Thursday, April 17, 2003

I also think it`s about time I posted a picture...

Japanese Culture Class

This pic is from today`s culture class. We got to wear kimonos, which were not easy to put on. It was taken with someone`s cell phone....darn, I wish my cell phone had a camera!

There are a lot of celebrities who seem like they would never stoop so low as to endorse a product and appear in commercials....only athletes do that! Well, you would be surprised that a LOT of celebrities endorse products overseas, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Willis, Ewan McGregor, and recently, Brittney Spears (well, she did the Pepsi thing back in the US...)! This morning, I was eating my breakfast when what should I see but a minivan commercial with (gasp!) Celine Dion and her little bambino, in which she pretty much states that she would only trust the safety of her child with a Chrystler minivan or something like that. So now not only do seemingly self-respecting celebrities go and endorse products overseas, they bring their kiddies along! :-P

Anyways, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Not much to say today...except that it`s a beautiful, summer-like day!

BendiStraw....stop being so hard on him! Give the poor guy a break!

But I feel like someone who hasn`t eaten all day and is being offered food that is snatched away before he/she can take a bite...Or a sleep-deprived person that is offered a bed but made to get up before she/he can fall asleep...

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Wet sakura petals, sticking to my bike, sticking to cars, to everything....

Last night, Don and I met up with Ayumu at Royal Host. We told him about the reading in our Japanese textbook that talked about the green and blue distinctions. I am sad to say that he had never heard of "midorigo" or even "midori no kurokami" and looked at us as if we were crazy. I guess those words are from old-fashioned Japanese that only the grannies use. But he DID make a beautiful origami crane from out of green paper for Don. We ended up having a very emotional talk about what was going to happen in the future and what we wanted to do with our lives...I guess I`m not the only one out there trying to figure things out.

It`s no longer a resemblance...there is indeed a bud, or at least I believe so, unless I am being used, but for some reason I doubt it....Finally, I got a more specific answer to when?. But I was kinda wierded out by what happened last evening. What will the bud bloom into...indeed, will it bloom at all?


Today in class, we read about the Japanese distinction between blue (aoi) and green (midori). Apparently, in old Japanese, they only had names for the colors, blue, red, white, and black, so both blue and green things were considered "blue" (or so the theory goes). Later on, the Japanese word for "green", or midori came to be, but at first, that word was used to describe anything fresh and new (which is similar to English`s usage of "green" to describe someone who is inexperienced). So to this day, the Japanese traffic lights` "green light" is called a "blue light" or aoshingo. Green leaves are called aoba, or "blue leaves" and green vegetables are called or aona or "blue vegetables". And to have a look of horror on your face is to have a "blue face" ( ! ). At the same time, the term for beautiful, black hair is or midori no kurokami or "green black hair" ( ! ) and the term to describe a newborn baby is midorigo, or "green child" (ewwwww....).
I guess it`s about time I should talk about what happened with Tanaka...

I will be honest with all of you: I think I fell for this guy in spite of the fact that I tried to be non chalant about going out with him. Well, maybe I didn`t fall for him as much as I was infatuated with him, since I only saw him three times ever and went on only two dates with him, but anywayz, you might as well know that I was thinking of him constantly while I was at home. At the same time, I was apprehensive because I didn`t know whether I would see him again, yet I was hopeful. After my interview, I dragged my mom over to the National Museum of Art for the very purpose of buying him an art book...yeah, I was still hopeful. But as I arrived at Narita Airport and stepped out into the wintry cold to wait for the shuttle bus, I said to myself, "It`s time to wake up and smell the coffee. You are never going to see him again." And my gut feeling was correct. I never did see him again.

The weekend after coming home, I went out with Don, Aymu, and Tadashii (the guy who had been with Ayumu and Tanaka the night we first met them). There had been a possibility of Tanaka coming, but he had been sick with bronchitis, so he didn`t come, which was understandable. That night, the four of us went to a yakkinikku restaurant which was delicious. It was during that meal that I told Ayumu that I liked Tanaka. Ayumu was quite encouraging, he was like, "You should call him" but, after the fiasco with unnamed person, where I was making all the moves without any reciprocation, I was really hesitant about calling him because I didn`t want to fall into that pattern again. I had also emailed Tanaka four times without any answer whatsoever. So I told Ayumu to tell him to call me. I ended up calling Tanaka a few days later to ask him how he was, but I got no answer. Ayumu said that it was probably because his phone was not working or because he had gone to the hospital, or something like that. And apparently, they had been extremely busy at work, so I didn`t want to interrupt Tanaka or bother him if he was really tired after work. The next weekend (or maybe it was two weekends later), Tanaka was feeling better. That weekend Tsveti, Don, Ayumu, and I went out. I thought that for sure Tanaka would come this time, but Ayumu told me that he wasn`t coming because he was "too tired". That`s when I began to worry. Later that night, Tadashii had joined us and we drove to Yokohama. We stopped by a convenince store, when I went up to Ayumu and I said to him, "I`m going to call him tomorrow, since he doesn`t have work". Ayumu seemed strangely hesitant as he told me that he may not answer because he`s usually away from his phone. That`s what floored me. Ayumu, who before, had been encouraging me to call him, was telling me that it may not be good idea. Also, on the two dates I had with Tanaka, I noticed that he had his cell phone hung around his neck. The only conclusion I could draw was that Ayumu knew something that he did not want to tell me....that perhaps Tanaka was not interested. I was really discouraged, but I decided to call him anyway, and of course, I got no answer. I know that he got indication that I called him (because all cell phones indicate when you missed a call) and if he had really wanted to talk to me, he would have called back. But anyway, I told myself that I somehow repulsed him and that I needed to start forgetting about him, but Don was kind enough to offer to ask Ayumu for the truth about how Tanaka felt. Well, while I was in Kyoto, I received a call from her telling me that she had talked to Ayumu and that he had told her that yes, Tanaka did like me but was too shy to do anything about it. So did I scare him away? For God`s sake, he`s 28 years old and he`s inexperienced with girls!? At this rate he will never get married (maybe he`ll find a wife via miai, or arranged marriage)! It makes me relieved that he wasn`t repulsed by me and that he enjoyed the time spent together as much as I did. Yet there`s a small part of me that wonders if that is the entire truth...To be honest, sometimes I feel sad that things didn`t work out with him, but...

I remember when we were at the park, and we saw that Don and Ayumu were walking towards where we were. I abruptly stood up, and as they came even closer, he covered his face with his hands in shame, or more like amused embarrasement. Later on, Don jokingly said, "You`re such a sellout!"--It brings a smile to my face when I look back on that moment.

Of course, I am moving on...And since coming back from the US, I have gone out a lot with Don and Ayumu on weekends, and I end up having a good time. I don`t want to get my hopes up, but lately there has been a small possibility for me...the semblance of a bud sprouting on a tree branch...let`s hope nothing happens to pluck it out.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Maybe what I`m afraid of is that I will never improve as a teacher and that they will give up on me....

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Sakura snow....Sakura petals falling like snow and covering the ground....it`s like a flowery winter!

Had a test today that I woke up late for. Figures, doesn`t it? Had a good weekend for the most part. My parents called last night, which was really nice of them. As always, I miss them....yet glad that I can live independently from them. They tell me that I should start looking for jobs either here or in the US and they are totally right....I have to figure out what I want to do after July and for me, that is not an easy decision to make. When I go for my gut feeling, it tells me that I really, really want to stay in Japan. I`ve gotten used to it and am beginning to make a life for myself here. I want to stay so I can practice my Japanese even more and become at least decent at it...I don`t think that staying for just 10 months is long enough to really learn the language. I don`t know....I`ve fallen in love with this place. Yet again, maybe I`m still in the "honeymoon stage" of my stay....but does that mean I`m going to hate it here later on??

But at the same time....another part of me just wants to go home, back to the familiar, back to where things are easier, and where I can communicate effectively. And I don`t know....but for some reason, every time I think of working at Berlitz for at least one more year, I am filled with dread. I have been having "methods", or disscussions with my supervisor about my "development" as a teacher, and, to make a long story short, I need a lot of work on that. I finally mentioned to him that I am thinking about staying and he didn`t seem that enthused. I can`t even teach decently! Which brings me to my big question: is it just a matter of sticking to it and working hard at it...or am I just simply not cut out to be a teacher? I never liked the idea of being a teacher and I don`t want to be a teacher for the rest of my life, but when I began working for Berlitz, I truly wanted to do a good job....I wanted to be a good teacher for these students. Now as I try to evaluate myself....I wonder: do I really want to do this or not?? Why am I feeling like this? Is it that I am afraid or is it that I really don`t want to be a teacher?? I can`t seem to figure my feelings out. I do know that I want to stay. Of course, even if I do, I WILL go back home after my time at Soka is over...even if just to visit for a few weeks. Still, getting a job at home is still an option, but I may not be as happy with that. I don`t want my friends and family at home to take this personally, but if I were to go home, I would feel that I have let myself down...that I "failed" or "chickened out". And like I said, I`ve really come to like this place. I WILL eventually return to the States permanently, because for sure, I want to go to grad school, and whatever I do during the next year is going to be a means to reach that goal. It`s a lot to think about, isn`t it? But I don`t have much time. I hope that I was able to get my thoughts across in a way that could be understood. I think I did for the most part.

I was an inspiration!

One of my friends here at Soka decided to follow in my footsteps and start her own blog about her experiences in Japan. I think that`s awesome! Read it if you dare! Here it is: "Lassie, come home!" ;-) ;-)

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