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Showing posts from 2012


This is it. It's Friday, February 3rd and in less than 24 hours I will leave this house for Tokyo train station, which will take me to the airport, which will take me...home.

Most of this week has been taken up with goodbyes: to schoolmates and teachers, and later, close friends. There were tears involved.

I think the photos will do it a lot more justice than I could:

Kohei, from tennis group. All the tennis people got together for dinner at an okonomiyaki (think cabbage pancake, with yummy stuff like shrimp in it) but first we went to a boardwalk which had nighttime light shows.

Top: Anime Club. They threw a small party for me, where we ate lots of food and watched (what else) anime and talked.
Bottom: one of my English classes. They asked me to teach them an American game for the last day, so I taught everyone how to play Heads-Up 7-Up. They were pretty good at it.

The other exchange student, Nom, and my Japanese teacher.

The last view of school: the walk leading up to the Univ…

This Day Was Full of Happy Things

There's just no other way to describe it. Today was a happy day. Life could not get better than today.
First of all, the third and fourth periods of our normal Saturday half day was the speech contest that I'd written my lovely rock-paper-scissors speech for. Needless to say, I was sweating bullets. Despite the freezing weather, the contest was held in the gymnasium. Fortunately, everyone was allowed to bring blankets and scarfs so we wouldn't freeze. I was glad of my shivering for one reason: it hid my shaking and gave me an excuse. Of course, as the exchange student they put me as the last person.

It went rather well. When it came time to announce the winners (first, second, and third in both English Speeches and Japanese) for some strange reason they announced that I was the second place winner in the Japanese Speech category. Go figure...
Then, my friends told me to wait in the classroom once class was over. They contrived something about Gashosai (Music Festival) singi…

Crafty Things

As school is winding down (for me at least, I only have 2.5 days left!) I've started to either complete projects or get them back from teachers. So without further ado, I present to you the various crafy/artsy things I've done recently.

Marco the Phoenix from One Piece. Forgive the horrendous way the colors came out, my camera killed them.

Poplar from Working!
Both pictures were sketched and then painted with watercolors for club.

Scarf and pattern detail that I knitted for Home E.C. Now that I'm finished...I wear it, because it's ridiculously warm, if a little short (I ran out of yarn, so I just use a pin to attatch the two ends together and then it stays in place). The teacher had us knit them all ridiculously wide, so each row is 40 stitches...I could have made a longer scarf if I'd gone with 25 or 30 per row, but I'm not in charge so couldn't complain.

Book that I made with some of the calligraphy I did. The middle photo's left page says "ookam…

Proud Confession: I am a Nerd

Monday, fortunately, was a day off school, so I opted to do something I've wanted to do for a while and head over to Ikebukuro. I did this by myself, and just to give a hint as to how proud I am of myself for being able to navigate this place all by myself let me put it in perspective: Ikebukuro Station is the second busiest station in all of Japan, second only to Shinjuku. Both of which I've been to and transfered around in, without getting seriously lost. I mean, even some Japanese people don't like those two stations, if my host family is any example, because they said themselves they think they're too mazelike. But I digress. Point is, I felt awesome about myself for a bit.

Personally, I rather like the vibe that Ikebukuro gives off, business and all. To me it has a different beat than the rest of Tokyo, and for some reason it makes me feel extra alive, like I'm part of some large piece of music with this addictive beat running through it. It doesn't make m…

AFS Chapter Goodbye Party

Sunday was part 2/2 of this weekend's series of AFS events. This one was more personal, since it was the goodbye party for my chapter, Tokyo Nerima. Relatively earlier than I'd like for a Sunday morning my family and I (as well as one of Ryo's friends, who had stayed over the night before) took the train over to the ShakujiKoen Center where the event was held. It was also the same place that the chapter welcome party was held all those months ago.

The first part of it was, for most purposes, uninteresting. Lots of speeches, including one of the three I had to write. So I can check one of those off the list! WHOO!
It didn't go too badly, if may say so myself. Even though it was only in front of host families and AFS volunteers, I was more nervous than I needed to be. But I was confident in the Japanese I had written, and everyone said they understood it clearly, so that's all good.

Huang, the other AFSer in my chapter also gave a speech. Then we both recieved small …

Exchange Students Make Good Performing Animals...

...that must be why we're always asked to put on performances and attend functions and whatnot. We are paraded out, say our little spcheal ("I love Japan, I have made so many great friends and I don't want to go homeeeeee!"), put on a performance and BOOM! Instant intercultural event! Just add some insanity and mix thoroughly.

 Today there was a "Cultural Exchange" at Kokushi high school with some local AFSers and exchange students from two Universities. The exchange students were going to give introductions and a few performances, and the high school was going to demonstrate taiko, other traditional instruments, and allow us to try calligraphy and tea ceremony.

The AFSers all walked from the train station together, and once we'd met up at the high school all of the exchange students were asked to give a brief self introduction. With the self-introductions out of the way, the students started with their demonstrations. After the taiko and koto (which we …