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Monday, May 12, 2014

Joshua's Corner and the Half Page Column

 Happy Tuesday from Akasaki

Our fish fly

     So there was something I wanted to talk about for a while now. I noticed on my blogger page there was an unpublished draft concerning something called "Joshua's Corner," which is the weekly article I write for my school's webpage. I think in my mind, I forgot that I hadn't published it, but I remembered that I wrote something about it, so it stayed there in digital purgatory for a while.

     Having lapsed all that time, I've become slightly disinterested in talking about why "Joshua's Corner" is a bit more challenging, but in classic bullet point fashion let me outline a few reasons:

  • I can't write too much.
  •  The picture I must submit to go with it needs to be 160x120 pixels in size - for perspective, a screen cap of an iPhone (first generation even) is bigger than this.
  • I later found out it is translated via Google Translate.
     There's also the town article that I write as well. This one has similar limitations, but the audience is my entire town, so I try to write things that are universally appealing and less silly. I write it in English then I hand it over to one of my JTEs who translates it. I could probably take a fair whack at doing the latter myself but I'm happy to turn that over to someone else. Lately it's been a bit hard to find things to write about; being right in the middle of the school year offers little beyond quotidian observations. So for the latest entry I used exactly that and wrote an entry that was very personal and tried to flex the literary muscle a bit more than I have before. I'll probably stick to that method from now on seeing as my JTE enjoyed reading it, and I enjoyed writing it.

Here is the article from last month:

The Most of The Rest

May has arrived, seemingly out of thin air. Just the other day I was walking up the halls towards a class with another teacher and commented on how surprised I was that we have already entered the fifth month of the year. I barely noticed that spring had begun and it would appear that we are already about to leave it behind. In that moment I thought about how long I had been here, and that it would only be three more months before I will have officially been living in Japan for one whole year as an ALT. Sometimes it feels as though all my experiences up to this point have fused into a singular memory of “yesterday,” or some other time in the past. For as much as I try to combat that syndrome by keeping a daily journal I imagine that much of the everyday slips through the cracks. As I reached the 3rd floor I realized that similar to how easily everyday life can pass us by, so too can the duration of my time in Japan, which is just as ephemeral. To that end, I was reminded of how important it was to make the most of my stay. By that time we were at the classroom, and we headed in.

     She said that it reminded her of a Chinese poem she once read about a man who went to sleep and had a dream that lasted his whole life. I filed it under "compliment" but let me know if you feel differently. 

On a completely unrelated note, there is a teacher here who stuffs his tie in his shirt pocket. All the time.


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