About Me

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California born by a Cuban mother, married to a Japanese man, and have lived in Japan since 2004, minus one year living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have friends and family in many places in the world. I dreamed of traveling to many distant lands, creating music and dancing to it, meeting interesting people, and discovering treasures in the most unlikely of places.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New School Year

In Japan the New School Year begins with Spring! I love spring. And summer.
Anyway, this year is really nice. I love my new English Teacher coworker, and am looking forward to working with her. I am also happy to be seeing the same students, one year older. They are so cute. With each year, and all of the "Shikis", or "Ceremonies", the students have grown just a bit. It is really interesting to me. I was commenting on the fact that there are so many ceremonies, when the new principal came in. He told me that in order for Japanese people to feel like they have gone up a level, they need the ceremonies. If not, they will stay the same forever... in the US and MExico, we just have a graduation ceremony. On the new day of school, if I remember correctly, there is no ceremony. But we still feel exited about the new year. And we still go up a year. I have two theories. One is that in order for the people to trust the rigid heirarchical system, they need to feel as though without the system they cannot survive. If people feel free, then they don't need anyone, they feel like they can do anything, they won't listen to those above them, or might make their own decisions more rapidly. Another reason is that the Japanese people want to feel supported by their society, and want society to help them along. These thoughts are obviously related, although I'm sure that the former is not widely conveyed to others, or even recognized. There are a lot of things here that are not recognized, simply because people are involved so deeply. From an outsider's perspective, things always look different. I have heard a lot of perspectives about US culture that might shock people over there, or which are not widely accepted points of view in the US, but which make complete sense. For example, why is whale meat not eaten? I myself do not eat whale meat, because I grew up in the states and find it disgusting. There is something stupendous about the animal, it is very intelligent, and that harpooning is cruel, etc, etc. OK, so then they come back at me and say, ok, why do you eat lobster by boiling it alive? So then are pigs not smart, or is it just the whale's size? If you really cared about animals, you'd stop buying from huge farms where they don't treat the animals humanely, etc. etc. The defenses and rebuttals go on forever. Let's go ask the Chinese and Koreans what dog tastes like.
Anyway, there was my agro rant for the day.
Today, I did some gardening at the JHS. I trimmed the trees again. I got to teach the new 1st graders and the 2nd graders English. They were so cute and excited. And then I came to JHS and taught 1st grade here (7th grade).
The weather is great today. Warm and humid. I LOVE IT. If only it was this way all year round. But then we wouldn't see the cherry blossoms in the spring!!

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