nihon notes

Hair Modeling

This is the picture from my first hair modeling gig



Here are a few pictures from the prep time of my most recent hair adventure. It was fun, but I can’t believe they made me a mullet. I tried to explain that if I ruled the world, mullets would be illegal. Thank god it is a wig. 





This crepe is one of many that will grace my life while I am here


I am very familiar with the feeling of the holiday season in the states. Halloween kicked off fall, and right about now people are getting ready for their Thanksgiving. But Christmas is also quietly looming, waiting for Friday to start the craze. 

Here in Japan however, as soon as Halloween was over (or maybe even a little before), the Christmas lights went up. I’ve been listening to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” in every shop since the end of October. Obirin has put up a “Merry Christmas” sign and there are “Merry Christmas” banners on all the light posts. The local super market checkers are wearing santa hats. So, naturally, besides going a little bit crazy (I can’t believe Christmas is still a month away) I forgot that Thanksgiving existed. 

But it does exist! And it can happen here too! Yesterday I went to a lovely Thanksgiving party at Yukiko Ebara’s house (Yukiko works at Obirin, but she is also a wonderful connection, resource and friend for the Shansi Fellows here). There were about 15 people, all friends of Yukiko or part of the Shansi “family.” There was turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pies. There was also sushi, onigiri, and plum wine. I ate my turkey and mashed potatoes with chopsticks. I ate way too much, and now feel a little sick, but it was probably worth it. 


From front to back: Lissette, Jordan, Cassie, myself. I was a little drunk, forgive my weird expression.


Everything I learned and truly believed for many years about good teaching practice is out the window. I was always careful to never think of “good” and “bad” students, always careful to ask myself how I could reach each student, always careful to remember that students are not equal, that everyone has a different learning style, and that I should be patient and flexible with each special learner. NO.

There are only evil students, who arrive 45 minutes late, who give me death stares when asked to write a journal entry, who fall asleep at every opportunity, who pretend to have never heard of the English language, AND average students, who show up on time, who reluctantly do the minimum required amount of work (when I ask nicely), and who sometimes try to use English, since this is English class after all.


Last night I went out with the other teachers from work and had a classic “night out with the colleagues.” Complete with all-you-can-drink, costumes, and terrible karaoke. This picture represents the conclusion of the night. I promise you that it started out quite tame and respectable. Image

cutest cousins

Yesterday I went to Wakoshi to hang out with my aunt and uncle, cousin and his family. After looking at old buildings and eating sweet potato delicacies in Kawagome, we had a little shabushau (hot pot) party back at the house. Lovey day. 







Today we had a little Halloween party. Since I was Kiki, I flew around the supermarket.

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My friends, Lissette and Peter, were  more disruptive.