Will's Tour Diary - updated daily (ish)!

Will's tour diary
- What? Why? When? Where? - Shows - Seminars

Mon27th November 2000

Drove to Hiruma Primary. Daylight revealed what we had suspected the previous evening -   we were in an enormous valley.

Had an amusing chat with the Principal. He listened to what we had to say about teaching English, and then said "but we're not going to do it here".
We pressed on: "Why?"
"Well we don't have any teachers who speak English"
"But you have an ALT"
"Yes, yes. But we're not going to do English...."

The schedule was interesting - we were to do a show for each year except the 3rd years. When we asked why we were told "Oh, the 3rd year homeroom teacher doesn't want the children learning English"

Despite these ominous circumstances the shows went well. The 1st/2nd years were OK, the 4th graders fantastic, the 5th/6th graders didn't sing at window shattering volumes, but they made for an attentive audience for our speeches. When discussing Australian animals one kid called out "What about pandas?"
"Err...ask a Chinese person!" I suggested. They roared with laughter. Our humour is not sophisticated, but it works.

School lunch was surprisingly good - curry rice - but somewhat lacking in atmosphere. Normally we eat with the students and chat as we chow down. In the relaxed setting of classroom school lunch it is easy to bond with the kids and talk about any manner of subjects (food, sport and whether one is married or not)  but today Richard, Ginevra, John from the neighbouring mountain village and I ate segregated in the Principal's office. Afterwards the 1st and 2nd graders invaded and presented us with information sheets to fill out. Questions included:
-special talents
-our 3 sizes (bust, waist, hip)

The homeroom teachers also joined us, giving us the opportunity to explain that whereas in Japan people use rock/scissors/paper to make important decisions, for example, who will head up the LDP, in the west we use heads or tails.

Later in the afternoon we had ourselves a surreal experience. The day before we had received a call from Crystal, a JET in neighbouring Iikawa-cho, asking us to visit. We rocked up to the school and met Crystal - a widely grinning American. (This is not the surreal bit - read on) We were slated for just the 1st graders, but we implored the Vice Principal to let us teach the whole school. He pondered this for a moment, quickly consulted with the home room teachers and said "Sure, no problem". We went to set up.

It was. The sound system was atrocious, but it mattered not a whit - the kids sang with a vengeance. We did the more difficult 5th/6th year set, but even the 1st/2nd graders belted out the songs lustily. We didn't need the confidence speech - the kids were screaming out "One more time!!!!!" from the start. We had an absolute ball.

Onsen. Then we took off for Ehime. We went to Nikki Lindsay's place in Saijo. Nikki decided the occasion warranted the opening of two bottles of Australian red, and even stretched to cooking nachos for us.

We live a charmed life.


email: will@genkienglish.net

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Opinions expressed in this diary are personal views of Will Jasprizza. They do  not necessarily represent those of Genki English, especially where he is  making jokes which sounded better at the time!!! Please be understanding!


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