Previous Current Older Next Contact

2005-11-07 11:22 a.m.

the world owes me a living


You know, Iíve been noticing a lot of disturbing trends against privacy these days. Besides the Patriot Act, thereís these damn RFID things (which theyíre going to be putting in our passports), and did you know theyíre going to start tracking us using our cell phones now (you can bet the Justice Department wants in on THAT action)? Oh, and Sony is now clandestinely installing malware on our computers. This is all starting to freak me out, but Iím not sure what to do about it. As with so many other things, I feel like most people donít really care, and wonít care until weíre already irrevocably fucked.

Anyway, letís talk about me! Last Wednesday I went on a picnic with the first and second graders. Thursday was a holiday, but I did some songs on guitar at the townís cultural festival. Friday I did a lesson on North Korea with my high school kids, and then after school we got together to make California rolls and nikujaga (which is kind of a meat and potatoes stew kind of thing) according to instructions in their English conversation book. I had a cold, so I didnít help; I just gave orders.

Yes, that is what they pay me for. When Iím not surfing the internet or traveling the world, I go on picnics, play guitar, and force teenagers to look at pictures of my vacations before they have to make me dinner. Eh. Itís a living.

Though I feel like my time here is already drawing to a close. My first year here was lovely in that for the first time in my life since early childhood, if even then, I was perfectly content to be where I was and I wasnít chomping at the bit to move on to the next thing. I wasnít really even thinking about what would come next. But thatís not the case now that Iím busily toiling away on grad school applications, already pondering how I will get all my stuff back to the U.S. and how WTF will fit into my post-JET world.

I think I will be really sad to leave this place. I really love it here. Over the weekend was the townís yearly festival, and it was odd, because I really got a feeling like I was actually part of the community. I felt like Iíd been accepted into the group, in a way. I never dreamed Iíd experience such a feeling in Japan. But everyone here knows me, everyone is happy to see me, and I know most of their faces and a lot of the names (especially the kids). This is partly just because Iím a gaijin; Iím noticeable because Iím obviously different and because Japanese culture has glamorized and romanticized my physical features to the point that for many people itís impossible to interact with me as a human being. But itís not just that. Not only do they all know me, they all know each other. Itís that kind of town. I think I kind of like that. It can be annoying when everyone seems to know (or think they know) your business, which goes double when youíre the token foreigner, but fortunately Iíve mastered the art of doing what I will do without worrying what the neighbors will think. All in all I have been and continue to be quite happy here.

I wonít stay, though. Even if I get rejected at every school I apply to, I wonít stay another year. In January the town is merging administratively with the Bigger City thatís closest to it on the mainland. At that time I will become an employee of the Bigger City Board of Education. In March the high school on the Rock will close its doors for good when the last five students graduate. (After that Iíll have to start going to the mainland on Fridays to teach the whole day at Bigger City middle schools. Right now I have a half day on Fridays.) Itís just not going to be the same place anymore. I feel like Iíve come here at the end of an era. In another three years or so the bridge to the mainland will be finished, and then the transformation will be complete. I know that if I stay here too much longer, it will spoil.

That little girl (sheís eight now) who first started coming to my English conversation class is a busy little thing. Besides studying English, she plays piano (surprisingly well) and does yosakoi dancing and taiko drumming. Her mother says she does it all of her own initiative, and I believe her. Iíve grown quite fond of the kid, like sheís the niece I donít have. Her mother seems to have decided that itís her job to take care of me, in between asking me appallingly personal questions about my relationship with WTF. (I guess thatís what I get for bringing her around here.)

Iím tuckered out. I spent most of the weekend playing tagÖ

This may seem like a weird thing to say, but, after having spent so much time working with children and adolescents the past couple of years, I feel like, were I to be married, that Iíd be ready for children whenever my wife wanted them. I know as well as any teacher how aggravating kids can be, but Iím really looking forward to fatherhood, actually. I would not look forward to a career of teaching adolescents, however.

Peyote, huh?

Oh yeah. The Cancerous Ex is, miraculously, back from the dead. I know how worried you were. It turns out that when he took the drugs to kill himself, he did not die but instead entered a dream state, where WTFís grandmother came and spoke to him about her. (WTFís grandmother is not dead, either, incidentally.) He says he has a great many important things that he needs to tell her. She continues to ignore him.

Iíve been spending a lot of time with Wikipedia lately. The other day I was reading the article about the English civil war and found this sentence: ďTwo large historical societies exist, The Sealed Knot and The English Civil War Society, which regularly re-enact events and battles of the Civil War in full period costume because they are douchebags.Ē It seems to have been corrected now, but that was pretty funny.

I seem to have lost interest in forex the time being.

If you havenít seen them, some of my Yakushima pictures are here.

And remember, think of the Domo-kuns!

i donít care if you donít care,