Saturday, April 01, 2006

Week in review

Well, it's been a whole week of sitting in the BOE. On the positive side, I've done a lot of Japanese studying. On the negative side, I've been bored to tears. Good thing I have activities outside of work to keep me from going mental.

Another sobetsukai (farewell party). The sobetsukai follows the same format of all other enkais. Arrive, opening speeches, and kanpai before the eating and drinking begin. Wednesday's enkai was for Kuyiyama-sensei, one of the staff at the BOE who will be retiring. Not that he really did anything anyways. I think he "worked" as an advisor, which meant he was the Japanese equivalent of an ALT on spring break. He was heavily involved in the community though, and did a lot of work with a local choir.

At sobetsukais, the person or people who are leaving are honoured with speeches and gifts. At the sobetsukai I went to for the teachers leaving the Junior High School this year, they were all given small gifts (often gag gifts) and a photo album of everyone on staff this year. We were also all asked to write a farewell message to each of the departing teachers. I managed to impress everyone with my ability to write 先生 (sensei) in kanji. Go, go Grade 1 reading level! The albums were actually very funny. All of the other teachers took crazy photos in costume. Had I known, I would have too.

At Kuriyama-sensei's sobetsukai, it was a much less involved affair, but a good chance to go out and socialize with my co-workers at the BOE. And be given a new nickname -- "marin-chan". So as not to be confused with "maru-chan", one of the guys that works at the school lunch center. It's kind of strange to hear a guy referred to with -chan, which is generally reserved for girls, girlfriends and close female friends. They even call him this when he comes to visit our office.

I had to reschedule my usual shuji lesson, which as always was very fun. We've been practicing joined-up hiragana, which I think is beautiful. It's very difficult to get the characters to flow like they're supposed to. Check out this photo on my
flickr photo page to see some notes I added about what I was trying to improve.

Not a lot going on. Made some dinner, watched some videos, did some preparation for my debut as a wedding singer this weekend. My god, I can't believe I'm doing this. Thankfully, we will only be subjecting people to two songs. I'll be heading over to Jessie's place today so we can practice singing. I'll let you know how it goes...

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