Thursday, April 27, 2006


I've noticed one thing about the kids at every school I've ever taught at. Certain ones seem to really, really want to talk to me. At that point I'm often reminded of my dog back home, Penny. She'd chase our cat around the house over, under, and to my mother's consternation, oftentimes through furniture and other obstacles. But once she caught the cat, she had absolutely no idea what to do with it. She'd just stand there and stare.

That's often the look I'll get as I'm cornered by 6 or 8 13-year olds. They all have the idea that chatting with the foreigner would be great fun, but when he's actually there, they've no clue what to say. They can't (or are too embarrassed to) say it in English, and they think I can't speak any Japanese, so all that's left for them is to stand there and stare at me, a half-dozen blank faces.

It's cute and all, so I put up with it. At least they're not trying to poke me in various uncomfortable places.

Last week I rode my old, crappy bike over to the city I work in. I took the train home and bought myself a spiffy, new bike with 6 speeds on it, which makes commuting easier. This way I can ride down to Hiratsuka station, catch the train to Fujisawa, and then bike down to my school on the old bike. I realized that instead of walking 20 minutes, I can zip down in about 5. Much nicer, though I don't seem to be able to get up any later.

Next week is Golden Week, kind of the mandatory holiday week for Japanese workers. We've only got 2 days of school, which leaves me with a 5 day weekend. Travelling is a hellish undertaking during that time, so the most I'll do is head down to a festival in Odawara, the Hojo Godai Festival.

Beyond that, maybe I'll get some biking in. Now that I have more than 1 speed, I may try to tackle some of the hills to the west. Previously, I've pretty much kept to the flat plains to the east.

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