Monday, September 11, 2006

Voice Lessons

Voice lessons are open discussion forums. One instructor sits in on the discussion for a full (40 minute) class length to encourage discussion, and help with language when necessary. For my first few lessons the class was just interested in talking about me, where I'm from, and why I came to Japan.
They ask "Can you use chopsticks?" and "Can you eat raw fish?"
When I answered yes to both, the whole class "ahhhh" 'd in approval.
Funniest thing I've been asked so far - "I am wondering... in Canada are there many houses made of wood?"
I didn't comprehend at first... "well, yes, they normally use wood for the frame of the house..."
"but the logs? Are there houses made out of the logs?"
"Oh! Log cabins??? You want to know if Canadians live in log cabins???"

Kids training begins today. Should be fun!



Derrick M said...


Did you tell them that only in the southern-most parts of Canada have log cabins, and everywhere else people live in igloos?

Well... I've gotta hop on my dogsled and get to work.. "mush!"

Des said...

You know you can't blame them for not knowing, when we moved to Calagary I found it strange that houses did not use brick, they used almost all stucko

Arlene said...

Poor Tara! Yikes...doesn't sound like the ideal situation at all ..but, think of all the exercise you'll get. Will this travelling from one school to another so far away, be a permanent thing? I hope not! What about Ian? Does he do the same amount of travelling? I hope that at some point, you'll be able to talk to someone to change things in your favour. The whole thing sounds silly to me (but what do I know?). I would hate to have one-on-one lessons...Yuck. But, at least you can 'leave the job at work' and don't have to plan lessons...that certainly is a plus.
You'll love Japanese students always tell me how great it is.

your friends in Japan said...

Derrick - take care of those huskies!
When I've asked people about Canada, one of the first things they always say is "maple syrup"! Given that a lot of maple syrup bottles actually have log cabins on the label, the question shouldn't have surprised me so much.

Des - very true, and also the lack of knowledge goes both ways: I expected more people in kimonos here.

Arlene - my commute is thankfully not bad at all. At the train station, just a few minutes away from our apartment, I catch a 14 minute ride to a smaller town to the north. My branch is directly across the street from the station in that small town.
Almost every Japanese person I've asked has recommended visiting Kyoto. Tara and I plan to take a weekend trip as soon as we hit a payday.

Derrick M said...

Well... I've actually had to downsize my dogs... you know with rising food prices and all that... so I no-longer have Huskies, I've got the more fuel-efficient Chihuahas...