the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Monday, August 21, 2006

Office welcome party

Friday night the office had a welcome party for me. I teach about an even number of jr. high and high school courses, but my desk is in the office for teachers who teach juniors in high school so only teachers in my office came. The party was at a Japanese chicken BBQ restaurant.

As we walked in the door O-sensei told me, 窶廬t is illegal to ride your bike drunk.窶� But we didn't ride bikes to get to the restaurant. The party started with beer and salad. The math teachers and a Japanese teacher were already there. O-sensei was the only English teacher at first, but the other teachers trickled in soon after.

The most prominent lesson I was told was this: if you want to speak good Japanese, 1) get a Japanese girlfriend 2) if you can't do that, come to the bar with the math teachers 3) and always feel free to ask any of the teachers, especially the Japanese teacher. The math teachers told me that had learned all the English they know from Justin. The Japanese teacher is also willing to teach skiing (there is a ski resort less than 30 min away, it's place on the mountain is visible from the school).

Lesson #2: Godzilla. The Japanese word for whale is 窶很uzilla窶�. So Godzilla is not a dinosaur, he is a whale. He is a radioactive whale who is the product of the Hiroshima bombings. Actually Godzilla is a symbol of the Japanese spirit after the bombs, and each monster he fights is a symbol of other Japanese crisis after the war. Some teachers admitted they had never heard of this before but said it could be true.

Of course they asked about where I was from, what I liked to do, what my family was like, etc. They were also curious about which Japanese foods I could eat. I found out I don't like to eat chicken joints, but they do prepare them in a tasty marinade. It was a good time of building friendships within the office.

At the end of the night the math teacher and 窶徘arty planner窶� asked me if I wanted to go to a second bar. He had been very nice, but I was full in more than one way so I declined. He said, 窶廾h, you are not Justin! Oh baby! Oh baby!窶�


Blogger ariel said...

Your quotation marks are coming through funny here. Maybe it's just my computer.

I like reading the beginnings of this adventure!

8/21/2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger darin said...


Forget bikes! Did you tell your new colleagues that in your previous state, South Dakota, that citizens are allowed to ride horse drunk?

That'll wow them with the brilliance of Americans!

8/23/2006 9:05 AM  

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