Tuesday, February 9, 2010

journal entries.


in case you hadn`t noticed, i`m pretty horrible at this blogging business.


thanks to mucho long hours in the teacher`s room, i was able to keep a pretty decent hour to hour journal. in this journal, i was able to record some fun school experiences that i probably would have forgotten otherwise. so...if you don`t mind, i`m just going to write a couple journal entries for your (and my...and my posterity`s...) personal enjoyment.


"you can`t be a lifesaver if you look like all the other swimmers on the beach."

so that`s a nice little quote that i just found written on one of the perforated edges of my notebook. i liked it and didn`t want to lose it. so now it has a permanent home. you`re welcome.

i LOVE my students!! i absolutely adore them! the more i do this, the more i think that maybe i`m cut out for this after all! like, to do professionally. i definitely want to come back here sometime. oh, i seriously just love them!

so we played a great game today. we played this game where the teacher put all these japanese words up on the board, like sumo and kotatsu and hinamatsuri and doraemon, et cetera. the kids had to explain them to me in english and i had to guess what they were trying to describe. it was a really fun game...for me, anyway. the kids too, i think. at least, they looked like they were having fun. japanese kids sure get competitive...but at the same time they`re still super polite. it`s pretty funny. i love looking out the window and watching the boys play soccer in p.e., because it makes me laugh. there will be those times where they all close in on the ball at the same time, and instead of there being a frenzied battle for who gets to kick the ball, the japanese kids all kind of hesitate and try to let the other person go first. it makes me laugh.

but anyways, back to this game...it was super fun. it was hilarious to hear the english phrases they`d come up with. especially when they were trying to describe sumo. the common ones were "two fat boys!" and "big humans!" but my favorite was when this girl exclaimed, "nude men!!!". i kid you not.

another word was otoshidama, which is which is the money that people give children on new year`s. most kids just said, "new year`s money," but this one girl, who had her head in her hand looking super duper bored, said, "give me money", without changing her bored expression. oh my stars, it was funny. ...maybe you had to be there...

anyway. i love these kids.


some engrish i have encountered here in the school:

on pencil cases --

* comfortable life. good time must continue.

* smile & punch.

* i`m feeling very cheerful in my mind.

* i want to be a fairy and fly to a tropical island.

* my little friend is mushroom hair!

* gothic hour: we are happy in every respect!

on a notebook --

* primitive notebook: this is the most comfortable notebook you have ever run into. you will feel like writing in it every day.

things kids have said to me --

* i want to became a work.

* do you play kiss?

* do you flower?

* are you a human?

* [a slew of inappropriate questions i won`t repeat here]

* domestic violence!!!

* my dream to be an office man.

* i have your members in my family.

* (describing kotatsu) hot carpet!!

i know there`s more. i get tons more each day! i wish i could remember them all.

i just did some interacting with my favorite 9th grade class. i love riho and ayaka. they are my secret favorites. there`s another ayaka in that class as well who is super cute. but there is also a girl named yuki who scares me a little bit. she often tries to undo my buttons and steal my raincoat. today she chased me around whipping me with a rag. and she flipped me off. yeah, she`s a little scary to me. i`ll probably be avoiding that class now. it`s been a while since i played with the 7th graders... i need to go hang out with them more often. starting next break period. woo! avoiding 9th grade, chilling with 7th grade, ignoring 8th grade. i feel like i`m a judgmental junior high kid again. help , i`m regressing to the worst 3 years of my life!!! aaaaaauuuuuugggghhhh!!!


yuki still scares me. i tried avoiding her today, but she found me. she flips me off all the time, but thankfully, she doesn`t know any offensive english. i`m so grateful that the most unsettling things she`s ever said to me are "go home, butt head!". the day that she learns the f word will be the day that i am reduced to tears.

speaking of cussing students, it intrigues me that one of the few phrases they know is taking the Lord`s name in vain. that`s one they say a LOT. but it`s so funny to me, because they never pronounce that last letter. not even the english teacher (who also really loves that phrase). it`s always, "oh my gah!" so i imagine a sh at the end and i feel better about life.

there`s this 8th grade boy who freaks out every time he sees me. he always yells, "golden colored hair!!! golden colored hair!!!" really loud, and then speaks a lot of really loud japanese. so i ask him, "how are you?" and he goes, "EH???" like i spoke swahili to him or something. it`s routine, i tell you. happens every time. that boy is really learning. he`s hilarious though. i have no idea what he`s saying, but he makes me laugh. he speaks a lot of really fast, really loud japanese to me, interspersed with "golden color hair!!" and (his favorite) "oh my gah!!" and "michael jackson!!" it`s a trip talking to him. i might miss him. then he points at his fellow classmates and says things in japanese and asks me to repeat, as if he`s introducing them to me. now, i learned my lesson the last time that happened to me (girls introduced this other girl as something, and i called to her in the hall and everyone laughed at me. turns out the "name" they introduced her with is actually a really crude word in japanese. bums.) so, instead of falling in his trap, i just point back at him and say whatever he called the other students. makes for grand entertainment, apparently. many much laughter happened. even from "golden colored hair!" boy. good times.

so i just got done with lunch. lunch was delicious today. i`m really learning to love rice. i really wouldn`t mind eating it for every meal. maybe i`ll make some for every meal when i get back to the states! always ensuring that i`m eating SOME thing healthy. it shall be done.

but anyways, i just ate lunch with class 3-1. i LOVE those ninth graders! they are my very favorites, easy. it`s so easy to make them laugh. that`s not the only reason i love them, though! that`s just part of it. :)

ANYway, after lunch, we played this impromptu game of musical chairs. i don`t think musical chairs has ever been so fun! i LOVED it! haha! they`re competitive, but they sure don`t get as rough as they would back in the states. these girls act a bit too delicate. i bumped this one girl just a little...the way she reacted, you`d think she`d been hit by a car. she went flying. they gave me plenty of room after that... i need to keep japanese "fragility" in mind next time we play this game.


haha...the deputy principal (whom i love) just asked me, via the english teacher, if he could take a picture of me for the school paper. he looked really concerned. i smiled and said, "of course!" and he was so funny. he acted really excited after that. this man is so animated and so nice. one of my favorite people here. one of my other favorite people here is the p.e. teacher. she is a delightful lady, who wears tons of makeup and has a mullet. a mullet. this lady doesn`t speak a word of english, but she smacks me every time she sees me. "liz! 尾は世緒! (good morning!)" she`ll say, and then smack my shoulder, and walk away. sometimes she pops me one on the head. and that`s all the interaction we have. i love her. one time, i dropped something and it made a lot of noise. she started to laugh at me, and then whacked me. so i laughed with her. and she whacked me again. and walked away. good times. i wish i could speak japanese. i bet she`d be a riot to talk to.

anyway, i told the principal that of course he could take my picture! and he smiled and said thank you a bunch of times. then he looked at me, gave me a thumbs and said, "so...no privacy?" with this big smile on his face. this is the man who told me i gave a good speech on my first day. i love his english best. i returned the gesture and said, "no privacy!" so he took my picture.

i haven`t really experienced any form of culture shock. i`ve gotten homesick, definitely, but no culture shock. yet, at least. but then, i`ve been here for almost a whole month now. you`d think it would have struck me by now. the only thing that`s really frustrating is that i can`t speak/understand japanese, natrually. but that doesn`t get me down, really. i`m able to pay attention to what`s going on around me and respond accordingly. (with MUCH help from above, i`m sure) and then, i just tune everything out. it doesn`t bother me. i have complete confidence that i can take care of myself, despite the language barrier. it`s a great feeling; and i know i don`t get it on my own.

it`s really interesting to listen to the teachers talk. however, it`s kind of bizarre when i hear them say my name. i totally know when they`re talking about me...i just can`t understand anything else. and they know i can`t understand anything else. it`s like watching people whispering to each other, but saying your name really loudly; you have no idea what they`re saying, but you know it involves you. i always assume that they`re saying nice/harmless things, because what japanese person would have the audacity to talk smack about me in front of my face, whether i can understand them or not? well, actually, i can think of a few -- yuki -- but no one i work with would do that. or, at least, i don`t think they would...

eh, i don`t really care. for reals.

so the vice principal came and showed me what the school paper will look like. the picture of me is really dorky, but oh well. as i said, i don`t really care. he pointed to my picture and said, "super star!!" and i laughed really hard in my mind.


hey february. how`s it going? you brought snow with you, i see. i`m not terribly happy about that. but it`s okay. thinnest layer of snow i have ever seen. i`m amazed that it even stuck. naturally, the japanese are a little freaked out about it and keep telling me to be very careful and watch my step. nice people.

so i just finished lunch with a 3rd year class. they are just so much fun!! they taught me a couple japanese dances (henna ojisan...) and they went wild when i did the moon walk. it`s so easy to make them laugh. i just pretended to be a sumo and they thought that was hilarious. i now fully understand the meaning of the phrase, "roaring with laughter". i`ve reduced two separate classes to that state of being. onto the next junior high... haha, i hope they think i`m funny over there and they`re not a school full of yukis.

anyway, lunch. today, everyone arranged their desks in a circle. "party for liz!", the teacher said. i liked the circular arrangement. it was quite nice! they had me sit between two of the teachers, very nice people. i jan-ken`d for the last piece of carrot cake and lost, but they gave it to me anyway. yessssss. nice children. they also had this fried chicken sort of thing for lunch. it was delicious and not even greasy! i loved it. plus! there were heart shaped carrots in my soup! they must have a special carrot cookie cutter or something. i LOVED it! i want a carrot cookie cutter or whatever it was. want.

i love this school!! this is the beginning of my last week here. :( better live it up!

journal entries...finished. sorry all my posts are a million years long. :( i have a tendency to...oh my gosh, what is that word...babble!!! yes, that`s the word. i almost said blather, and then i almost said bladder, and those both sounded wrong. i need to go to bed now.

more to come, i PROMISE.

peace out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

erizabesu, queen of engrand.

i have recently dubbed myself the queen of engrand.

because i`m queen of finding engrish in japan.

say hello to the latest selection of engrish, found in a shopping center in noda called jusco. this is my new favorite place because it has three levels of goodness, including clothing stores, 100¥stores, a pet store, a music store, post office, and a grocery store. and like two arcades. it`s like target, but on steroids and japanese. oh, and better than target. you know what? it`s actually its own brand of awesomeness so i don`t really have anything in the united states to compare it to. just imagine something awesome and you probably will imagine jusco. (post script: i actually love target. i miss it mucho.)

anyways, another reason that i love this wonderful place is because of all the engrish i saw there. i`m pretty sure the employees thought i was insane, because i was snapping pictures of everything and laughing my head off. but i don`t even care what they think.

now it`s your turn to laugh your head off and make people think you`re insane. enjoy the jusco engrish.

it`s a pretty hat, i just have no idea what it means. haha.

seriously. what is this supposed to mean??

i`ve always been taught to steer clear of the love traps.

cross my heart indeed.

i like my happy stockings to have bizazz.

i need some socks that will change me pretty.


no, thank YOU.

that really is a happy price for clothes. but an even happier price would be free.

goos quality sweatshirt.

i wonder why.

i wish i knew what they were really trying to say.

congratulations on your likable personality. (at least they spelled likable right)


i would also like to follow this example.

that`s what i would do if i saw you wearing that t-shirt. i would mutter in a small voice, wondering whether or not you have been officially diagnosed as crazy.

i have found the cure for heart disease!!


incomplete sentences are my favorite.

please don`t knock my heart. i don`t want anyone gripping my mind.

brilliant logic. (you can`t really tell from this photo, but the picture on that t-shirt is a little kid pushing a shopping cart. whatever.)

yes. that says break wind.

oh, the grory!!

more grory...

i sort of wish this said "recovering loveholic" because that would be funny.

i think they mean japanese...

oh, no wonder my music life isn`t happy...i have the wrong earphones.

i just love how they advertise themselves.

melodramatic earphones?? my favorite!!

i just laugh hysterically every time i read this one.

...why would you keep your underwear in a pouch...?

i just love the fine print on this one. it makes me laugh.

man, the engrish speakers are just so good at pick-up lines.

i wish this was a t-shirt.

i like the piggy ashtray.

that makes sense. i guess...

purely face. i love that.

i can`t imagine any gift that would require a rest before opening.

that is just so profound...

this one just made me laugh really hard when i saw it. just like most of the engrish i see...

thanks to the punctuation on this one, i read this with a frank costanza voice in my mind.

oooooh, so that`s how it works!!

even the pencil cases here are friendly...

this one gets a prize for being the most incomplete sentence ever.

yes, let`s!

there are a lot of tastes i have fallen in love with, especially since coming to japan. yum.

yes, it`s true. you would be VERY lucky to see that. haha.

if anyone ever wanted to know what it`s like to have dinner at the sandersons...it`s kind of like that.

no one should trust me with their deliciousness. i will devour their deliciousness, probably.

aw, how sweet. and convoluted.

this is probably my very favorite engrish ever. EVER.

more to come. i guarantee it.