Monday, February 25, 2008

Boring?

I was reading a forum I found yesterday, for foreigners living here, and got to thinking about how very many people have written about living overseas and such. There are a lot of foreigners here, a lot more than you might think, and not just obviously white folks, but Koreans, Chinese, and so on.

So, of course, nothing I'm saying is really new. Other folks have described, mostly better than I have, their experiences learning about the different cultural practices, trying to figure out kanji, walking around and such. And I've read some of their writings, even.

And yet, even having experienced things as a Peace Corps volunteer, what I'm doing now is really new for ME. And I'm writing to process things, to think out loud, as it were, and to remember things for myself. But I'm probably more boring than usual, especially for folks interested in teaching writing, academic stuff, or Shakespeare studies. Of course, anyone who's truly bored isn't reading, so that solves that!

I'm a little anxious about going to Hiroshima this weekend. It's far away, and I need to write down some basic stuff, figure out what to take with me, get cash. I'll be taking my first ride on a bullet train, spending the night in a hotel (I have reservations, but I'll have to find it in the city), finding my way to other places to visit, and then getting myself home. One of the faculty folks here takes students to Hiroshima, and I'll be tagging along. So getting there should be fairly straightforward. I hope.

And the cool thing is that I'll be able to join the class to see a speaker who's a survivor of the a-bomb there. The survivors are, as you'd expect, fairly few now, and mostly quite old and unwell. Yet somehow it seems important to learn and remember, like learning from my aunt's in laws who were Holocaust survivors.

8 comments:

  1. I started reading you just as you were packing, and haven't been at all bored. I've visited a few of the places you mentioned when I was in Kyoto for a conference and love hearing what you thought. So, nope, not bored at all. And I'm looking forward to reading about Hiroshima. Travel safely!

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  2. I haven't been bored at all! I've never been to Japan and I'm finding it fascinating. :-)

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  3. Boring? No way! Keep the travelogue going, please.

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  4. I've really enjoyed these posts. As an early modernist I love your reflections on Shakespeare and teaching, but as someone who loves travel and embraces curiosity, I love these stories of discovery and learning.

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  5. I'm looking for ideas and programs for 1.5 years from now. Where did you find this framework? Any suggestions? And travel with spouse and 10th grade boy?

    Of course we can go to Israel, but I'd like to think out of the obvious options, as well.

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  6. These posts are wonderful--sure, they may not be new (compared to other expat writing on the 'net), but I"m not reading those posts. I'm here, loving this peek into life in Japan, dropped into your regular, more-familiar-to-me academic life.

    Have fun on the bullet train--I look forward to reading more of your trip.

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  7. Thanks all. I needed the encouragement :)

    Timna, do you mean the class framework, or how I got to teach abroad where I am?

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  8. either? both?
    our cc does have opportunities for taking students abroad, but as you said, they're mostly students taking classes in English just in a different setting. I'd rather work with non-American students if I'm going to be outside the US! Are you teaching pre-college English?
    thanks!

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