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Amparo Bertram

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05:37 pm: If it's in the textbook, it must be true...
The weather has cooled down to the point that it's in the 50s when I wake up in the morning. I'm going to have to haul out the heater pretty soon.

Yesterday a pair of students came to my desk and gave me a piece of candy in return for the Halloween treats. It was the cutest thing. ^_^

Another thing that happened yesterday was that a group of teachers, office personnel, and other people from Ritsumeikan came to introduce themselves. It seems they will be observing/inspecting the school. They didn't show up in any of my classes, but I saw them walking around the building during the day.

I had some idle time, so I read the footnotes at the bottom of the teacher's manual for one of my textbooks. Usually I ignore such notes, because they typically explain little nuances of English and foreign culture for JTEs, so it isn't generally anything I need to know. This particular lesson involved a party setting, so this footnote was about parties.

It said to explain to the students that, if they ever go to a party at an American's house, they will notice that the house has incandescent lights. Japanese houses, in contrast, are as a rule lit mainly with fluorescent lights. The students are to be warned that they will find the lighting in the American's home dimmer than they are accustomed to, but they should also know that the dim lighting facilitates social interaction at parties.

This is followed by an explanation that the probable reason Americans use incandescent lighting is that, unlike the hardy brown eyes of Japanese people, Americans' blue eyes are weak and therefore find fluorescent lighting too bright. It adds that this is why so many non-Japanese people wear sunglasses.

...Now I know where the City of Glass author gets it. She must have learned it in school.

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[User Picture]
From:basicblack
Date:November 2nd, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)
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Americans' blue eyes are weak...

Hee. That's very special indeed. I expect the reason we westerners have carpets in our houses instead of tatami mats is because our pale white feet are too soft to be able to walk on them, too...
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:November 2nd, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC)
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I expect the reason we westerners have carpets in our houses instead of tatami mats is because our pale white feet are too soft to be able to walk on them, too...

The rumor I heard about tatami is that people from a tatami mat culture are uptight about things spilling on the floor and therefore clean right away, whereas people from a non-tatami culture don't care so much if things spill. So...Japanese people are neat and foreigners are sloppy...? (This idea was put forth in an interview with a Japanese woman married to a foreigner.)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:November 2nd, 2005 04:34 am (UTC)
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I'm going to have to haul out the heater pretty soon.

Heh. Choco and I are already enjoying the kotatsu. :P

Americans' blue eyes are weak and therefore find fluorescent lighting too bright.

Agh. I remember kaitou1412 telling me about this, but I didn't realize it came out of a textbook.

Maybe if I get enough magic Japanese water in my eyes, it'll turn them brown (like it's turning my hair brown), and then the florescent lights in my apartment won't hurt my eyes so badly.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:November 2nd, 2005 01:48 pm (UTC)
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Choco and I are already enjoying the kotatsu.

I would whine...but I can't really justify it, since I HAVE a kotatsu, I just don't use it.

and then the florescent lights in my apartment won't hurt my eyes so badly.

You poor thing, forced to wear sunglasses even indoors by such a cruel twist of fate.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:November 2nd, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
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Okay, the embarrassing thing for me is I never turn the fluorescent lights on in my office (because they are too harsh for my weak blue eyes).
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:November 2nd, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
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I think it has to do with how bright the lights are, though. The lights in my apartment, for instance, don't bother me at all, but if I go to a mall or department store, it can be very irritating.

There is some truth to it...blue eyes can be more sensitive. (The optometrist I used to go to recommended aerosol saline for my dad and I because it doesn't contain as many harsh chemicals to irritate our sensitive blue eyes. Of course, I now use saline with said harsh chemicals and have no problems, so you never know.) It's just absurd to make such a big deal about it.
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