Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Four Degrees Celcius

I am extremely excited. It won't be long until the Ground open!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Retro Posting...

Some time ago,
In a land close to the rising sun,
There was this Japanese classmate.
One day he forgot his homework, and when it was time to hand it in, he told the sensei that he had forgotten his homework.
Some of us groaned at such a lame duck excuse. I must admit it can be difficult to think on your feet in a strange new language, but c'mon he had lots of time to think about it.
After the fact I suggested he try that age old adage, tried and true, tested by time and endured through the ages;
My dog ate my homework.
He considered that for a few moments, realized he knew all the words in Japanese and as the class ended decided to try this one out on the teacher.
So he did.
Sumimasen, Sensei, watashi wa inu wo tabemashita.
And as the sensei looked at Brandon with horror, shock and the like on her face, we who were nearby rolled in the aisles with laughter.
Excuse me, Teacher, I ate my dog.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Rain and Rainbows

On Thursdays I usually help lead an English conversation and bible class at the OIC office. Since it starts later than I finish school I usually bring some work with me, (ie homework) and make myself comfortable in a quiet corner of the building to get some things done. It is always a nice quiet get-lots-of-things-done kind of setting and today was no exception. I was working away at my Kanji homework when out of the corner of my ear I caught a few snippits of English conversation. When one is in a foreign country the sound of native tongue is as honey to the taste buds. I thought nothing of it but moments later a couple of foreigners invaded my quarter and carried on a loud conversation while I was trying to concentrate. Minutes later the whole area become a beehive of activity as students and teachers from the neighbouring school started buzzing around. It turned out that they were getting ready for an assembly (or the like) and all involved had turned up to practice. One of the girls was working on a speech. She went through it with two of the teachers near where I was sitting. It was about spending a year in the US learning English, and how it was extremely difficult, finding oneself in a foreign land unable to speak the language. She found it very discouraging and likened it to rain. But after the rain comes the rainbow, she made some friends and developed her English. I thought it was a very nice little speech, especially in a second language. I went back to my Kanji studying trying to memorize stroke order, Chinese readings and Japanese readings, and English meanings. A little later my studious work was interrupted by the same girl now practicing from the stage using the microphone. Foreign country, foreign language, rain, rainbows, applause. Well done says I to myself.
Back to the grindstone. Kuruma, sha, car, oh the vertical line is last on this one. So...
Difficult foreign language, rain, rainbow, friends, new language skills, not as good this time, sounding more like a technical run through than a practice of delivery.
Ok shoulder to the wheel, zen, mae, before... Again with the speech practicing invading my studying.
Wait a second, perhaps there is something here for me, foreign culture, learning a foreign language, my frustration, rain, rainbows. Yes , perhaps God is trying to get some point across, and as always it seems I need to be hit over the head with it.
Gambatte Kudasai.
Keep on Plugging Away.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Its the little things.

I quickly ran out to the grocery store to get a little dango. I found a small cheap package and hurried to the checkout to pay. The cashier punched the keypad of the till and announced the price. Hyakugo en. And without even thinking about it, I handed over the exact change. It was the first time I had ever done so without first scrutinizing the total (in roman numbers) on the cash register. I returned to our little pad, my feet ne'er touching the pavement.
What a rush!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Thank you for your patience

I have been having some computer troubles as of late.
The old beater is back up and running though there are still a few mites in the woodwork.

Monday, November 07, 2005


It occurred to me this morning as the sensei was taking the roll, that one cannot possibly put the names of a class of Chinese, Nepalese, European, Canadian, American and Korean students in any kind of Alphabetical order. This shocked me, and it continues to distress me. What do they do? Do they randomly put them in a list? How barbaric! What am I going to do in the future? All that alphabetizing practice in grade two and three is out the window. How am I going to organize my files? How will I organize my albums and 8-track tapes? This cross cultural stuff is really freaking me out. I am out of sorts.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Loose Data

I am currently stuffing my head full of different kinds of information, knowledge, and facts. It seems there is not enough room up there, or my noodle is rebelling, or maybe it has been misused and/or disused for such a long time that it doesn't actually know how to retain more information. Other facts and/or fiction have been falling out willy nilly. I don't know what to make of it. At times it is disconcerting and at other times downright funny. I'll do my best to keep you posted.