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24 November 2009 @ 10:40 pm
Wow. I'm slacking  
I haven't written an LJ entry in over a month. To think that I used to write multiple entries a day.

The Suzugamine Culture Festival went really well. softlykarou showed up and we went around and looked at the room displays, which were mostly about the trips that the different classes of students had taken (Etajima, Okinawa, and one class went to Bangladesh). The kanji writing went okay--I think that while my kanji was technically correct, it lacked artistry. softlykarou told me that the old men in the audience with her were saying stuff like "ええ、祭?すごい!" (Wow, "matsuri"? That's amazing!"), so I impressed some people at least.

Most of my students who came up to us used it as an opportunity to tell softlykarou how cute she was or how white her skin was, which she gets everywhere, so that's nothing new. The only memorable part was when one student, who I will call Saki (for that is her name--咲, meaning "blossom"), followed up "You are cute" with "外国人になりたい" ("I want to be a foreigner"). That was a bit odd, though it's certainly a good story to tell the other teachers at Suzugamine. Having pale skin is huge in Japan--a lot of Japanese people tan really easily. You can tell especially with any of the students on the tennis or baseball teams. They tend to have very dark skin anywhere not under their uniform and pretty pale skin otherwise. Do not point this out to them.

Some of the teachers at Suzugamine kind of make me feel unwelcome, but just today I was talking with Yoshimi-sensei, one of the teachers I tutor in English, and she told me that they don't say hello to her either. In fact, she knew instantly who I was talking about without having to describe them, and said it was mostly the same teachers she didn't like when she was a student there, and now she says they haven't changed. The whole thing came about when she and the librarian (we meet in the library) asked me if I felt like I knew what was going on, and I said that sometimes I didn't but I didn't blame too many people. After all, there's a morning meeting every day where they explain what's going in, right? It's not their fault I don't speak super-formal Japanese enough to really understand it all. But she related an incident where she put up a poster and then got yelled at about how that was forbidden, and that other teachers too often don't tell you to do something and then get annoyed when you don't do it. Then we bitched a bit about teachers who wouldn't update their styles ("I've taught this way for 30 years! It worked then, it works now!"), and I taught them "The more things change, the more they stay the same," though not in the original French.

Last weekend was the first time since Tōkyō that I've been to karaoke. It was actually a lot more fun that it was then (because of the smaller number of people), and much more fun than in America. Unlike the "sing in front of the whole bar" way it's done in America, Japanese karaoke parlours have dozens of small private rooms that you rent out. You can order food and drink using the in-room phone that's sent up. They also have songs I actually want to sing, like Within Temptation's What Have You Done, Nightwish's Amaranth, and the ever popular Never Gonna Give You Up. Sadly, I did not manage to press the "pre-empt order" button for the last song. Anyway, I've learned that I need to go to karaoke more often because it's a ton of fun.

I've been spending time hacking the Cthulhutech system, specifically the psychic bits. I wrote a lot of extra powers (detailed here) and also deleted some of the extraneous rolls and the tendency for powers to cost an enormous amount. It's a good system at base, but it requires some changes to really work well. Then again, for the game I'm running, I have so little interaction with the system that I could probably run it using conflict-based resolution in Risus and not suffer a significant amount (Kily: Psychic 2, Therapist 5, Judo 2).

I may be becoming an actual RPG freelancer due to the aforementioned system hacks as well. More info maybe, depending on A) whether it happens at all or B) the terms of the inevitable non-disclosure agreement.
 
 
Current Mood: coldcold
Current Music: Lothlorien - Foggy Banks
 
 
 
Genamoonwych on November 24th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
This post made me miss my old Japanese pen-pal. She used to send me the cutest letters (and yes, I still have them).

It must be lovely living there. Are you in Japan for an indefinite amount of time or will you only be there for a few years?
meadowyravinemeadowyravine on November 24th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Karaoke sounds like way more fun there! I only really sing in front of my family, while we are very enthusiastic singers, none of us really know what a "key" is, so we're not critical of each other :)
softlykaoru: body positivesoftlykarou on November 25th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
Every time people talk about how awesome my skin is I can't help but feel like a crazy imperialist. I clearly need to buy a safari hat and talk with way more condescention!

I say!
slarnosslarnos on November 25th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
You forgot the monocle.