Tuesday, November 14, 2006


as all stories that involve children and animals that are not meant to be touched by children end in sadness, ours is no different.
the story of a crab who went too far is not an inspiring one. it is sad and also truly revealing of the human nature's cruel, though unintentionally so, side.
but it's really not all so bad. the crab came into our lives a healthy specimen of an otherworldness; a creature thriving for experience. we learned from him and hopefully before his spirit passed on to crab heaven he also pondered about the various new things he came across.
the last i left the story of the crab, he had stealthily escaped his confinement and was constructing a masterplan that would lead to his eventual escape from the starkly white confines of the teachers' office. his plan worked, but he got distracted. he noticed the joy of basketball gaming and went towards the noise. he wanted to get in on the game. so it was because of his curiousity that he was found Saturday afternoon in the school's gym, instead of making his way towards the ocean (although how the poor thing would have crossed the road unharmed remains a mystery and a flaw in his original plan). By the time he was found in the gym, however, he had already used up most of his energy, poor creature and was deemed unhealthy enough to be released into the wild. not genky enough to be free or to be eaten, he was back again in the original glass cage. He was given a banana to keep him occupied as well as several roots and twigs. But when a spirit is thwarted so is the will to carry on. It is with sadness that i report the demise of the crab, today (time unknown but sometime after 3rd period and before lunch ended) Tuesday October 14th.

i was going to write in more detail about the educational curiousities i have encountered in the last week, but i am sad enough at the moment. if i start talking about JTE's demonstration class from last week, or the English teachers meeting, or the student teacher's last day, i might just start crying.

but for all those with an educational experience, i will say this. Japan does not have grade specific, subject specific standards. I learned this information from a University professor on Friday. He came to observe his student's (my student teacher's) last class, and we had a meeting after it. He is attempting to work the standards into the Japanese system but it is a slow going process. Bureaucracy ain't pretty here.
Once again, dear readers. There are no standards. There are no behavior specific goals. There is nothing that can guide a teacher except a textbook, and how textbooks are written without standards is a complete mystery to me.
There are general objectives, however. So for example, students after completing several years of English education are expected to be able to make a speech.
Want more specific instructions? Goodluck!

sadder than the crab story?
to me it is.



Anonymous said...

Poor crab :( he probably wanted water not a banana. Was it a Robber crab?
I havn't seen one of those yet, I want too!

Kevin Thomas Hurley said...

I guess if I was in a "pinch" like that I would be "crabby" too.

Well, I started posting again and I hope to at least once a month. I suppose if people from the school of ED. are looking at these maybe I should. Besides, perhaps in the future I can use the blog as professional development?

-e said...

you think they'll consider me slamming the japanese education system professional development?
i sure hope so.
maybe i'll write a paper about it.
or just bring in copies of all the posts.

Kevin Thomas Hurley said...

I think you will do as you please Ms. Kats

keldog22 said...

After the demise of the crab what happened? Did they eat it? Bury it? I have to think bureaucracy isn`t pretty anywhere. Its not even a pretty word to spell. Perhaps bureaucrazy is better?