So, last Wednesday was the Speech Contest. Which means now I'm not working late anymore and can leave on time! Yaaay! It's so nice.
I didn't have to go to school all that day, because we went to the community center to watch the speeches. It was all of Iwate, and that meant that there were so many foreigners!! Where did they all come from?! This is weird! Get out of my city, Morioka is mine!!
So I got to hang out with my three girls all day (Junka, Makiko, and Moeko) which was cool. One time Moeko and I were sitting outside one of the performance rooms and started talking about Hollywood and rehab and how selfish celebrities are, which was really funny, and when the two other girls came back and looked at my notebook of all the new vocabulary I had learned in the last few minutes they were like "what the hell?" I was in charge of filming the speeches, which made me really nervous, especially since I forgot to press record on Junka's and cut off the first minute or so. Hers was about this Buddhist fable about a guy trying to escape from Hell.
Also, watching the speeches written by the kids themselves (not reciting an already published work from the textbook) was so funny. Some of them were from way out in the country and were really bad at English, and it looked like they hadn't even gotten their speeches proofread, and they talked about helping cows give birth on a farm, or else traditional dances in their hometown, and some of them were boring like "Baseball Is My Treasure." There was even one about how awesome Obama is, which I thought was hilarious. Then there were others that were like "My father committed suicide. I am so sad." or "America dropped a bomb on us and has bases in Okinawa so America sucks." Well, not really. But it did make me a little uncomfortable. There were a lot about the bombings actually. Definately not the attitude of "Aaah, look at the zombies!!" from my other class, these were "Grr, I'm so pissed off about it still." The one that won was about a girl's grandpa who has dementia, but I didn't see that one.
Junka passed the first round, only like six people did that out of 75 or so. But she didn't win. Which sucked!
Actually, I was talking to Sara, who was judging Junka's section, and who is my next door neighbor (ha!) and she said that she had gotten in kind of an arguement about Junka's speech with the other judge, because of course her pronounciation was almost perfect, thats why I stayed late every day, but the other judge didn't like her because she didn't gesticulate. Which is stupid. And Sara thought so too, because nobody told her that was part of the criteria and I'm not even sure that it was. So Sara was pissed off about that and even still was later, which made me happy and think that she's really awesome.
But then on Thursday I was talking to Junka after class, and I told her that Sara really liked her speech and got in a tiff with the other judge, and that means you did really really well and I'm really proud of you! and she started crying. She wouldn't look at me, and left the room, and the other teacher saw, and so then I was really embarassed and felt bad for making a student cry! I think it must be something about how now she's aware of how close she was which is even worse than not winning at all, I don't know, that's my only guess. But it's dumb. The teacher didn't say anything about it, she just had a concerned look on her face, and it was either "Yeah, Japanese kids sure do cry a lot, don't they?" or "God, Kim, you should have known that would make her cry" or maybe she just didn't care. But she didn't say anything about how strange it was that she was crying, which worries me. Because I thought it was very strange, I was trying to make her feel better! So now I don't know whether or not to say anything to her tomorrow, or if I should just leave it. Aaaagh!!
This weekend the festival started, the one that I was in when I was on SICE, but its not nearly as fun as when I was in it. Now it's just noticing how slowly the floats are going by, and how off tune all the singers are, and what is this festival about anyways, and ugh, I wish I could cross the street to go to that store I like and things like that.
Last week sometime I went to this one store that sold all this funky stuff, like household goods and school supplies, and I suddenly found all the cannabis stuff! Now I can't seem to get rid of it, and am finding it everywhere. But that one store had pencil cases, of course, and curtains, and mesh boxes, and statues of Jamaicans, and everything. Then I found another store the other day that had even more stuff. Good lord. Also all of the car fresheners anywhere are all cannabis leaves, just with different flavors. Recently, a couple of Russian sumo wrestlers were expelled because they were found to be smoking weed. It's on the news everywhere. Here's an article. And here's an article about why they're testing all of a sudden. Damn foreigners.
Last night I made miso salmon. It was soooo good. I'm getting used to this domestic thing, but I just wish my apartment was bigger.