lunch room, we ate fried chicken, black sesame seed bread, cauliflower salad and 'candy' cheese (small candy sized and shaped, individually wrapped discs of white processed cheese) for lunch.

After all of this I stayed for 2 more hours and planned next week's classes while it thundered and lighteninged outside.

Home by six, I made a concoction of rice, corn, refried beans and taco mix for dinner and sat down at my computer to play solitaire in order to flush my mind of the days events. In a move that is rare these days, I turned on the TV and the programme that was on was about 2 Canadian unicyclists who rode their bikes through Bhutan in the Himalayas. I can't make this stuff up...

And if that wasn't enough randomness for one day, I got a phone call from some teachers from Nyuzen High School who were out drinking tonight, asking me to come and join them. So, I did. 2 hours of drinking hot calpis and singing karaoke...the highlight was 'Let it Be' a debut song for me with help from a senior teacher.

Oh, Oh, Oh, just wait. One more thing. I got a text message as I was leaving for home from Sista K telling me a huge earthquake hit somewhere in Russia and there was a tsunami warning in efffect for Western Japan -I was shocked and a bit panicked -but she really meant Eastern Japan -which doesn't lessen the shock, but I don't have to panic quite yet...

I'm going to bed now in hopes of a normal Thursday (whatever that is....)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thar's snow in them thar mount'ns

It's coming, creeping slowly down one peak at a time, spreading it's pure white goodness...

Soon it will be on our doorsteps. OK, it'll be another month, but I can see it coming!!!

I went for dinner with my friends Kaz and Ai last night -we were discussing their upcoming wedding and my role in it. I get to do the KAMPAI (toast)! Yay. I'm not sure what I'm going to say yet, but what ever it is, it'll be mostly in Japanese.

But I digress -the point is that Ai-chan (being the great friend that she is) was kind enough to tell me that she and another friend are going snowboarding THIS WEEK!!!!!!!

GAH! Nice friend, ne? She had to rub it in by telling me that Kaz bought her all new boarding gear for her b-day. GAH!

Nice friend indeed, she told me she model the new duds from ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN.

I told her this wasn't something she should be rubbing in - I haven't written the speech yet....

Have fun Ai-chan, but be careful. You have to walk down the aisle in 4 weeks time!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Life Is Good

I've found Bernard Callebaut Choclate in Toyama!!!

Bernard Callebaut
I met Mr. Callebaut a few years ago when I was doing swim camps in Calgary. He gave us personal tours of his shop on McLeod Trail. Yay, a new store of omiyage!!

Temiyage and Omiyage:

In order to thank somebody, e.g. for an invitation, one often presents a gift (temiyage) such as a cake, Japanese sweets or sake. Similarly, when a Japanese person returns from a trip, he or she bring home souvenirs (omiyage) to friends, co-workers and relatives.

the source for Japanese gift giving (click)