Here is a really nice blog, written by a new friend of mine I met in Kashiwa. Whilst I like going to see the temples and shrines, she actually gets involved in all the ceremonies, not to mention martial arts. It’s called Basic Black and you can see it here-http://www.erizabesu.typepad.com./. It is interesting to read the blogs of other ‘foreigners’ here (foreigner being a pretty strange word, seeing as we are all residents of the same planet after all), seeing what they get out of their life here and how they respond to living in what is for all of us a very different culture to that in our home countries. This is one reason why I recommend to my students, past present (and future!) to take a look at these very pages. There is a lot we don’t find the time to talk about and the nature of English teaching can be restrictive, if only because of the students’ levels. Of course, we are not here only to teach English, but also to experience the wonderful cultures of Japan. The fact that these cultures- and there are many of them- can speak deeply to us, too, shows that underneath all the layers of society, we all aren’t so different after all.
Posted by Starfires on January 12, 2008
Just had a great Halloween, including a party at the Hub that must be one of my best times there on record! Yet, the fun is not over, as I am spending the rest of the week disguised as Harry Potter- not that too many people will notice anyway, unless they take a look at my specially-altered name tag!
Posted by Starfires on November 1, 2007
Well it is a happy birthday for Yuko! Luckily I could see her on the day and wish it to her in person (last Thursday). Now I can reveal the secret present… which was none other was none other than a compact camera, the Fuji-film F30, which I especially chose for her due to the low-light ability. There is always a party or wedding where everything will happen inside, and with an ability to take pictures in near darkness without flash (which I demonstrated to her), up to ISO 3200, which takes the picture very quickly as it needs less light, these will come out a lot better than those from other compact cameras. It also is small, light and has a beautiful appearance.
It was a difficult choice in some ways, as there are other compacts with longer zoom lenses, or a wider angle lens and image stablisation (which helps more for zoomed pictures and I wish this camera had too). But with the beautiful image quality, rich Fuji-film colours and especially the chance of actually taking good pictures inside, this camera won. Not only that but it has some of the advantages that most compacts are enjoying these days- a large, very bright monitor, high quality movie-mode and it all works an awful lot faster than my original digicam, the Canon S40, where by the time you had turned it on whatever you wanted to take a picture of had often vanished. Remember all the strained smiles from people you were saying, ‘just a moment’ to before the snap? Well hopefully these are all a thing of the past with today’s technology.
In fact, there’s even a gallery taken solely with the camera, which you see glimpses of here.
Posted by Starfires on June 11, 2006
Well this weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to the wonderful wedding of Rodney and Mayu Okane. It was a very heart-warming affair, bringing together the people and cultures of Japan, America and Africa (Rodney’s from both Ghana and New York). We wish them many happy years together. Life’s great adventure is much more fun when travelled with someone else… so we wish them a very warm
Of course, I was on hand with a camera, so expect some pictures here when they are ready. This unique, colourful and friendly occassion will certainly never be forgotten. Apart from anything else, it was good to be at a wedding with so many good friends there!
Posted by Starfires on May 22, 2006
Speaking of moving stories, on Tokyo Fox’s space there is a touching elegy to his friend, Ian Roper, which I very much recommend reading. Both of us had generally been writing about our day-to-day experiences, but sometimes something more meaningful comes into our lives, which makes us stop and think about what’s really most important. Simple and honest, this piece makes the person come to life in my mind, even though I never had the chance to actually meet him. You can read it here.
Posted by Starfires on May 21, 2006