‘Footloose’ illegal in Tokyo

When I first came to Japan, I definitely had a shroud over my head thinking that society here was overall better.  More understanding, more civil and more polite.  Well, after some tough experiences, that shroud’s been ripped away.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love Japan and I enjoy my job, but it just wasn’t the mecca I was imagining.
Below is one example of things (this no-dancing law) that just down-right doesn’t make sense and I think is being abused because of Japan’s extremely conservative views.  My friends, unfortunately, had to experience this last week when they went out to a dance club in Roppongi and had to stand perfectly still while in a dance club.  Really?  That’s just silly.
Part of me wonders how Japan is going to change in the next 20 years or so when the people that are my age become the new people guiding the economy and government.  Will we meld-minds with the current politicians or will the youth of Japan open up their viewpoints a little more and get rid of abusive laws like this?  Interesting to think about, I say…

Late-night dancing should not be a crime in Japan | The Japan Times Online.

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Nerd alert…

So I got a small ocarina at the recycle shop today for a few bucks. Decided to lay down some jams to influence your ear-holes. Have fun!
(Seriously, I know the sound of this ocarina is terrible, but it’s still fun to play)

Japan Earthquakes 2011

Alright, so if you didn’t know already… Japan still gets a lot of  earthquakes.  Being in a mountain basin somewhat cushions you from the effects, but that doesn’t protect us from all of them.  This is a pretty awesome YouTube video visualizing the earthquakes in Japan over the past year.  If you’re one for stats, this is *your* video.

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Good Karma

Stopped at the crosswalk and saw this guy squirming around on the ‘Walk’ button. Looks like this guy got a little confused climbing up this telephone pole. Picture is of the little guy zipping up a nearby tree that I transferred it too. It only stopped briefly enough for me to snap this photo and … Continue reading

Challenges abound

So I’ve definitely been meeting my fair share of challenges over here in Japan.  Seems like something new pops up every week from trying to borrow a wrench at a bicycle shop and getting berated to getting into a shouting match with my friend over her driving after drinking (loooong story – maybe I’ll devote a blog entry to it).  I run into challenges in the classroom too when trying to figure out ways to teach the kids in new, fun ways.
Luckily, when things go well in the classroom, it makes me forget about everything.  The feeling of fulfillment I get from leaving an excited, happy class of students is super rewarding.  I did a lot of research before I came over and I was warned on several accounts that I would be challenged mentally/socially/even physically as an ALT.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t possibly imagine these kind of situations on this level.
However, I will leave you with a great bit of advice from a former ALT that I has helped me out.  “Challenges in life come at all times and must be treated as opportunities to learn,  These opportunities help discover strengths that one never knew one had.”
がんばって!

My Love/Hate relationship with Linux

Seeing as how I haven’t really had a computer challenge really since I came to Japan, when my friend asked for help getting an OS on an old laptop, I jumped at the opportunity to help.  She said she wanted to put Linux on it since her old laptop, which was having charging problems from blunt force trauma, so naturally, I was like “Oh yea, this’ll be easy and awesome!”  Boy, was I wrong!  This is why I’m convinced that Linux is the devil… Continue reading