Wednesday, June 08, 2005

back in the trenches

So I've been back in school for three days now, and let me just say that four hours in one class (even with breaks) is a long, long, long time to sit still. It's an odd experience, because frankly I already know everything they're teaching (it is a Japanese class, after all, which I speak fairly fluently), though I'm sure that will change once we get into kanji. Then there'll be a lot of reviewing to do.

My class is odd, to say the least. I was going to introduce them all today, but maybe it'd be better to do this one at a time. There are only six of us, after all. So let's start with perhaps the most entertaining guy in the class (though absolutely unintentionally).

Maklauskey (I only know them by Japanized versions of their names, so who knows what this name really is. The Japanized version is Makurousuki--if he shows up again in this blog I make no guarantee that his name will be spelled the same way) is Polish and an art student. He has curly black hair that extends almost entirely down his back and his this tendency to stare at the teacher and rub the side of his face when he isn't sure what to say. It's hilarious. It's not just that he says "Can you repeat that?" or "I don't understand." He says nothing and just stares, with his hand slowly slowly rubbing his cheek, right by his ear. This leaves the teacher feeling really awkward, so she starts filling in the long silences with questions, translating for him into English, and slowly getting more and more flustered. Today we had the following exchange, translated for your enjoyment. It is important to note that this exchange happened after an earlier exchange in which Makauskey didn't answer anything when the teacher asked him to give his phone number in Japanese.

Anegawa sensei: "Otoosan no shigoto wa nan desu ka?" (What's your father's job?)

Maklauskey stares blankly at the teacher.

Anegawa sensei: "Wakarimasu ka? Otoosan no shigoto wa nan desu ka?" (Do you understand? What's your father's job?)

Maklauskey slowly raises his hand to his cheek, begins to rub the stubble by his ear.

Anegawa sensei: "Otoosan means father. Do you understand? Shigoto means job." Very slowly. "Otoosan no shigoto wa nan desu ka?" (What's your father's job).

Maklauskey: (Still rubbing his cheek) Ummm...

Anegawa sensei: (In English) "What is your father's job?"

Maklauskey: (Still rubbing) Ummm...

Anegawa sensei: (In English) "You don't know your father's job?"

Maklauskey: (Still rubbing) . . .

Anegawa sensei: (In English) "You don't know your father's job? You don't know your own phone number? You don't know many things, huh? You have very small memories."

Maklauskey: (Still got that rubbing feeling) . . .

Needless to say, it's uncomfortably hilarious.

All right, that's enough for today. Tomorrow I'm going to meet up with the Docta in . . . (wait for it) . . .

Intercourse, Pennsylvaia.

Ah, yes. What a town. It just happens to be a good distance between both our locations and apparently has some cool shopping and what not. Plus I get to say I'm going to Intercourse tomorrow. Good times.

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