Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Driving and singing--but not teaching--with Billy Joel

I made a discovery earlier this week.

I was playing with my car radio on Monday, trying to find a song with English lyrics. It didn't happen.

But what I did find were some cassette tapes on the floor of my car. So I picked up the handful of tapes and browsed through them: Beethoven...Mozart...more classical music...this is likely to put me to sleep if I try driving while listening to it...and then, Billy Joel Greatest Hits.

Hmmm. I popped the tape into my car's cassette player and started driving. I quickly discovered that I'm a Billy Joel fan! Many of the songs I already knew, I just didn't know who sang them. And I'd definitely heard of Billy Joel before Monday, I just didn't know what he sang. So now I've put the pieces together. :)

Billy Joel and I have driven to three schools this week. (Actually, to clarify -- I'm the one who drives; Billy just serenades me.) On Tuesday morning, we went to Okawame Junior High School. All of the students were taking a test, so there was no teaching for me to do. But I got a tour of the school and met the teachers, which was productive. I spent the afternoon in the office.

On Wednesday, it was a different school, but the same story. It took me 30 minutes to drive to Yamane Jr. High School. I was excited to finally get to teach English, but was told when I got there that the students (all 9 of them in the entire school!!) were testing. No classes. But again, I met the teachers and got acquainted with the school. Yamane had a welcome ceremony for me, where the principal gave me a speech about how I'm to join the "Yamane family." And the students did a cheer of my name ("Daay-na, "Daay-na"), complete with hand motions! It was very thoughful and made me feel welcomed.

Oh, and I have to add that all of the teachers laughed at me as I was leaving the school because I got into the passenger's side of my car (which is the driver's side in America.) When will I get used to that? I also frequently turn on my windshield wipers instead of the turn signal, since that's also on the opposide side of what I'm used to. HA!

Today, I drove up to Mugyo Junior High School, located on a mountain. Believe it or not, it's smaller than Yamane since there are only four students! It's actually going to close soon. But anyway, I finally got to help teach the students English! They are preparing to give speeches for an English-speaking contest next week, and I helped them practice. I was there all morning, and then drove 20 minutes back down the mountain (singing with Billy, of course).

Although I am quite happy right with Billy's company as I drive ALL OVER Kuji, listening to "Piano Man" and "Only the Good Die Young" over an over, I can see this getting old in the near future. (He keeps singing me the same songs! haha).

So this leads me to an announcement/request....
If you have any old cassette tapes that you don't listen to anymore and don't know what to do with, you could consider mailing them to me. :) I would greatly appreciate it! I know that sending things internationally isn't exactly cheap, but in case you feel compelled to send me tapes, here's my address:

Poetori Potto18 No.103
2-5 Jyuhachinichimachi
Kuji City, Iwate Ken, JP 028-0065

I'm not very picky when it comes to music. After all, anything is better than incomprehensible Japanese songs on the radio! And I'd love to have a "variety of company" during my drives. :)


Dawn said...

I own a ton of cassettes. How much would the postage be? I have three or four I know I could part with.

mom said...

Where's Lauren's comment? She is usually first! Glad you are having a good first week of school! International mailing and shipping is not cheap. You also have to fill out a customs form for every item in the package. Glad to see your friends are reading your blog. It is a wonderful way to keep everyone up-to-date!

mom said...

P.S. Check with the post office for mailing and shipping. Flat rate boxes can be less expensive than UPS.

Anonymous said...

That's too funny that you keep getting into the passengers seat! I am glad that you have some
American music even though it is Billy Joel!!!
I am glad to hear that you are doing well! Hope to talk to you on skype soon.
PS: Tell your mom I am sorry that I am not the 1st on to comment. I have been waiting on a blog...So tell her it's not like I have not been checking! LOL
Love you and miss you!

Dawn said...

I think I'll go to the post office later and check. I seriously have a whole shoe box full of cassettes. If shipping isn't too bad, I'll try to send you three or four at least.

Amanda said...

I'm sure I can find you something! I'm glad you enjoyed spending time with Billy. That's fantastic!!! lol.

I love you!

Jennifer said...

My love! Everytime I type "my love" it ends up being my lover. Ha Ha!! Anyway Billy Joel...I had heard of him too but couldn't tell you what songs he you know!
How do you like being a teacher Miss Sease?
I remember you saying you spent a lot of time in the principals office...what did you do this time. HA HA! I love you and you can come to my office any time :)