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Amparo Bertram

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08:09 pm: Only two days in, and I'm ready for the weekend
Last night I was called by a newspaper person polling voters for the upcoming election. It should have tipped her off when I answered the phone with "Hello?" (rather than the Japanese Moshi moshi?)...but no. She went on to tell me about the poll and asked if I was a registered voter. My hesitent requests for repetition (since it took me a couple tries to figure out what she was talking about--"registered voter" isn't really among my vocabulary words) didn't daunt her either. Finally I apologized and said flat out that I'm not Japanese.

Today I brought some of my books on Japanese idioms and slang to show to one of the other teachers assigned to give classes to the exchange student. (Two of the teachers are sharing an introductory textbook for their classes with her, and one will be teaching her how to write kanji, so the fourth decided she should concentrate more on culture.)

One of the books I brought was Japanese Street Slang. I warned the teacher that it contained words that she would probably consider inappropriate, but her eyes lit up and she said she wanted to read it.

Shortly thereafter, she opened the book to a random page and burst out laughing that the first item listed was okama. <snicker>

I was rather surprised when, after classes were over, two students dropped by the teachers' room and started chatting with me. They announced that they had a bunch of free time on their hands, so they were just hanging out. They wound up talking with me (mostly in English, even) for the better part of an hour.

One amusing bit from this discussion was when we were talking about how I don't eat meat, but I had watched animals (chickens in particular) being butchered before. One of the students was like, ewwww. She declared, "I like meat, but not kill. Peace. ...Peace and meat." (I just about died from the "Peace and Meat" slogan.)

After I got home, I worked on the rest of the cosmetic changes to my home page. Maybe it's a bit on the gaudy side...but once I started playing with decorations, I couldn't stop myself. ^_^;

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[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 2nd, 2005 06:23 am (UTC)
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I really laughed at the first part because it sounds a whole lot like this. Not only that, but I got a call this evening that went like this:

Me: Moshi moshi?
Lady:*some babble about an NHK survey*
Me(very slowly): Sumimasen, nihongo wakarimasen.

She apologized and hung up. It was great. XD
[User Picture]
From:wrenwyn
Date:September 2nd, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC)
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I'm so excited! I know exactly what you said, wednesday_10_00!! Weeeeee!

hehe

(=^.^=)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 2nd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
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I really laughed at the first part because it sounds a whole lot like this.

I thought of you when I figured out what she was asking. ^_^

Me(very slowly): Sumimasen, nihongo wakarimasen.

<g> I often feel like that on the telephone.
[User Picture]
From:firesign10
Date:September 2nd, 2005 06:55 am (UTC)
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What a great new slogan!! That is too funny! Sound's like a cattleman's campaign platform...a la "a chicken in every pot"

Pretty decorations!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 2nd, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Pretty decorations!

Thanks! (I spent far too long on them, though...I tend to get carried away.)
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:September 2nd, 2005 01:08 pm (UTC)

Whoa!!!

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Your new web homepage background is psychedelic! It takes me back to my college days and the posters all around the place.

How cool that the students just wanted to hang out with you and chat in English for such a while. I can't imagine my Spanish students EVER choosing to do that in Spanish. Hmmmm... maybe I'll offer them the opportunity for a tertulia for extra credit. (Is that bribery?)

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 2nd, 2005 02:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Whoa!!!

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I can't imagine my Spanish students EVER choosing to do that in Spanish.

Well, one of them had spent a year as an exchange student in Hawaii. The other is one of the sharpest in the senior class, and her sister is married to an American (former ALT, I believe...she talked about how he taught her all kinds of dirty words <snicker>). They're both thinking about applying to universities in the US.

Speaking of exchange students...I heard that the current exchange student to Michigan (I believe attending Tecumseh high school?) has been having a rough time. The report was that she missed the school bus right off the bat and has been crying a lot. ;_; I hope she feels better soon.

The teachers were commenting that the students we send to the States simply HAVE to be good at English--the one who's there now is the second-best in her class, and even she's having problems--in contrast to the students who come here, who generally don't know much more than basic greetings in Japanese.

Hmmmm... maybe I'll offer them the opportunity for a tertulia for extra credit. (Is that bribery?)

It certainly sounds like good practice for them.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:September 3rd, 2005 07:00 am (UTC)

Re: Whoa!!!

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I am so sorry to hear about the exchange student's sad beginning. I wrote three of the compassionate language teachers at THS to make them aware of the situation and to ask their support for her. I know they will be discreet. I hope it improves quickly for her. She is doing a very difficult thing.
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