Monday, August 28, 2006
900 teens + 1 american = one good cookie
well i woke at 2am this morning to the townwide loudspeaker blabbing something in japanese. at two. in the morning. it had better be an emergency, right? apparently it was a warning to be cautious since the heavy rains had closed some of the roads. you had to WAKE US UP to tell us that? who's driving then!? unfortunately i thought i was late to the first real day of school and bolted up in a cold panic. thanks to that little shot of adrenaline, i didn't sleep too well the rest of the night. so i was less than a fresh little flower when i dragged my feet into school. but there's nothing like a healthy dose of more anxiety-related adrenaline to lift up those tired feet. i had to give my half japanese, half english speech to 900 people. wheee. but amazingly, public speaking isn't a great phobia of mine, so i was ready to give it a go. on entering the gym, i removed my shoes and was offered a pair of hideous brownish-orange plastic slippers that looked like they barely escaped the seventies with their lives. now it's just hard to be too serious when you're going to give a speech wearing house slippers you might've stolen from your grandfather. the students were in their stocking feet sitting on the floor. all together, 900 japanese kids doesn't look like that many. once i started the speech, i wasn't nervous anymore and was able to take my time and articulate well. "i like knitting and mo-tor-cy-cles." i actually welcomed the chance to address them all and be friendly so they know i'm not scary even if i don't speak their language. it worked! i got some shy "helo"s, some waves, and a ton of explosive giggling. it's an honor to be here. interestingly my fortune cookie before i left the states read "you will be called to fill a position of high honor and responsibility." it was a good cookie. maybe homer wrote it.