Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I really appreciate the Japanese people who don't act Japanese, or at least don't when they're speaking English to me. The constant apologies and chronic shyness get to me after a while. Realistically, one should expect that I call on you if you're in my English class, that's just how it works. There are several students of mine who repeatedly and almost unfailingly look surprised, shocked, confused or dismayed when I ask them a question in class. I might expect this for a week or two while you get used to my style or whatever, but it should be apparent after a month that I will call on everyone in my class at least once for every exercise if possible. The students that I really love are the ones who, even if they don't speak English so well, will at least give it a shot. Forget shyness and saving face or whatever, just go for it and try. I totally love it when someone will take the initiative to tell a joke or make fun of me in class, at least it shows a bit of initiative. I was explaining my voice to a little old lady of medium English ability and she responded, "Your voice, very attractive right now." It was great! I love that stuff, real honest-to-god communication.

I suppose that I would be well advised to take this advice to heart and go out and try to communicate with Japanese folks, but hell, I am just a hypocrite in this case.

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