Friday, April 21, 2006

今日はちょっとさむいです

every day that goes by, i consider myself lucky. lucky to be here, lucky to have come, lucky to be surrounded by such a generous JET community, lucky to be in the school of well-behaved and funny kids, lucky to live in a village surrounded by forrested hills and near the ocean. lucky.

that was a rant that is not leading up to anything. just came into my head.

but i do have to mention the days when i don't like anyone or anything. i want to walk for hours with my music pounding through the headphones--an attempt to block out everything that is surrounding me. there are days when the weather is chilly and the sky is a bit on the grey side, and the waves come up looking dirty and angry; on those days, i want to curl up on the couch at my mother's house with the dog and flip through the nonsensical programming without stopping. they call it culture shock. perhaps.

yesterday, i was afraid of being literally shocked, though.
we had our mandatory physical testing at the school this week. the students went through it on tuesday, and the teachers had theirs done on thursday.
first i had to fill out a long questionnare that attempted to piece out my stress profile.
"do you eat more?" YES
"do you eat less?" YES
"do you have pains in your stomach and back?" (how is that in the same question?) YES
"do you feel apathetic towards things?" YES
"do you get regular amount of sleep?" YES
"do you exercise?" YES
"do you feel good about yourself?" YES
and so on and so forth...took nearly an hour to go through it with the JTE.

actually on the questionnare i made myself out to be the healthiest person mentally.
i don't suffer from anything that would cause stress, well, unless of course you don't count the "living in a foreign country without knowing the language" factor. then, no..absolutely no stress whatsoever.
that was easy.

so i turned in the questionnaire. was measured and weighed (yes, i gained weight, and apprently i also gained 10cm in height). then the urine sample for acidity?
don't know.
then my blood was taken to check for nutritional levels of things.
i guess.
and then i was asked to lie down on a bed while a nurse clipped on things that looked like carbattery chargers to my legs and put some sort of white, ceramic, cuplooking things on my chest. i am fairly certain this was the first time i was hooked to a machine. i thought that at any second now i was going to be accidently electricuted and no one would be able to explain to me later what they were actually attempting to diagnose. i still don't know. the read out looked promising, lots of up and downs but fairly uniform.

in the adjacent room i was asked to listen to faint sounds and they also checked how good my contacts are. i was saddened to discover that my right contact is not up to par--at some point in my near prosperous future, i will have to get laser surgery.

the test was finished, and i was slightly upset. i wanted my x-ray to be taken and i wanted to see it. oh well.

also last night went to see an African drums band. Mostly Okinawan musicians but the main guy is black with dreads and is a fantastic drummer. He has lived in Japan for nearly 15 years now, most of them playing in Jamaican band in Tokyo. Now he's on Okinawa and has an African restaurant in Naha (going to check it out this weekend).
The band was great. Really chill and nice to sway to. The show was at the jungle cafe called Yamagame in Higashi-son where Ben lives. He now knows the owners pretty well and was invited to check out the band. Two dozen people or so were there enjoying the somewhat chilly outdoors and jamming music. I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to see them again tonight but this time on a beach in Nago.

On the upbeat school news. Had fun chatting with some 1st graders when i stumbled upon them on my after lunch walk. They were picking weeds under the supervision of the vice principal and i joined them. Hillarious bunch. We've discussed our likes and dislikes. They're impressed with me, i know it. Had a good lesson with them as well after lunch. They were learning how to use the dictionary. It's an amazingly intricate skill, one that i don't think about much, but for most of them it took the whole class period to figure out. Some are still not quite on the ball, so hopefully we'll practice it several more times. It's amazing being able to help a kid who speaks zero to none of your language. Granted i know how to say "does it come before or after n ". Which is also an accomplishment in its own right.
actually had a good day speaking Japanese. I don't speak a lot, and i would certainly agree with anyone that would say that lack of communication is hampering my progress. I know. I'm just shy.
But today i told the office lady about last night's concert and about my plans for tonight, and she told me about her weekend plans. And then i chatted with a few 3rd grade girls about the English bulletin board i have just put up in the hallway.

It's the sun. It's put me in a good mood. That and the fact that it's Friday.

cheers

PS. due to momentary lack in creativity, the subject line says, "today is a bit cold."

2 comments:

keldog22 said...

im shy too. lets be friends. maybe we can study together soon.

Kevin Thomas Hurley said...

today is grey