Friday, February 06, 2004

Morning. It's friday here and I've got very little to talk about apart from skiing yesterday after school and what I'm probably going to do this weekend. I was at the 'other' school yesterday, in Owani village. It's a high school just like my own here in Hirosaki, but the students there are not so bright and it's generally a more relaxed place to be than this stuffy office. After my two classes in the morning and yaki-soba for lunch (the best yaki-soba in tsugaru, might I add) I was told that I could go home, and as there's a ski resort right next to the school I went there instead. I was on my board again, and all in all it wasn't such a magnificent day because of the lack of snow. Owani is a low altitude resort so it can get pretty rough at times as the sun gets onto the snow and hardens the surface. There is about 80 cm of hard-packed snow on the slopes, which is standard for a lot of resorts, but it gets so hard that when you do fall you can really hurt yourself. Lower altitudes obviously mean higher temperatures as well, so the snow that does fall often starts to freeze over within a day or two.

I'm thinking about going to Hakkouda tomorrow with my board because the weather report shows heavy snow for today and tomorrow. It snowed heavily last night with about 15 cm on top of my car this morning. This means that there was probably about 30-40cm of fresh on top of cars that were parked at the foot of Hakkouda mountain this morning: ) I'm also desperate to get my hands on a pair of snoe-shoes as soon as poss as well, so I can start venturing out into Iwaki mountain instead of trapsing up to Hakkouda every time I need a powder fix. (Just looked out of the office window and it's vomiting snow outside). Anyways I've got a class with Terayama sensei now so I'll be on my way. I'll probably go skiing with Aki on Sunday as well, so it's going to be another ski, ski, ski weekend for me.

Take care

Ah, I've just been told that the class I have with Terayama sensei is only on a fortnightly basis so I have nothing today until 12:30, which is a class with the rosy-fingered Yamada sensei. These are now my favourite classes as she gives me quite a lot of the lead and I rarely get bored. A lot of the other classes become boring because the teachers do nothing but mutter the methods of grammatical clauses at the students while I stand in the corner picking my nose. I often find myself drifting into states of conciousness during some lessons, where I am so removed and abstracted from anything going on in class that I often catch myself on the verge of breaking huge gastrous winds in front of everyone. I have so far managed to avoid this embarrassment at the very last moment. It must be something to do with the physical effort that it takes to release a fart, and the effect that such effort has on the awareness I have of my surroundings. Anyway, even if I did break wind in front of everyone it would be so embarrassing for them that they would probably pretend they didn't hear it and carry on with wheatever they were doing.

That reminds me of the look on Yamada sensei's face when I decided to teach the class about transvestites. One of the students had written a sentence on the board which read: "He changed his dress quickly", which was supposed to mean 'he changed his clothes quickly'. The translation from Japanese is difficult, and the student didn't understand that the word 'dress' can't be used as a noun in relation to what a man is wearing.
(Well, it can, but it has to have a very well defined context, and even then the word 'clothes' would be better). So, I told them to look up the word 'transvestite' in their dictionaries with a smile on my face, and a look of deep discomfort on Yamada sensei's, expecting them all to be rolling around on the floor with laughter in just a few seconds. The students, of course, didn't respond to it at all. Probably because they thought I was just being some mucky old man getting a kick out of teaching sixteen year old girls rude words in English. But Yamada sensei cringed, and I think the students now understand that they should pay more attention to the use of the word 'dress' as a noun when talking about a man's clothing. (What useful stuff I teach these kids)!!

OK, gotta go now because I have to pay some bills at the post office before they cut my phone-line off.
Probably update this weekend sometime.