Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nerdy Sports

I swung by basketball, volleyball, soccer and baseball practice recently and realized something. Some sports have more "advanced" students than "regular".

Nearly everyone on both the men and women's basketball teams are "advanced" students and the few that aren't are some of the best students in the "regular" class. The same pretty much goes for volleyball.

But then the opposite is true for both baseball and soccer. Most of the the baseball and soccer players are "regular" students while the few "advanced" students who play quite at the same level as their peers.

I haven't a clue as to why this is. Any thoughts on this correlation?

Learning Japanese

I'm no longer illiterate!
I can read Japanese!
Well, 2 out of 3 at least...

I finally learned how to read kana last month. I had been struggling to learn the alphabet for a while but then took the advice of a friend and fellow English teacher here to use flash cards. I never really used them back in college but am now a huge fan of the learning method because they helped me quickly pick up the 2 alphabets.

They also made it easier to be quizzed. I walked around both of my schools for a couple of days with flashcards and had students quiz me.

I've never seen them laugh so hard.

It really made their day. Here I was, this teacher of the difficult English language, and I couldn't even read simple kana. How could someone confuse '' with 'め'? Or 'は' with ''? Or 'フ' with 'ワ'?

I've often thought the same thing when seeing mistakes between 'b' and 'd', 'i' and 'j' and many other "obviously" distinct pairs. But learning kana has been a humbling experience and I believe I'm more in touch with the plight of my students. Language learning is no joke!

I've been like a kid ever since then, reading everything I see outloud. Sometimes, especially with katakana, I'm able to understand what I'm reading but I'm clueless more often than not.

Next on my plate is basic kanij and verb conjugation..

(Random tidbit: Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of Weezer, has been tweeting in Japanese lately. It's pretty cool to actually have an idea of what he's saying)

Gross Miscalculation

Things Japan has a lot of:
  • Lotion
  • Body Wash
  • Toothpaste (albeit without fluoride)
  • Razors
Things Japan does NOT have a lot of:
  • Deodorant

Things I brought a lot of to Japan
  • Lotion
  • Body Wash
  • Toothpaste (with fluoride)
  • Razors
Things I did NOT bring a lot of to Japan:
  • Deodorant

I grossly miscalculated which items to bring and how much of them to bring

Because we didn't win

Not too long ago, I played volleyball in PE with some of my 2nd year girl students. I had this conversation with one of my students/teammates after one particularly close game that we lost:

Me: "Great game!"
Student: "No."
Me: "No? It was fun. And we had some great vollies. Why wasn't it fun?"
Student: "Because we didn't win"

Japanese ninensei girls are competitive.