13 , 2003
This past week I had two great days in a row; on Friday, I gave
a short lecture and played a game with a great bunch of middle school
students, and on Saturday I went to Hiroshima to see a professional
Sensei for a Day
My trip to Ube Chuugakkoo was awesome. Yuji and Momoko, two of my
Japanese teachers, went along with me. The whole trip was a reunion
for Yuji, since we visited his old school and his old teacher’s
Before heading into the classroom I was a bit nervous. I didn’t
know what to expect, and I wasn’t sure how the kids would
respond to me. I walked into the classroom and found about 40 sixth-graders
sitting on the floor. This was more than I had expected. I think
they could tell I was nervous, because I saw them whispering to
one another. I set things up for my lecture and took a big breath
before beginning. Gulp.
As soon as I started talking in Japanese, of course, the kids were
amazed. Their little faces were glowing as they focused on what
I was saying. This made me feel much more comfortable and relaxed.
Whew. I gave a 20-minute lecture covering various topics. I began
by introducing myself and talking about my interests and hobbies.
Several of the kids
laughed when I said I liked to gamble on horse racing. After that
I discussed some basic differences between America and Japan. The
kids were surprised by all of them. From this I