Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Speech contest



Yesterday was the Speech Contest. Here is the story. When I first got to Japan Jackie and I spent everyday working with kids on their speeches for the big speech contest. Each school got to submit one star student. So Jackie and I met with each one, we recorded ourselves reading their five min. long speeches, (which were actually the English teachers’ speeches, for they are the ones that translated them into English, and then We had to rewrite many of them because of all the errors). So, The teachers write it, we correct it, tape it, and then the kids memorize it and recite it on stage in front of everybody. So the contest went well, even though it was a little ridiculous. At night I went to another welcome party for me, and I have now mastered the beer pouring ritual. IN Japan, at a dinner party, if you want to talk to someone at another table, you go sit down next to them and pour them a beer, then they pour you a beer, and then you talk. Also, if you want your glass filled, you pour someone else’s, and then they fill yours. It is a ritual. I pour, you pour. I drank a lot, but very slowly so I didn’t get drunk. But imagine an eager Japanese man, eyes twinkling, wanting to practice English, and seeing that your cup is already full, so he cannot do the ritual, and thus, he cannot talk to you.
I learned form one of my favorite fellow teachers that The Prime Minister Koizumi last year told all business men to start wearing short sleeve button up shirts in order to reduce the amount of energy consumed by air conditioners, for he thought it might help slow down global warming. Well, my teacher friend said it worked, and decreased the energy consumed by air conditioners by 50 %! That figure must be wrong, but I am glad the prime minister is at least making suggestions to solve this problem.
Same teacher said she hates the bush administration for not joining the Kyoto accord. We had an interesting conversation about that. We also talked about Niihama, my city, and how it is the “armpit of Japan” because it is a new city founded by the chemical plants. I don’t think it’s too bad, though. A bike ride away from the mountains, the temples, the train station. Nothing wrong with that! It does smell bad thought. Sometimes in the morning my apartment smells like burning plastic.

1 comment:

lau said...

that smell will stay in your memory forever

May all beings be Free and in Love.



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