Monday, June 26, 2006

Trivia for week of June 26th

Which nifty Coldplay video required lead singer Chris Martin to figure out how to sing his lyrics backward in order to fit to the narrative, which plays out in reverse as the video unspools?

Answer for week of June 5th (highlight line below):
Frank Sinatra

Day Two of Tennis @ Hamayama Park

Day Two of Tennis @ Hamayama Park - 2
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

On June 13th and 14th, my Jr High basically shut down while members of the various sports teams at my school went off to compete in city wide competitions.

I'm not kidding about the shutting down part - that Tuesday and Wednesday, the kids that did have to come to school (the kids in the band or chorus or not in a club for instance) got to go home both days after third period, and there were no classes to teach as the first three periods were basically study hall periods.

What's funny is how much complaining you hear here about the declining academic performance of Japanese students and how they should go back to a 6-day school week, but then you have days like this where everything stops for sports. Hmmmm....

Anyway, these teams from my school were competing:
Kendo, judo, baseball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and track & field.

So I had to go to shogakko during the day both days, but after lunch I was free to go and cheer on my kids. Last year I didn't have my car yet, but this year I was mobile, so I headed over to the local sports ground (Hamayama Park) on Tuesday to watch Tennis, and then I caught the end of the volleyball competitions at another local Jr High.

It was really fun seeing my kids compete and cheering them on, since I was the only one shouting encouragment in English.

What's kinda sad is as I go to more and more of these special events, how little I see other ALTs. I know many don't have just one base school like I do, but some could make the effort and support their kids, cuz they love seeing us there.

On Wednesday it was more volleyball (we lost), a little soccer (we won), and the girls tennis finals (we won).
Track n Field was actually happening that Sunday, and I went to that too (pictures soon).

Click on the pic here for more pics of the various sports.

Go! Fight! Win!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

My brother, Paul, in Iraq

My brother, Paul, in Iraq
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

My younger brother, Paul, is a soldier in the American Army and currently he's serving his one-year rotation in Iraq.

He sent me this pic recently to show me how hot it is where he is. He said it's actually closer to 130.F, but the thermometer stops at 120.

I guess it's hard for me to complain now about getting sweaty after singing and dancing to "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" with fifty-five 9-year-olds at one of my shogakko, that has no air-con, when Paul is out there with a 50-lbs pack and lugging an M-16.

Paul will hopefully be back in America in November and I'll get to see him when I go home to San Diego for Xmas.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My trip to Dogo (Oki)

My trip to Dogo (Oki)
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

In early June I took the ferry from the mainland and went out to Dogo island in the Oki chain off the coast of Shimane. Four JETs live on Dogo, the largest island in the Oki chain.

My friends Liz & Eri, who came to stay at my place over New Years, are both going home in July after two years on the island. So I wanted to say good bye and see Dogo, as I'd never been before. (I've been to Nishinoshima and Chibu in Oki, but never Dogo)

Donna, a first year ALT, is also leaving Dogo, but she's staying with the JET Programme, she just transferred to the mainland.

I arrived on Saturday afternoon, after missing my scheduled ferry. So I had to pay a little extra and I took the Rainbow ferry, which makes it out to Dogo in just over an hour, instead of the 2 1/2 hours the normal ferry takes.

We hung out on Saturday, chatted, watched a flick, had dinner at a Chinese restaurant and then sang some karaoke.

Sunday Liz and I did a fair amount of walking as she showed me around Dogo, then we went bowling and had dinner at a brand-new Italian restaurant, the only one on the island.

Monday I went to one of Liz's school and then we attended a local festival that's a pretty big deal apparently.

Had a great time and Liz was a great host.


2006 Taisha JH Pep Rally

2006 Taisha JH Pep Rally
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

click on this pic to see other pics from my Jr High's summer sports pep rally.

I'm gonna try to upload about 100 pics in the next few days so there should be plenty to look at soon.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

3-4 girls & their pencil cases

3-4 girls & their pencil cases
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I added about 10 pics of kids in one of my 9th grade classes and their pencil cases - some real interesting choices for something to hold your pencils.

Check em out by clicking on the this pic.


Trivia for week of June 5th

Which musical legend, known as "The Voice" in the 1940s, recorded over 1,500 songs in the course of his lifetime?

Last Week's Answer (highlight line below):
"Thank you."