Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sodium bicarbonate

It's amazing how a Cheesecake Factory-sized Caesar salad can cause so much indigestion. OK, there was also the Amtrak up to Boston, the couple of hours walking around with forty pounds of luggage in weather not fit for wearing a jacket, and the continued jet lag that continues to haunt my sleep cycle.

Otherwise, I'm having lots of fun up here.

No, seriously, Anime Boston is great. Haven't seen nearly enough of what I wanted to in the first day, but those video games look pretty cool (the game center that I went to in Hiyoshi was torn down in favor of developers wanting to drop another apartment building into the area, so I've been out of it). There are some titles on the schedule I've been meaning to watch, too. Wish I could be more specific than that; some of the time was spent walking around downtown, and get a feel for the place, as it's only been my third time in Boston.

The rest of the time was devoted to the Japanese Language Basics panel. Preparation, execution, that sort of thing. The overview and final thoughts were received very well (and if you missed it or missed the chance to get your question answered, I'll be here through the convention all weekend; I'm wearing my NYU t-shirt with denim jacket and private investigator's hat), but it is no surprise that the most difficult thing about teaching a language is the teaching. Training is invariably several times easier than class time, when theory goes out the window along with students' confidence. The former is alright to throw out, as is the latter in the beginner's stages. It's perfectly fine to feel dazed and confused when an immersion environment is being attempted. This is the time when you're not analyzing language and just trying to figure out through context just what is being said. Students often forget how to do that at the upper levels, and it should be enforced as often as possible.

For me, it was a lot of fun, and I know it was for many. There may be a few who thought there was a better way to deliver the panel, and for those and others, you can always email me at Please tell me how I can make the panel better for future conventions, I hope I can grab a few suggestions before the last class is taught.

So, I've uploaded all of my documents so far, and I'm still planning Lesson Four for tomorrow. I'll have that uploaded sometime tonight. In the meantime, here are the links: - handout for main panel w/ Lesson One - Lesson 2, today @ 9PM - Lesson 3, tomorrow @ 10AM

Some of my former students have said my Japanese blog doesn't show up for them. It works fine for me, so if it doesn't work for you and you know the problem, please let me know. I always wish I could design and run my own blog on my own website, but I'd go crazy doing that, so I have to depend on Blogger. Which has been good to me so far, but on this one important thing...


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