Published: November 11th 2006November 20th 2002
I suppose it is an inevitable result of extending my stay to a second year: most things I participate in these days I have done before. It doesn’t make them less interesting, but it does remove the novelty factor. These days I strive to make more of an impact at my job. I am directing a performance of Aladdin with my 8th graders at this year’s school cultural festival, but I am given exactly 50 minutes every week to do everything from practicing lines to making costumes and props. On Friday, I am supposed to lead the rehearsal by myself because the English teacher won’t be there. She has little confidence in my ability, so I am committed to proving her wrong.
At my elementary school, I am putting together a big shindig for Halloween. In desperation of ever finding orange pumpkins, a rarity in Japan, I went out and bought green ones, which I will have the students paint orange and draw scary faces. Unfortunately, they are a bit too small for carving, not that I know how to carve anyway. The kids and teachers will make costumes that definitely will be interesting. All 90 students in the six grade elementary school will gather in the gym to participate in various Halloween themed activities including pin the tail on the pumpkin and guess the food. I plan to use smashed bananas, crushed grapes, overcooked spaghetti and other appetizing fares to add an appropriate level of gruesomeness.
Because my town seems to shrink by the hour, I spend almost every weekend on the road. This past weekend, I went to an international exchange camp with a dozen English teachers and fifty Japanese people. After being bored to tears with Japanese tea ceremony, everyone was treated to the highlight of the afternoon: making skits. We had to create a skit with the theme of world peace and instructed, “It must be funny.” After a lengthy discussion, my fellow group members agreed to my idea of a future world in which there is discrimination against the color blue. One day, the police decree that everyone wearing blue is to be thrown in jail, and they carry out their objective until suddenly…Scottman arrives and uses his exemplary sword-fighting skills to bring down the evil cops and bring about an end of color discrimination and begin an era of world peace. I used my heart-tipped sword (not my idea) to revive lovers who had committed suicide in the grand tradition of Romeo and Juliet, and we all lived happily ever after. I am sure it had to be seen to be believed.
Lately I have been concentrating on things pertaining more to my future. I took the general GRE a couple of weeks ago in Osaka (yes, you can take it in Japan!) and did pretty well. Now I am hard at work on graduate school applications to Princeton, Tufts, GW, John Hopkins, and for kicks, the University of Denver, all for international development. If all goes according to plan, I will come home next year early August, and start grad school the following month. Originally, I just wanted to live off my savings for a year and see a bit more of the world, but I fear if I don’t go to grad school now I never will.