Being Forward

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“CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!? . . . GOOD.”

差し出がましい

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down. But maybe some people like nails that stick up? Continue reading

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Goodbyes Galore and the Drinking Gauntlet

I said my goodbyes to the middle schoolers last week. I said my goodbyes to the elementary schoolers on Wednesday. I said my goodbyes to various people, including the owners of a restaurant I used to frequent. And, I’ve said goodbye to my daily life as I’ve known it.

These transition periods are totally, fundamentally different than any other time. I have to focus on goodbyes and giving things away rather than when I’m going to casually hang out with someone. Every meeting might be my last. While I say to myself that I’ll see everyone again someday, more so than any other time in my life, I’m not sure that that’s true. Even most of my college friends stayed in the same place. If I do see these people again, it will take an effort.

With goodbyes also comes drinking. Lots and lots of drinking. Next Monday is a drinking party with my current teachers. Tuesday is a potential drinking / barbeque with friends. Thursday is a drinking party with a former group of English learners. Friday is with a bunch of parents of my now ex-students. Saturday is with a handful of ex-coworkers. The Monday after that is another party with people from the Board of Education.

My liver won’t thank me.

Less than two weeks and I’ll be back home in the states. Surreal. 寂しい。

とんとん! Let’s Try Entering the Staff Room!

Another mini-post today. This one about entering the staff room at the elementary school.

Unlike America, the staff room (職員室) is very accessible. Countless times throughout the day, students knock on the door, ask to see a teacher or do something, and then leave. And, like many Japanese things, there’s a process to it.

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The fabled door to the staff room. You can see the 職員室 sign to the top left.

On the door are two different papers, each letting people know how to use the door. They’re actually both the same message, but the one on the right is newer. Last year, because of the setup of the staff room, using the left door was more common. This year, with desks in slightly different places, the right door has gotten more use.

Let’s look at the left door.

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A translation:

WHEN ENTERING AND LEAVING THE TEACHER’S ROOM
[Entering]
*knock knock* “Excuse me.” (Bow)
“Grade __ , {your name}.”
“I’ve come looking for Mr./Mrs. {teacher’s name}.”
[Leaving]
“Excuse me.” (Bow)

The new and updated poster says much the same, but…

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It comes with a few more clarifications at the top. Specifically:

  • Put your backpack down.
  • Take off your hat, jacket*, scarf, and gloves.
  • Only the person looking for a teacher comes in.

It’s not too complicated. Most students understand within the first month of being a first grader. The most common mistake is actually saying the wrong grade when a new year starts.

And that’s it. I hope you’ve found this tiny look into Japanese school life valuable. 🙂

 

* = The word used for jacket here is ジャンバー, which is technically incorrect. The correct word is ジャンパー. It’s basically the Japanese equivalent of saying “nip it in the butt” instead of “nip it in the bud”, or “peak one’s interest” instead of “pique one’s interest”. It’s wrong, but so many people say it that you’re kind of a pompous dick for pointing it out.

Jumping Around

Last week I had friends coming from America. This week I have no excuses. Still, I don’t have anything substantial this week.

In minor personal news, I signed up for the JLPT N1 in July. The deadline to sign up is the 28th of this month, so if you want to sign up, give it a shot! The website has some cool features when you sign up, like the fact that you can take a picture with your webcam. It took a while to load, but it worked. As for the JLPT itself, I started studying in earnest again last week. That means more books, more manga, more readthekanji, more nihongo-pro, more JapanesePod101 and more whatever keeps my interest.

In school-related news, the new school year started with a whole slew of new English materials. Most importantly, a fresh new edition of the New Horizon textbooks. Completely revamped. I’m such a fan that I started writing a post about them. Should be up next week.

In game-making news, Shichikashuku II is ever-so-close to completely finished. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out, even if it isn’t close to perfect. Aside from that, I’m getting back into Unity and working on LowRezJam 2016, which are actually unrelated tasks as I’m doing LRJ in Game Maker. We’ll see if I can finish on time, but it’s good to work on something small and short for my own sanity.

Anyway, I hope you all have a good week and accomplish your goals and live happy lives! 🙂

Bad Tests

Great example of a bad test. This was actually used to weed out who could vote or not, and, for some reason that almost nobody can explain, only handed to black people. Weird, right?

Great example of a bad test. This was actually used to weed out who could vote or not, and, for some reason that almost nobody can explain, only handed to black people. Weird, right?

悪い試験

Test making isn’t easy, that’s for sure. But that’s no excuse for…this. Continue reading