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Amparo Bertram

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06:01 am: At least it wasn't the "show up at work naked" dream...
Friday, my first-year students had to practice a conversation in which they ask each other what chores they do at home. Among the suggested ideas was "mow the lawn," which stumped everyone. My team teacher translated it into Japanese...still a room full of blank faces. The team teacher asked, "How many of you have a yard with grass in it?"

Dead silence.

Japanese houses, as a rule, don't have lawns. For one thing, of course, many people live in apartments, and the apartment complexes don't have yards. They're lucky if they have parking. Even people who own their own houses don't have much yard space; the typical house is surrounded by a concrete block fence, with the house itself built almost all the way to the fence. If there is any yard at all, it is used for vegetable gardens, rock gardens, or artistically trimmed trees and bushes. Not grass.

The same topic came up Monday in the other half of the class, and one student raised her hand. So, out of thirty students, only one had a yard with grass.

On Saturday, I went to a speech contest with four of my English club students. None of my students placed...I didn't get to see their performances, since I was judging in another room, but they say they got so nervous they forgot the words. I should be getting a comp day off for this at some point.

After the contest, I went to meet up with gnine when she got off work and picked up her sister in Kyoto. We then spent about an hour wandering the streets in search of a restaurant that was A) vegetarian friendly and B) not soba/tempura. It was about 11pm by the time I got back home.

Sunday, I took my watch to a watch shop to try to have the band fixed. One of the straps had fallen off, and I couldn't reattach it. Unfortunately, the lady at the watch shop couldn't reattach it either.

Monday morning, I woke up to my watch alarm as usual, made my morning preparations, and set off to work. I was a bit worried when I didn't see any students at the corner waiting to cross the street...was there something going on that I didn't know about? Was the school closed for some reason? I got inside to find the faculty room open, with the lights and stoves on...but completely vacant. I looked all around and finally glanced at the clock, to see that it was an hour earlier than my usual arrival time. Just then, the vice-principal walked in, and I asked if the time on the clock was right. I couldn't understand how I could have arrived an hour early, since Japan doesn't have daylight savings time or anything similar.

I went back home, whereupon I checked my watch...to see that it was set an hour ahead. The lady at the watch store must have accidentally reset the time when she was messing with the strap.

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[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:February 20th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
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Among the suggested ideas was "mow the lawn," which stumped everyone.

Why was it even in the suggested ideas? Was this from a textbook, or something else?

The lady at the watch store must have accidentally reset the time when she was messing with the strap.

D'oh! Well, at least she didn't set it an hour behind...
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 21st, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
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Was this from a textbook, or something else?

It was in the textbook.

Well, at least she didn't set it an hour behind...

That would have been very sad. I would have missed out on my Warcraft-playing time. ;_;
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:February 21st, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
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It was in the textbook.

Is this an ESL textbook made for Japanese students, or just a regular old English book?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 21st, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
Is this an ESL textbook made for Japanese students, or just a regular old English book?

Yep, it's an oral communication textbook made specifically for Japanese students. The sidebar comments are in Japanese and everything.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:February 21st, 2006 04:52 am (UTC)
(Link)
*boggles*

I really cannot imagine what they were thinking. It's like having "watering the sidewalk" as an example of a chore people do in an American textbook.

Also, I cannot help but think of this.
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