Friday, April 13, 2007

there are so many things to discuss.
the new 1st graders that rushed into the school on monday, scared and eager and bewildered. the new teachers that came in two weeks ago but whom i haven't had a chance to really meet because i've been busy with mom's visit. they seem like wonderful people: serious, diligent, ready to take charge of this mass of bumbling youth that is Ogimi JHS. there's the total shut down of my laptop that could be mentioned: it was its time to be sure, but it's sad nonetheless that i didn't properly get to say goodbye and take away all that i really wanted from it. nearly 7 years is a long time for a laptop. it did its job.
there's also the fact that i will get to teach my own english elective class this year, once a week for two periods on thursdays. 12 students signed up, 6 boys and 6 girls, and the first class is next week and i'm already quite nervous about it because now that it's a regular class (though it was advertised as a replacement of the after school english club i had last school year) i now feel i need to map out a strategy, a curriculum to improve these kids' knowledge of English. but first, i suppose i should meet them and see what they want to do. A couple of the students who signed up were a surprise; they are lower lever and i only expected students with English skills to join, but i guess they were enticed by the mention of movie watching and manga reading and perhaps their friends suckered them into it. fools! ha ha. they'll be learning and they don't even know it!

all the above things are good to talk about. and i've had lots of thoughts about all of them the last week when i was attempting to sit down at the comp at school and start a blog. i kept being rejected--the blogger page wouldn't load at school and then my comp. crashed and so i had to wait until today to sit down and write. took a day off today and am now on Schwab (that's a base) at the library. i didn't actually took a day off to write a blog. that would be rather excessive. nope. took a day off to lick my wound about not seeing my favorite band play tonight and monday on mainland Japan. after two months of internal dancing to the future possibility of Gogol Bordello live on stage in front of me, i was neatly brought down by a short e-mail from the band announcing their canceled dates for Australia and Japan. the crash inside me might be likened to a vacuum. oh no, i am so lacking for words now that i can't even describe a complete lack of space and depth as a feeling. regardless. i had to return my air tickets but decided to keep one of the three days of vacation i was going to take for the trip. so today i woke up around 11am thinking that in another reality i'd be in my car right now, on the way to a friend's place to park it, going to the airport and tonight i'd be in a blissful state of dance to the best live band ever. i hope me, in the other reality, appreciates it.

speaking of appreciation. that's what i actually really want to talk about. appreciation of insignificant things. of things that are primarily on the periphery of our daily vision as we move through busy lives filled with concerns over medical insurance, job pay, vacation days, new wardrobes.. always moving, always rushing, always on the lookout for the better, the bigger, the more stable, the more complete, the more acceptable.
i haven't been doing that for a little over a year now and i would highly recommend it. and i don't want to speak of it as if i'm better and i've decided on something profound while the masses out there are in an unenlightened world that needs to be shattered for them in order for them to see the truth that i have found. far from it. i know nothing of truth. i just now what touches me, and i have known for a while, but it's harder to focus in america. it's harder to slow down and pay attention to yourself there. i guess i had to come here.
this is all very personal and so i'm putting up a disclaimer....this is not about you. this about me.

Igor just posted an article that i took to heart. it's an article about a musician who is considered to be the best in the world, who plays one of the finest if not the finest violin in the world and who have some dubbed genius though he would quickly defend himself from that title. it's an article about Joshua Bell playing at one of the busiest metro station in Washington DC, performing some of the most brilliant and divinely inspired pieces of music and out of over a thousand people only a handful taking note.
it made me think of my friends and my sisters who are attempting to create things in this life that are to them beautiful, that might be considered inspirational and unique and people in their lives nagging at them for not following the "right path" in life. what is that path that they or i must chose? what is the path that is acceptable, that is productive, that is promising of fulfillment? why must it be determined by the external forces and not the internal needs? why do we have to conform and resign ourselves? because the money isn't right? is that it?

i'm a bit angry and sad and i hope it comes through, because i never am on this podium i've chosen to be mine. i have never considered this blog space to be an opening into me, only into my life. but that's me, isn't it? my life that i live here. the fact that the clouds in this place make me inexplicably happy. the fact that the positioning of shisas on the rooftops is a good thing to chat about on a sunny day. the fact that i can expect every weekend to be thought provoking and new even if i spend it alone.

it's going to be hard to leave this place. this place where i'm finding peace. there are things i struggle with daily: my laziness about Japanese, my weight, my occasional insistence on seclusion..but those are the things that are helping me grow here as well. i have less than a year and a half. i'm in the 2nd half of this Okinawa experience. i'll try to be more appreciative of the life people lead here, of their culture, of their stories, and of mine as well.

also, and this should have been first and foremost, i just learned about the death of Kurt's been an emotional afternoon.

here are the links to the article from Washington Post about Joshua Bell and Kurt Vonnegut's obituary.
Pearls Before Breakfast
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., 84; Keen Observer of Humankind

hope you take the time.



Craig Mauelshagen said...

Thanks for the post Miss.Kats. I think I hear what your throwing down, seems to me a little bit like you are becoming Japanese/Okinawan! What with the attention to detail and appreciation of the little things. Also if anyone has time to stop and admire the clouds it is going to be an Okinawan ;) . I agree with you about there being too many external forces trying to direct what we do with our lives, but that is probably a necessary element of having a relatively cohesive society? Tabun? Luckily for me I am an anarchist...

Liz Brooks said...

Here's all I hear from external sources: "Consume, consume, consume!" From experience, I know following that advice isn't going to lead me to satisfaction. But I still have to consciously remind myself that the message is bullshit. Everday.

Craig Mauelshagen said...

What about consuming environmentally friendly organic apples or fair trade products. Every living thing consumes ,it is one of the major ways we interact with and affect the world. So I personally don't think it is justified to write off consuming as bad per say... but I agree that having everything continually shouting at us 'consume me, consume me, consume me!' makes it rather harder to see what (and how) we should consume for our own happiness and for benefit of the world...I think.

-e said...

Craig. I think you think correctly. In fact, i tend to always like the way you think about things. :)