Sunday, September 2, 2007

me, my bread, and I

Randomata: The bread here lacks a certain je ne sais quoi,.. except I do sais quoi. It lacks good taste, whole grains, and has an overabundance of sweetness and awful flavour. You can't find decent bread anywhere (which, back home, was my bread and..., umm, back home, uh, bread was my butter?)

Where to start? Has it been only a week since last I committed to blogpost my mindless prattling? It feels like a day - it feels like a month.

After an email wherein I complained of this or that defficiency or limitation in my personality, my sage father most wisely pointed out that wherever you go, you take the source of the most difficulty in your life: you.

Total Arnold buffs might Recall a certain film where a dream-vacation company offered a possible solution to this problem. Unfortunately, the reality crisis that ensued was nearly devestating to our dear Governator's psyche.

My point is not simply to talk about the huge defficiencies of Me, nor to bring back painful memories of the three breasted woman in Total Recall. However, I am surprised at the blending and occasional collision of the 'old' me and the as yet undiscovered 'me'.

For example, and to be possibly overly personal, I still fail to take initiative and control of my own life and near future. I still follow rather than plan, accept rather than suggest. This means that though I know I want to do something - say, go hiking - I don't just plan a day and go. I wait for somebody else to take the initiative, and I follow when invited. This is a bad way to be.
What do I plan for my long weekends up ahead? What do I plan for Christmas? Many people have already planned exciting trips months in advance to look forward to. I slog away in the day-to-day, head down and digging into the quotidian, and go weeks waiting for someone to take me on a fun hike somewhere.

I'm not trying to sound really negative and down on myself; I'm just trying to be honest.

Now, what's interesting in contrast is the fact that I am also doing all sorts of new and challenging things that I never knew I could do. In one way or another, for better or for worse, I spent the entire week working with Japanese junior high and highschool students who spoke varying amounts of no english whatsoever.

I stood up in front of 600 or so students, the staff, the principal, etc, of my school and gave a speech in Japanese...

I worked with a small group of 4 students for two days at an overnight english camp. They hardly said a word, but they still performed (sort of) in english their adaptation of a favored children's fable reworked as "The Three Little Triangles"...

I had a ten and a half hour workday on Wednesday, because I stayed after school to participate in the soccer club with about 25 12-15 year olds who ran the practice themselves, but were kind enough to let me play. And when they all stood in a circle around me waiting for parting words, I had no idea what would be a good, friendly, cool, respectful, teacherly, and comprehensible thing to say...

...later that night, a building-mate gave me a cooking lesson. Me! Cooking!...

I woke up at 6 o'clock almost every day during the week, which is just wrong. I went to bed at 7am last saturday, 4am ish on thursday and 3am ish on friday and saturday, for a variety of reasons, including two hours of red eye political discussion on thursday, three hours of karaoke on Friday, and I don't know how many hours of exploring the city (ie being lost) on Saturday night...

...oh, and I am going about my daily life, eating, shopping, etc, in JAPAN!!!

Anyways, not to ramble too much: hopefully the Me I brought with me is a source of not only difficulty and defficiency, but of potential and, what's another good cheesy word... adventure!

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