Sunday, August 28, 2005

The best goodbyes end with smiles and laughs

Last night, about 50 students and the entire staff of AEON Utsunomiya gathered at Gaslight on the 3rd floor of the Washington Hotel to pay tribute to our two departing teachers, Stacy-sensei and Master Noriyuki. There was much public speaking, including a segment where I was given the mike to attempt to coerce students to ask questions about good old Nori, who has been here for quite some time. While I wasn’t very successful in getting questions,I did manage to make a entire room full of Japanese people laugh a couple of times… so kudos to my Public Speaking abilities! While I did not understand Stacy’s goodbye speech (it was mostly in Japanese, but sounded very Heartful) the students did seem to be touched by it and were all very grateful of her attempt at using their language. Scott gave a great poem which he wrote for Stacy, who has helped so much in getting the both of us settled and comfortable in life here. Noriyuki’s address was mostly in Japanese, but his English segment touched me and proved something I’ve known about him since I met him… he is a teacher at heart, it’s who he is. He thanked the students for being his teachers, proving that good teachers realize that they can learn as much from their students then they can teach them, if not more.

Following a lovely dinner and drinking segment at Gaslight where I was constantly assaulted by students with more beer or wine (at one point they were trying to make me put down my glass and pick up a pitcher, and they finally edged me on to finish about a third of a bottle of wine… without a glass… at the end of the night) we moved on to Karaoke for the second party, as is the tradition for these types of events. After much singing, the official part of the evening ended at around 2AM and the third party began with the hardy few of us left… We karaoke’ed until about 3 something and then stumbled home.

Oh and did I mention I had to work today? Oh yeah... that's right. It went ok, I was fine as usual... glad to know my recupperative powers are still at their peak. Tonight is dinner with Riyo (My friend from the library who is leaving town soon) and her friend (who speaks Italian and English and whom I hope is before heading to the Suda household for another farewell to Stacy party. Tomorrow I'll be heading out to Tokyo to meet up with Marissa (our would be teacher in Utsunomiya) and Richard (Ogilvy Renault lawyer who's in town) for a day of touring... more pictures coming.

Here are some pics from last night...

This is my favourite I think... Yoshi, Noriyuki and myself. We'll miss the kid... and I can say that, I am (slightly) older than he is.

It was at this point that I regretted going home and changing out of my suit, Stacy arrived in a lovely dress... and some other students as well. The first time I felt underdressed in Japan... lol

A shot of part of the partying students, standing for one of the activities.

Me hiding in a plant.

Tomomi on the left does the weather for Tochigi TV.

Funny how the man with the money is always laughing.

The Mega karaoke room for the second party... in fact this exact location used to be where AEON was... we had this whole floor in the building.

Rocking out at party number 3 with Hiro, Mayu's boyfriend with whom I went to Oyama last month... and of course Yoshi still in his business atire....

The hardy 3rd party partiers... looking back, Hiro should have been in the picture and the karaoke lady should have been the one taking the picture instead of being in it... lol

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Anonymous gimmie-an-axe-anyday said...

Ah, the humbling shots of Kareoke. Designed with the sole purpose of taking advantage of both alcohol and peer pressure to prove time and again that most are ill suited to the stage. The vulnerability, the tone-deafness, the lack of anywhere to hide (ever wonder why mic stands are so slim?) all designed to painfully entertain others with the artistic impressions of those who know not what the others truely see (and hear). Sort of an acoustics version of getting a tattoo, or body piercing. Painfull, yet satisfying. Although, it is only the person getting the tattoo that feels the pain. Kareoke lets you share it with everyone in the room!

Go Canadian Idol!!

6:37 PM  

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