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

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


Up early. Mrs Mizunuma and I dropped 6 year old Gunjo off at nursery school.

Then we entered the Deaf School via the teachers' dorms, at the back of the school building. I hung out in the sick bay, not because I was ill but because I knew the nurse, Nakagawa Sensei, and it was easier for the students to drop in and say hi - a year previously I had visited the school and taught a class, so I knew some of the kids. I could only remember a little sign language, but with Nakagawa Sensei's help I brushed up on a few essential gestures.

Whilst in the sick bay I hit a small snag. Richard had the Genki English CDs. I had a spare copy of CD No. 1 in my bag, but when I opened the cover I discovered a CD of classical music by Dvorak. No time to go back to the Mizunuma's house...acapella time.

Showtime. Eight primary school students. Three teachers. And someone had spread word of my visit because eight parents were also in attendance. It was a little nervewracking at first - would my singing be sufficient without the music, and how would hearing impaired kids fair?

I started out with warm up commands: stand up, sit down, jump, come here, go away. The kids were great!!!!! Their concentration was amazing - each one was focused on my mouth in an effort to see how I formed the sounds, and although some of the students struggled to produce the correct sound no one watching the group would have guessed they were hearing impaired.

We moved to the "Left and Right" song. I had an issue which has never arisen before - teachers translating in sign. I explained what we were going to do in Japanese, but to ensure the kids understood the three teachers signed as well. I caught one teacher signing out "left" as "lefto" and had to explain "I don't mind if you sign the meaning of the words I use, but don't try to sign the pronunciation!" It was no problem. The song was a hit.

Then counting. We sang "What Time is it Mr Wolf?", The counting part, where everyone holds up fingers as they call out the numbers had all the kids smiling. It was turning out to be a great lesson.

We finished with the "Thank You" song - another hit. I was on a high.

Next was question and answer time. The questions were easily identifiable as coming from the kids:

"What is your favourite food?"
"What is your favourite sport"
"What is your favourite insect?"

We posed for photos and then it was time to go.

Later, at the Mizunumas, I was watching "The Negotiator" when I got a phone call. It was Junko!!! We didn't mince words - I told her I wanted my snowboard back. She said she would send it to the Mizunumas. End of call. I felt like the Kevin Spacey character. I also felt sad that things had gone so pear shaped.

As I began packing for the trip to Kyushu, Mr Mizunuma noticed that the rear wheel of Genkimobile 2 was crooked. It turned out the axle was broken. Genkimobile 2 was off the road too! I was a little anxious about completing the tour with NO vehicle. Mr Mizunuma said "Don't worry". A few hours later he turned up with a new Toyota 4WD wagon, courtesy of a Mikame teacher friend of mine - Takatsuki Sensei. We had wheels again - Genkimobile 3!


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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