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Lunch today

I've discovered that if I go home I can make myself a large lunch salad and read a book while I eat. I've never had this luxury before, where going home for lunch is a viable option. Today, I had a salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red kidney beans, avocado, and a hard boiled egg …

The last class with the 3rd Years

This term was the last one in which I had classes with the third year students. They were the grade level I mostly taught this first year in Japan. I don't know if I'd count them fully "my" students -- I came in the middle of the term in August -- but we had some …

Atami’s MOA

Last weekend, I went to Atami's Museum of Art with a friend, Sol. She had gotten free tickets as a birthday gift and invited me. Luckily, I love museums -- art or otherwise -- so I was pretty jazzed to go. And, I like Atami. It's a beach city right on the coastline, particularly popular …

“Boys don’t cook”

We're doing presentations in class today and since the lesson from the textbook was instructions, I had the students write a simple recipe in English, then present it in front of class with some sort of visual -- poster, PowerPoint, etc. Did I know that some of the groups would consist of only boys? Yes. Was I …

Quick update, more coming soon!

So it's been about two and half, three weeks since Golden Week (the only "real holiday" teachers seem to have in Japan, when three national holidays coincide and you only need to take 2 days off to get a full week break). I went to Cambodia, I had a blast, it was extremely, mind-searingly hot and …

OK I understand now, sakura blossoms are beautiful

Japanese cherry blossoms, or sakura, are famous. They're known for their beauty, delicacy, and limited lifespan. Even the Japanese go ga-ga for their sakura and they see them every year. And in animes, mangas, etc., they symbolize romance, beauty, wistful reminescence...But I get it now, Japan. I understand, because damn those sakura blossoms are beautiful. And the petals really do float on the wind when there's a breeze. And they are oh so picturesque. Where before I wondered if sakura could really be all that, now, I nod in agreement.

Some thoughts about ethnicity in Japan

Recently, the Miss Universe Japan contestant was chosen. While usually I wouldn’t care (I view beauty pagants as a persistant, obsolete, and patronizing trend from a by-gone era), the Japanese contestant has sparked controversy because she’s the first Japanese contestant who is of mixed heritage.