Saturday, August 08, 2009
The big news in these parts is that two and a half weeks ago, I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
In nine weeks and two days, I'll no longer be a gaijin. Well not technically at least, I think once a gaijin, there's always a bit of gaijin-ness that stays with us.
In nine weeks and two days, you'll find me on the Cairns waterfront eating fish and chips, possibly following that with a lamington for dessert.
In nine weeks and three days, I'll be picking up the keys for our new townhouse in Brisbane.
I'm not sure when I'll get to Japan next, after those nine weeks and one day. And when I do, I'm not sure for how long it will be. I'm so very sad about leaving Japan, but very happy about moving home. I'm excited and terrified about starting a new life.
Only nine weeks and one day left.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
"How many months along are you?" I asked.
"Nine months", she replied.
"Oh wow! So you could have the baby anytime now!"
"No, I still have a month to go."
"But you just said you were nine months pregnant....." I said to her with a confused expression.
"Yes, pregnancies are for ten months." She said, now returning my confused look.
"No.... they last for nine....."
"Really?? Japanese women are pregnant for ten months!"
At this point we both just agreed to be confused.
It does all make sense now. It's simply a matter of how you count.
So, in Japan, a pregnancy is considered to start at the beginning of the cycle, rather than from the actual conception date. This is how the English language pregnancy books and doctors count it as well. So that takes the gestation to 40 weeks. Divide that into LUNAR months, rather than calendar months and there you have it! Ten months!
This folks, concludes today's cultural and math lesson.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
.... He was a shy boy. He couldn't say
elotic words like "sox" and "possy"....
Personally, I'm not too sure who'd be turned on by those words, maybe a homie with a foot fetish?
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
In the junior high classes, we've started doing Christmas activities and we'll continue those into the second week. In the high school class, we're playing a game and then putting the students in pairs to write some stories. They're encouraged to write a piece with some humor. The paper they are given has some pictures that they have to use to inspire them or to tie into the narrative. One picture has a couple kissing. It usually brings out the funniest results.
I thought I'd share a couple with you (both written by boys and I haven't corrected the mistakes)...
There was a man whose name is Hiroshi.
There was a woman whose name is Tetsuko. He loved her and she loved
him. It was hot. It was terrible hot. It was hotter than any
But there was a man whose name is
Smith. He was very cool. Here was more cold than cool. He was
getting closer and closer to the couple. The temperature turned
down. It was colder than any other thing.
They are crossing their tongues. A man takes
off his wears.... It was exciting play.
Really, it doesn't take much to excite boys does it?
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited The Great Barrier Reef.
5. Stood under the stars in the outback, the real outback – think Uluru.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to the Gold Coast’s theme parks – anyone, you take your pick.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sung a solo.
11. Bungee jumped, jumped out of plane, been paragliding or hang-gliding, hot air ballooning – you get the idea, you’ve been hundreds of metres about earth in a seemingly flimsy contraption.
12. Visited Melbourne.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Had a child. Raised a child. Worked with children. (only worked with for me so far)
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Been to the Snowy Mountains. (I’d say climbed Uluru, but the Aboriginal custodians would prefer you didn’t.)
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Visited the Brett Whitely studio in Surry Hills, Sydney.
20. Slept on an overnight train or bus.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Been backpacking.
23. Taken a mental health day.
24. Been buried in sand with just your head and toes sticking out.
25. Held a possum, kangaroo or koala – or any other native Australian animal.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Been in a fun run.
28. Been on the Blue Mountain cableway.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Played, or watched, summer cricket.
32. Sailed, kayaked or canoed our beautiful waterways.
33. Seen the Daintree.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Visited an Aboriginal settlement or mission.
36. Learned a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Toured the Sydney Opera House.
39. Tried rock climbing (indoor or outdoor), abseiling or just simple bushwalking.
40. Visit Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art.
41. Been to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
42. Sunbaked at Bondi.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Broome.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone fishing.
49. Seen Tasmania’s old growth forests.
50. Been to the top of Q1, on the Gold Coast.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Driven the Great Ocean Road.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Norfolk Island.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Guide biscuits.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone jet boating.
66. Visited Port Arthur.
67. Bounced a cheque.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favourite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Australian War Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Federation Square.
74. Been on the Murray River.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Travelled, or climbed, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. (travelled, would love to climb it one day)
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Three Sisters at Echo Point, Katoomba.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited St Mary’s Cathedral, in Sydney.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Been to Hermannsburg.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited Parliament House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Saved a pet.
95. Been to the site of the Eureka Stockade.
96. Swum in The Whitsundays.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a mobile phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.
This is an Australian version put together my Katie. There's also the original American version going around. Join in, it's fun, quick and easy.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Nothing to worry about, it just seems that my headspace has been elsewhere. Since I blogged last, I've been a little unwell, nothing serious, nothing that won't pass, but it's just been zapping my energy. My focus has also started turning toward the move back to Australia next year.
I have been managing to write on my other blog from time to time.
Again, apologies to everyone and I'm very sorry that some of you were worried.
Anyway - I finally have something to blog about! Today, I ran into a student that I taught last year. She's the author of the very funny Love Triangle story. She had a new piece for me, all decorated with pictures of the animals she associates myself and fellow teachers as; me - a frog (I had a croaky voice for a while), Sam - a dog, my husband (not a teacher here but she met him recently) - a bunny rabbit, Adrianne - a piranha and Sean (the new teacher in town) - a teddy bear.
The message goes like this (please take it with a super-sized grain of salt);
"My teacher is Sean now. He is as good
as you. Do you remember me? Of course you do!! You like
me. Sean is very warm-hearted. We like him very much. But he
is a mystery man. My friend's name is NS. NS really turns Sean
on..... (OK, I have to butt in here - I think that she meant to say that Sean
turns NS on, there's nothing suspicious about Sean's behaviour, now back to the message....)... Sean is a lady-killer. NS is
a knockout. But Sean seems to like Melanie. NS says "I can't handle
a man like Sean". I saw Sean and Sam walking close. Sean is trying
to make a pass at Sam. NS said "Look at me!!" She can't live without
him. Don't tell anyone. That is about all I know. It was a
slip of the tongue. Trust me. Love is blind. I'll never let
you down. You're so sympathetic. I respect you. Are you
impressed me? NS said "I wish I had never met him. He has beautiful
eyes. I want to know all about him. I think of him day and
night. There will never be another him. Smooch!!" But NS isn't
Sean's class. I'm surprised. But NS is a good student. I like
Melanie and your husband."
Ahh.. how I miss teaching her class.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I was in Kyoto at the time so headed off for Ohara, in the Kyoto hinterlands. Getting on the bus, I was happy to have gotten the last seat for the hour long ride. After a couple of stops, three sweet old ladies hopped on. I have to confess, I did consider staying in my seat, my feet sore from two days of walking. Instead, I got up and offered my treasured spot to one of the women. After a short protest, she gladly took it.
The bus was crowded but I was lucky enough to have a good view out the window. I watched the landscape change from bustling city centre, to city outskirts, to rural towns to the wooded mountains.
When we finally arrived at our destination, the lovely old lady who had accepted my seat rummaged through her bag. She produced a box of Pocky, a Japanese snack of chocolate coated biscuit sticks. She handed it to me, telling me it was to thank me for the seat. I was so touched and the gesture really made my day. Pocky has never tasted so sweet.
Friday, October 03, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, they disappeared from the supermarkets. Why? It all has to do with a fad banana diet. A friend of mine watched the TV show that tested the diet and the ironic thing is, it didn't even work for the woman trying it out. And yet it seems like the nation is eager to get on it.
Last weekend Wayne happened to be at the supermarket at opening time. He went straight for the bananas. He and everyone else. He ended up walking away for a while, surprised at the rush. After picking up the other things we needed, he went back. Then the crowd around the banana shelves had thinned but was still four people deep and he had to fight to get us a bunch.
I wish everyone would get over this latest fad. I want my morning banana again!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I've written a bit about my school and the students on this blog, and you can get an idea of the position in this post, scroll down to the paragraph that starts "My second job in Japan..."
If you're interested please email Trevor Wilson at wilsont411(at)hotmail(dot)com. Make sure you put something like "Job application" in the subject line. Please don't send any applications to myself or through this blog.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Well, some psychic has predicted that it will happen this coming Saturday. Honestly, I wouldn't have thought that people would give much credence to the report.
I was wrong.
I've heard a few people talking about concerns for their plans for that day because "the earthquake will happen." I've even heard of a dance class that was cancelled purely because of the earthquake prediction.
Personally, I don't believe it will happen, but just to be on the safe side, cross your fingers for me.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This week in the high school classes, they are learning how to give advice for different health problems. We're really trying to encourage them to put lots of emotion into the conversation they are learning and to ham it up with gestures.
Last year, I taught the same lesson to my Domestic Violence class. In one group, a boy wasn't doing the gestures. His partner decided to help him feel the part. He swiftly, punched him in the head, and then with innocent eyes asked "What's wrong?" As the partner rubbed his forehead, he answered with the phrase on his worksheet "I have a headache."
That's one way to get your partner to do what the teacher asks.