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Amparo Bertram

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04:14 pm: Preparing for fall semester
I went over my schedule today and got a general idea of what I'm in for. Of course, I won't know what the classes are like until I actually teach them, but I can start preparing. I'm only working with the students in the English track, of which there are roughly forty per grade (10th, 11th, and 12th). For each class, however, the students are broken sort of in half and go to separate rooms to take different lessons, so I'll only be teaching anywhere from 10-25 students at any given time.

My overall schedule looks like this:

Monday: 4 classes + English club
Tuesday: 2 classes
Wednesday: 3 classes
Thursday: 5 classes + English club
Friday: 5 classes + counseling exchange student from Hawaii

I will have one class Wednesday afternoon, but the rest don't begin until Thursday. I'll be starting off with a lot of self-introduction games.

This afternoon I had a brief meeting with the mayor, the superintendent, and a number of other people in charge of the international relations programs. The mayor, who was quite interested in my name, brought up the Da Vinci Code due to the religious connection (Maria). It was interesting to hear an opinion about the book from someone who doesn't have any kind of Christian background. He commented, "As far as we're concerned, Jesus is just a regular person."

During the meeting, I managed to stumble through the required short speech. Afterward, the superintendent quizzed me about what kinds of vegetables I like so he could bring me some from his garden. That was really thoughtful.



[User Picture]
Date:August 30th, 2004 08:03 am (UTC)
I love talking to folks whose background isn't Christian; their view of things is so very different from what I'm used to, and it's especially interesting to hear what they've got to say when they're trying to deal with a culture that is as steeped in Christian concepts and frames of reference as ours is.

A Hindu and a Buddhist once told me that, from their viewpoint, their two religions are very similar, but Christianity, Judaism and Islam were all essentially alike to them.
[User Picture]
Date:August 30th, 2004 02:24 pm (UTC)
I think it's particularly fascinating the way the Japanese will take aspects of other religions and adapt them to their own use. For example, most Japanese people would be considered Buddhist and/or Shinto, yet angel imagery is *everywhere*. <imagines Andrew meeting up with a Japanese shinigami> Not to mention the adaptation of holidays like Christmas and St. Valentine's Day and, more recently, Halloween. (I suppose it leads to less guilt...in Japan, Christmas really is nothing more than a commercial holiday, so there's no need to feel guilty about forgetting the "true meaning" of the season.)

I was just reading a story in which the characters discuss that the original reason women wanted to be June Brides was because Juno was the patron goddess of marriage. The characters comment that Japanese women borrowed the custom...yet in Japan, June is smack dab in the middle of the rainy season. Whoops.
[User Picture]
Date:August 30th, 2004 09:30 pm (UTC)

Beware the goya

Just make sure you don't accept any goya from the superintendent. I've confirmed for myself this weekend that they're absolutely disgusting. (Or else I cooked it wrong. Not really sure.)
[User Picture]
Date:August 30th, 2004 11:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Beware the goya

He gave me potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and satsumaimo. But I will be sure to avoid goya if I ever encounter it.
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