Maybe Famous?

Well, today went a lot better than yesterday. I’m sure that some of what I talked about in Monday’s journal entry was just the initial shell-shock of being thrust into the thick of things. Today’s lessons went fine and I didn’t feel quite as big an idiot as I did before—a good sign, no doubt.

My lunchtime turned out to be quite entertaining. Keiko-san, my CP, showed up right on time outside my classroom with one of her friends who’s also studying English. No problem—I said that would be fine. We decided to go eat at “Makudo” (McDonald’s, for those of you who don’t know) and it seems like we kept picking up more and more of her friends on the way. By the time we were sitting down and eating it was me—43 year old gaijin with gray hair—surrounded by seven college girls! It was really a lot of fun talking with them, though I mostly did a lot of heavy-duty listening. I’ve never ever gotten so much attention at home!

After lunch was the gymnasium tour. I’m keen to get into the weight room and continue post-surgery rehab on my knee using the weight machines. Using the bike will be good to help burn some calories (it’s really funny—as you exercise, the display shows a little bowl; each time you burn enough calories, it fills up a little more. When it’s full, you’ve burned off one bowl of rice). The thing I didn’t understand was the stairmasters given that KSU is built on hills and there are plenty of steps to have to go up every day. I’m going to try to come in the evening after classes and dinner, though I also want to come sometime and watch the Kendo club practicing.

In the afternoon, I had my moment to shine when we studied kanji. Of the ones in the current chapter, I already knew all but three. I keep saying if I could just read and write this language and not have to speak to anyone, I’d be fine. We then began learning a Japanese song—a very famous tune that most anyone would know even back at home, but in Japanese it’s Ue wo muite, arukou. That was fun—now I can sing at least one Japanese song at Karaoke! If I have time and am brave enough, perhaps I’ll sing it for you in the next audio podcast. (PS—If Bill-san is reading this and knows the English title, post it as a comment onegaishimasu.)

The “famous” part also came in the afternoon. An entourage of people from the local radio station (Alpha-Station) came to class and wanted to have each of us record taglines to use as bumpers over the summer on the radio. We said things like “You’re listening to Alpha-station” and “Alpha-station 15th anniversary”. Me—a natural ham—put on my radio announcer voice and gave of my best. I don’t know if Paul-san was pulling my leg or not, but he said they might want me to come in for an interview—now that would be awesome! So anyway, they’ll put our voices on the radio and our names and photos up on their website—who knew we’d be getting so much attention…

And then: homework, of course…

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