the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Chopsticks

They have these disposable chopsticks in Japan made out of balsa wood.
They're everywhere here. They show up even more often than plastic forks
and spoons or paper plates in America. This is seen as a huge waste of
natural resources. Across the country it's a "popular" thing to be more
economical. This phenomenon is called "Eco Life" in Japan.

To combat the disposable chopsticks there is a trend called "My Hashi"
(which means "My Chopsticks" in Japanese). "My Hashi" just means that
you bring your own chopsticks in a case to a restaurant, convenience
store, etc. And when they offer you disposable you just, "Thanks, I
brought my own." The same thing happens with plastic shopping bags and
"eco bags".

But here's my problem. If you put the used chopsticks in the case,
you'll get the case dirty. If you use a tissue to clean the chopsticks,
you're still being wasteful. If you lick the chopsticks, you're being rude.

I suppose I could use a plastic case and wash the case, but then the
case rattles in my bag. Or I could bring a hanky to wipe the chopsticks,
but that's also kind of gross. For now I'm just being rude quickly while
no one (hopefully) is watching.

PS - Everyone should do their part to save the earth, but I especially
think that Christians should be involved. I do believe that for too long
now Christians have only spoke of hope only in the next life. But Jesus
gives us hope now - the moment we believe.

And while "eco-life" should NOT be the main focus of our Christian
lives, when people ask you why you are carrying an "eco bag" in the
store (tote bag for those of you not living in Japan), it would be nice
to be able to tell them "because I take God seriously when He said 'work
the earth and take care of it'." Not only does this share your faith in
a concrete way, it gives you something in common with those "super cool"
activists. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What are you up to?

Last week we had a meeting where the subject was disciplinary and
academic problems - among others. I heard the head of our grade say,
"The students this year are horrible, but next year and the year after
they'll only get worse." (And then they wonder why I'm not staying
another year. That'll be my next blog entry, hopefully it'll be more
thought out and well rounded then.)

I have only a month of two left with my third grade high schoolers
before they graduate (or rather are given official time off from school
to get ready for college entrance exams), and it's crept up on me.

We have a speech contest this week on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.
Trading classes (there are no subteachers here) for that proved to be a
pain in the butt. But speech contest is a great chance to see students
outside the classroom.

In the classroom last week many different (usually well behaved) classes
seemed to have a spout of not listening to me.

Tomorrow I'm having dinner with T&A. Next week our bosses from Tokyo are
coming to visit! That week is also when I should start doing final tests
which means I should start writing final tests about now.

The week after I'm going to Sendai for an English teaching conference.
I'm also going to see if I can meet up with some other co-workers and
missionaries while I'm there.

Then comes final tests grading, Christmas, the Christmas pageant, and
maybe going home for Christmas. Then I'll help some local missionaries
with their English camp before going back to school myself.

So, what are you to? That's about it.