I went to another concert last week! Monkey Majik!!! I mentioned them in an earlier post when I saw them on stage at a same event as AI, Nishino Kana, and Naota Somethingsomething. Anyway, great concert! I knew all but 4 or 5 of the songs (out of a total of about 20). They played my favorites like Change, Together, ただ、ありがとう, fly, Around the World, Headlight, and others. Fantastic. I ended up buying a towel and three CDs. I’ve become a 大ファン (big fan)! Unfortunately, it will be their last concert in Zepp Sendai, as the building (and that whole area) will be demolished and renovated (or something). And their next concert in Sendai is sold out, so I definitely won’t be seeing them for a while. Still, though, I’m happy to have been able to do so.
This past weekend was cool, too. I was an extra in a movie! The movie is called じんじん “Jin Jin,” and is being filmed in Matsushima. It’s apparently the first movie to have been filmed there since the Earthquake and Tsunami disaster last year. I don’t know what the movie is about, but from what I could tell, one of the main characters is either an actor or a stage performer. In the scene I’m in, the actor is on stage and telling some folk tale or other story while we in the audience are laughing boisterously. The camera panned across the audience and stopped when my friend and I are in the center of the shot. It’ll be funny to see myself in a movie theater when it comes out next summer. My friends and I also provided canned laughter. That’s amusing.
I FINALLY started watching Firefly! A friend of mine (who reads this blog; thank you!) recommended it to me years ago. Anyway, I’m watching it with two other friends, now. Very fun. I love the female characters; they’re all so unique and so amazing. I’m trying to juggle it with Game of Thrones, which I just started watching after having caught up with The Walking Dead. The fifth season of Breaking Bad will start next month; really looking forward to that. On the anime/manga front, I need to catch up on Naruto episodes and get on with Full Metal Alchemist. And my brother suggested reading the Walking Dead comics. Too much to watch/read, not enough time!
Lastly, it’s story time! It’s been a while since I’ve shared a story with you all. I found this in a Jr. High 3rd Year English textbook called “One World.” I wonder if it was written for the ALTs or to improve student-ALT relations. Either way, I wish something like this was present in every English textbook.
On Your Graduation Day
You all have a big future ahead of you. My message on this special day is this: Take your time before you make a judgment.
Before I came to Japan, people gave me some advice. Some people in my country said, “Japanese people are very shy.” Others said, “Japanese people will never open their minds to a non-Japanese person.”
Soon I started to think those pieces of advice were more or less true. Of course, you greeted me every morning, but when I asked you a question in class, often no one said anything. “Japanese students really think silence is golden!” I said to myself.
A few weeks passed, and you still were silent in class. I started to have a different idea. “Maybe they are not shy. They are just not interested in me. They are just not interested in English at all!” This thought depressed me.
Then we had a school trip to Kamakura. While we were walking, Aya told me a secret. At lunchtime Kenta gave me some su-kombu. He said it was “Japanese chewing gum.” After that everyone wanted to bring me something Japanese, and you were talking to me in English!
That was the turning point. You started to talk to me in class, too, after that. It made me very happy. You’re not shy at all; you’re talkative! At the same time, you have things you want to say.
When you were silent in class, I wondered about it. “Maybe they don’t want to talk.” “Maybe they are not interested in the topic.” “Maybe they don’t understand me.” “Maybe they know the answer but don’t know how to say it in English.”
Also, I was confused when I asked a question and you would turn to your friends and talk to them. “I am talking to you. Why don’t you talk to me, not to your friend?” I wanted to say.
I’m happy now because I didn’t judge too quickly. You have become students who can try to say something. I’m happy that you’re trying to communicate with me. That’s the important thing. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Making mistakes helps you make progress.
Some people make judgments right away. When they discover that I’m from Australia, they are sure that I am always late. However, that’s not true. I am an Australian, but I worry about being late. I come to school at least thirty minutes before it starts. I think it depends on the person.
In conclusion, I believe it’s important not to make judgments about other people too soon. I am glad I didn’t, because you proved that people’s advice can be wrong. Now I want each of you to be a person who can respect others without prejudice. Prejudice is caused by premature judgment. I hope you’ll be able to enjoy communicating in English with someone different from you. We are, after all, people living together in one world.
Word of the Day: 話 「はなし」 "hanashi," which means "story."