I Think I'm Turning Japanese
I know JETs working at other schools can also say the same thing, but since I don't work for those schools, I can't vouch for them. I can, however, rightfully say that my school is rad.  

Can we please bring back that adjective? It isn't used nearly enough.

Anyway, reasons why Nagamine wins at the Rad Game:

1) Teachers
The teachers here are super sweet. They all got the memo that you are supposed to be nice to the ALTs, and a few of them will approach me to practice their English. They all have silly sense of humor, too. Plus, nobody else has a Kobayashi sensei. He alone wins the Rad Game for the school. He wears Crocs, after all.

2) Students
Sure they are a little shy at first, but I think that is just a country-wide trait. Having to coax answers out of kids comes with the territory (at least here in Japan). But, once you butter them up with postcards from San Francisco and the promise of stickers, they are hilarious. I can tell which ones are the most devious, but since all of them are essentially good kids, I quite love them already.

3) Lunchtime
Like I'm sure many other chugakus in Kobe do, they totally rock out during lunch. Now, I didn't know this because so far I've only been present for one lunch period, and I spent my time in the quiet staff room. But, today, as I was clearing out my stuff from the library, all of a sudden the intercom went on, a student said something something something something in Japanese, and then a loud head-banging rock song started blaring from the speakers. Whaaaa? I looked around, confused. Did someone hijack the speaker system? My OTE told me that they get to listen to whatever music they want during lunchtime. They take turns playing DJ, too. Who knew my kids were heavy metal fans?

4) View
One thing I know my school has over any other school in Kobe is the view. Holy moly, the view! I know we are situated on top of a giant hill and it's a pain in the butt to climb it (and expensive to cab it) every day, but the reward is the amazing view of all of Kobe. It's gorgeous. Check it out sometime.

5) Supply room
I've always worked at schools that had pretty tight budgets. Sometimes we'd run out of paper, and to hell with trying to get a new stapler. But the schools in Japan come equipped with the most well-stocked supply rooms imaginable! Magnets and cardboard and colored paper, oh my!

6) Kocho sensei
Kocho sensei is a tough nut to crack. He is always standing in some kind of stern manner, either with his arms folded across his chest with his chin up and peering down his nose at you, or with his hands on his hips, still with his chin up and peering down his nose at you. I know his English is not that great, but I hesitate to say that is the reason he doesn't talk to me much. I think he just doesn't like me. But anyway, the reason why he is rad is because he told me about zaru soba. That post will come soon, I promise.

I am sure there are a million more reasons and I can go on and on for days, but think of this as a bit of an amuse-bouche to entice you to want to come visit me and see how rad Nagamine is for yourself.

Peace out,

9/6/2010 02:19:15 pm

Ah, yes! I goggled Mt. Nagamine, fabulous view, indeed. Much like the view from Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, right?
I'm so happy & relieved that you're in a "rad" school. Does Kocho sensei mean "principal"? I'm sure you'll melt his heart someday, impress him with your Japanese (work at it to the best of your ability, as always). Sayonara!


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