July 22, 2001
now I'm feeling: Depressed
now I'm listening to: Do As Infinity
As Infinity -- Tooku Made
people can surprise you. Last week I got a call from one of
my old students. Motowa is a highly intelligent, excitable,
interesting girl. She has a sharp, sarcastic wit, dreams of
becoming a TV reporter and is not afraid to make an ass out
of herself (something very uncommon in Japan). She called
me because she had heard that I was leaving Japan soon, and
her and six or seven of my old students wanted to take me
out to dinner one last time. I just couldn't believe it. You
know.. students come in and out of your life.. I know they
care, right, but I didn't think that they would go out of
their way to do something like this or that they were keeping
tabs on me.
arranged a get-together at my favorite Italian place in town,
Cappriccosia's, and set a date, which was not easy because
they were all busy getting ready to go to colleges, universities,
or whatever. In the end, only five of them could make it,
but I was really happy. They were the core of my English club,
the first students I really met at Seiwa JHS, and they were
also the ones who got me to dance with a Peruvian band in
front of a thousand people (long story there).
seen them around town now and then... some of them, at least.
I was really interested in what was happening to Reika, the
girl I was talking politics (in English) with when I couldn't
even speak whole sentences to the teachers. There was Mayu,
the Japanese girl who grew up in the States, who misses America
probably as much as I miss Japan now. Also, Shooko, who had
forgotten all her English, but tried her darndest anyway,
even though she ended up saying the most ridiculous things.
made them mixed CDs of American songs and was late to the
restaurant, but I wasn't as late as Shooko. We ate, clowned
around and caught up for the next two or three hours, stuffing
our mouths with pizza and pasta when someone else was talking.
Shooko and Motowa are both university-bound. Reika is going
to a college, which is renouned throughout Japan for its language
instruction. In short, they are all doing real well, just
like I thought they would, no doubt on their way to great
things. It's amazing how when you're in a roomfull of students
who are all dressed the same, after one or two classes you
can pick out the students who are just a cut above the rest
and you know will turn out all right in the end.
was terrific to see them again and I really hope we can keep
in touch when I go back to the States. I'll miss these kids
so much and I can't wait to see what kind of people they will
become in the future.
met up one last time with most of the city junior high school
ALTs; the ALTs I've been closest with. When we leave here
we will all go to different countries and our friendships
will be primarily dependent on email. They weren't just casual
friends, they were friends. My best friends here. We really
clung to each other, living in this foreign, strange place
and sometimes all we could do to stop from pulling out our
hair was to be with each other.
sure I'll see Lesa and Glen again, at least they live in the
States, but as for Ondrea and Kristy... I'm not so sure. Things
just feel so final these days. I hate saying goodbye to people
who I know I'll never see again. Most of my Japanese friends
will stay around here.. probably. But all the foreigners are
scattering all over the globe.
Matsuri is in a few days and I'm looking forward to seeing
that. I have so much packing and cleaning to do that I was
toying with the idea of skipping it, but I really have to
see it.. it'll be the last Japanese festival I'll see. It's
also one of the biggest, best, and most popular in the whole
country. It should be good. I'll probably meet up with Machiko