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
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. :)