on justice -Benedict/James Orbinski

''Justice only fails when we fail to imagine that it is possible. But like so many things, it depends not only on imaginings but on what we do.'' - James Orbinski

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Last day of January 2008.......!

So let the countdown begin!
Exactly 6 months and 22 days left until my departure for C A N A D A.

This afternoon, right after my 6th period class, it hit me - this time next year, I won't be here, teaching GENKI (and some not so GENKI) students English while playing games for 4, 5 hours a day!

Believe it or not, it's hard to picture my weekly routine without teaching English, even if most often than not, my job consists of dancing HOKEY POKEY, KARUTA, and other ENJOY-ENJOY ENGLISH GAMES.

Well! All the more important it is for me to realize that time is what I make of it - that being said, I must (!!) not take it for granted, and grasp every opportunity to be Joyful - and that should be made consistent by the minute.

So many things to give thanks for:

God has blessed me with....

Who would've thought that Ms. Li and I would be in Japan at the same time? (it is INDEED like a dream come true, eh?)
And though our PRAYING via PHONE plan has been kind of irregular to say the least - but it definitely helps to have spiritual support, knowing that we're still praying for each other.

Friends I've made in Korea 3 years ago, who --- incidentally --- got accepted to JET, too! If this is not Meant-To-Be, I'm not sure what is.

Good people I've encountered here in Japan.
My New Zealand buddies... ''What?! You're from Taiwan?!'' Ahaha, I still remember the shock from M's face. No, I am NOT Korean. I don't know how many times I've had to clear that up. Our ONSEN trips, endless dining night outs, chatting/dreaming/planning...

My Taiwanese buddies!
It definitely helps to escape from fragmented Japanese - and even English - and switch to Mandarin mixed with a bit of Jap & Eng, comfort language mode. And of course, great conversation, including 無厘頭的話題~ Now I got 夜市company!! ^0^

My Japanese-tomo!
I'm so blessed to have met so many caring, kind-hearted, fun & wild Japanese friends....... I think I've met some long-lost family members here, indeed!

My crazy, kawaii, genki Students!
They are a BIG PART of the reason why I like Fukuoka so much. Thank God for placing me here, and in these wonderful schools!! I have so many funny stories to tell... maybe I should write a book, チョウ面白い〜〜〜!

Alright, the list goes on... but I think I should save them for when I'm actually leaving, eh?


February will be a good month.


﹣Psalm 16:8-9

Friday, January 25, 2008


My good friend Sheenae recently joined a cooking studio - and this is the first cake she made - I got to be the lucky guinea pig. to all my friends who bake cakes as a hobby, I am at your service anytime - to try that first bite!

Here it is..... TA-DA!


* * * *

And sadly, today was my last day in this JR. HIGH, in January.
I hope some of you found my embarrassing soccer story enjoyable, because have I got another one for you.

Today, at lunchtime, the same bunch urged me to play with them again. You're thinking: 'What?! haven't they realized that the poor girl can't play?!' ... yes, so was I. But I thought, hey, maybe my Beginner's luck is just a day late. Why don't I give myself a second chance. I can't possibly be THAT bad.

Here's one scene among the many other humiliating incidents that happened in the game today:

Student M: (shouts to me) ルシア!頑張ってね! (Rushia! Good luck this time!)
Me: (smiling nervously, 'please, please don't purposely pass me the ball and put me on the spot at the very start of the game)
Student N and T: (still passing around the soccer ball)
Me: ('Good... keep it to yourselves for as long as you can, I need to warm up first)
Student M: (shouts to N and T) ちょっと、ルシアにやれよ! (hey, you gotta pass the ball to her!)
Student T: (kicks the ball to me)
Me: (Freezes on the spot.... )
The Ball: (making its way towards me, a bit too fast for a beginner, but luckily I was standing right by the goal)
Me: (finally getting into my kicking pose - thought I actually looked professional for a brief moment there - A STRONG KICK ....)
The Ball: ( stubbornly and obviously misses the goal, hits the right-side pole, and left the 7 players-including myself, dumbfounded and speechless. I was 5 feet away from the goal.)
(A 3 seconds pause)
Student M: おい!あのポールが邪魔じゃないかよ?! (hey! what the heck is that pole doing, getting in the way?!)
Student N & T: ルシア!ドンマイドンマイ! (Rushia! Don't mind! Don't mind! - meaning 'Don't worry about it!)


And I'm a bit relieved that I won't play another Soccer Game for another three weeks. Maybe I should practice when I'm at Elementary Schools. But then again, I wonder what are the chances that I'll be invited to join another game after my spectacular performance today?

Soccer Team

Soccer Team and The Girl Who Can't Play Soccer For Life

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

LUNCH BREAK - best/worst soccer game ever (Depends how you look at it).

Lunch again with my favourite class!
And I must say.... life at school is just 最高!!
After lunch, I was asked to join a SOCCER GAME - though I can't remember the last time I played it, or if I had ever played the sport in my life - as a team. Sure, I can kick random balls on the ground, but an actual game? Yes, Mr. Gloop, I can hear you laughing. Hush.

Here are the soccer players, playing outside in a 4 degree freezing weather!!

The boys were very thoughtful, and one kept insisting that I get as many opportunities to kick the ball as I can - .. that is, if I CAN ACTUALLY KICK THE BALL.

Student A: ルシアにパッスしてよ! (hey! pass the ball to Rushia!)
Student B: わかった!! (alright!!)
Me: (backing away while waving my hands) Nonono.... 大丈夫!本当に大丈夫だよ!! (Nono, it's ok... it's REALLY ok...)
Student A: (kicks the ball to Student B)
Student B: (passes the ball to me)
Me: (trying to get to the ball, awkwardly moving my legs, untangling my legs, touches the ball)
The Ball: (rolling its way very, very slowly towards the goalie)
The Goalie: や!カッタッゼ!! (hey! i think we won!)

So that was me playing SOCCER.



Favourite students from favourite class

Our team lost!!!
And I believe I have to take credit for that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

『...Shall we LUNCH?』

There's ABSOLUTELY nothing compared to teaching here in Dazaifu.
OK, from that, it's probably easy to guess what kind of day I had at school today... ^0^

This week, I'm teaching at one Jr High, with very GENKI grade 9 students, and yes - I have favourites!
So, though I'm not scheduled to teach at any classes today, I joined one English class, and I happily neglected my teaching duties and chatted with my students.
(ha.. ha.. but of course, I don't ALWAYS do that (`-`)v...)

And then... came Lunchtime.

Usually, I eat my lunch in the Faculty Office, chatting with other teachers or reading away, unlike Elementary where I have to eat with the students while keeping an eye on my plate so that no spit accidently fall unto my food - great fun eating with the kids, though - then, we either play ONI-GO-KOU (tag) or DODGEBALL.
However, today, just as I was about to open my BENTO BOX (and it's one of the most exciting moments you can get to in life... what will it be today, TEMPURA-DON? HAMBA-GU? KATSU-DON?).... but before I even got to steal a glance at it...

...I was distracted by this:

'RUSHIA!! e---to... SHALL WE...e---, LUNCH? SHALL WE LUNCH??'
Then I saw a few familiar faces peeking through the half-opened door. Three of my 9th grade boys are grinning and waving, carrying their class' lunch tray.

And well, of course, I couldn't possibly say no to such a grammatically correct invitation!

At my table, I was asked to talk about what I love about Japan, where I live in Canada, showed off a magic trick, and was introduced to the OTAKU of the class. Very interesting conversation we had going on there.
As lunchtime ended, I was rushed into a game of ONI-GO-KOU with 7 boy students, and after being warned by the teacher not to RUN ('...not to run in a game of TAG?' you must be thinking, but nah, we did anyway =D) we did a few rounds of JANKEN, and then the CHASE began....

....and ended with the 5th period chime.


Well, we also planned a GRADUATION party at lunch, hopefully it won't involve bowling, because that's my second weakest sport after... well, DODGEBALL.

* * * *



January 2nd - New Year's LUNCH/DINNER/POKER CARD ROUND at my Supervisor's house with her family. The winner got MONERY PRIZE sponsored by the generous parents... 負けたけど。へへ。



GIANT SUNDAES.... that's right...! Not everything is mini in Japan.

(*NOTE: I did not have a dessert marathon, these were taken in the past month... weekly.)

And... last, but definitely not least...

HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY, メギー!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Quel jour sommes-nous
Nous sommes tous les jours
Mon amie
Nous sommes toute la vie
Mon amour
Nous nous aimons et nous vivons
Nous vivons et nous nous aimons
Et nous ne savons pas ce que c'est que la vie
Et nous ne savons pas ce que c'est que le jour
Et nous ne savons pas ce que c'est que l'amour.

-Jacques Prevert

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

When it's time to start keeping my age a sacred secret...

So finally I'm back in school.
And of course, funny stories are bound to pile up in the weeks to come - because.... well, kids! They're funny! And sometimes not so funny.

Today, I was eating school lunch with the 1st graders - kawaiiiii - and this small boy with messy hair and tiny eyes - not to mention the slowest eater of our lunch group - turns to me and asked the forbidden question among those who I didn't think myself to be a part of... just yet: 'So, how old are you?'

'Guess...! How old do you think I am?'
'Mmmm...' the slow eater tapped his chin with his finger and he narrowed his eyes, making them even more tiny, serious kid, this one.
I waited.
He suddenly pointed his finger at me as if struck by enlightenment.


Oh yes!
I guess I really do look my age.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Long Vacation

My Winter Vacation was way too long.
Since the last day at work in December, I've not been scheduled to teach at any schools yet...! Although it's been fun learning through Wikipedia (my research varies from South African History to plot summaries of seemingly good movies I've yet watched like 300), and re-editing my curriculum vitae for the X-time... I feel like I'm ready to go back to school.

Elementary, tomorrow!

Looking forward to a busy, wonderful week! (^0^)v

Sunday, January 13, 2008

good ol' memories!

Today, when I was at church, I came across an old and familiar song... We used to sing this so often in JOY! I actually couldn't remember the melody right then and there, and just now, it came to be - and I refreshed my memory with the ever so useful YOUTUBE!

It's a good song.

Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I’m Your friend

You are my desire
No one else will do
’Cause nothing else could ever take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace
Help me find the way
Bring me back to You

You’re all I want
You’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want
Help me know You are near

-By Kelly Carpenter

And I guess today was full of 'stumbling upon old memories', they just keep coming! This excerpt of a translated Christian book was found in my old agenda - and I was reminded again of the reason why i copied it down in the first place, 3 years ago. Here I find myself going back to the never-ending lesson of... well...


Thursday, January 10, 2008

''When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.''

-Obama, at 2004 National Democratic Convention

Sunday, January 6, 2008


A New Year!
The Year of the Rat!
The Year I'll be turning 24....
The Year my other friend will be turning 25....
The Year I will..... get through at least 3/4 of my New Year's Resolution. Yes! there's a list!

* * * *

Just yesterday, I flipped through my little orange diary I started in 2006.
Two years!!
A lot has happened, no doubt about that. Changes took place, new ideas replaced the old ones, motivation renewed.... and yet! Some things remain unchanged.

One of which............

So far, I haven't met one elementary kid who didn't find this funny.
Yeap! They loved it!
Ah, kids....... ^-^

A bit late, but.... HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!