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Amparo Bertram

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05:02 am: Early on Saturday morning
Happy birthday Rob!

I'm catching the early train to Tokyo, so I'll have to be quick about this. In the wake of the harrassment episode, during morning announcements yesterday, amid a lot of hemming and hawing, the principal gave us a brief lecture to the effect that we should all uphold our morals as teachers, as adults, and as humans.

While I was sitting quietly at my desk minding my own business, I swear I heard someone on the other side of the room say shibitogaeri desu ("It's undead"). Was this real, or was it my kooky imagination? I perked up my ears, but heard nothing further.

I worked some more practice problems, and I've gotta say, it's rather humiliating. I'm just not used to doing so poorly on a test in any subject I feel relatively confident about. I keep reminding myself it's a very hard test and they're using problems and vocabulary that NEVER come up in real life for me.

For supper last night, I went out to a yakitori place with five other teachers. First of all, it's located on the opposite side of the station in a part of the city called Affair Town. That is, the kanji that make up the name of that neighborhood spell out uwaki, which means to cheat on one's partner. Oh, sure, they *pronounce* it fuke, but we all know what it really means.

They were worried there wouldn't be much for me to eat, since the place specializes in chicken, but I was stuffed by the end of the night. I had edamame, fries, two kinds of tofu, fried camembert sticks, and small portions of au gratin potatoes, eggplant with miso sauce, potato salad, and yamaimo (a kind of potato-looking object that's extremely slimy). If it weren't for the fact that there wasn't a non-smoking section, I'd recommend it to anyone.

The teacher next to me asked about what kinds of books I like to read. I showed her the one I had with me, a Cobalt fantasy novel. She said, "Oh, I used to LOVE these...when I was in high school." ^_^;

I'd better be off now so I can catch my train.

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