Photographic entertainment is provided by yesterday’s Office Halloween party (sorry for the repetition to those of you who have already seen them in my site feed).
For the past two weeks I’ve been looking for someone to do tandem learning with. That is, someone who will teach me Japanese in exchange for me teaching them English.
One might think that having just spent 4 years studying Japanese the last thing I’d want (or need) is more Japanese lessons. Not so. I didn’t put as much into my course in my final year as I could have done (a conscious decision that I don’t regret to split my energy between my course and extra-curricular activities), thus I failed to internalise a lot of the vocab I was learning.
I’d like to emphasise that this is in no way a criticism of our course, which was bloomin marvellous. If anyone wants to learn Japanese in the UK, Sheffield is the place to go, no doubt (n.b. I may be biased). But of course, you only get out what you put in, thus a lot of my course-mates have much better Japanese than me.
Whatever, I’ve come such a long way, and am constantly delighted by the fact that I (of all people) have learnt to speak Japanese. However, I do tend to stick to the grammar patterns that I’m really familiar with, avoiding the use of complex structures. It was brought home to me just how far I’ve gone down this road when the other night *Twinkle* applauded my use of a complex pattern – it should be normal, not praiseworthy.
So I put the thought out there – I need a Japanese teacher – and tonight she presented herself (although I didn’t know she was a teacher until after we’d been chatting for a while).
She contacted me having seen my profile on www.findateacher.net, and requested a trial English lesson. We met at a subway station near my office and made our way to a nice little cafe. We chatted a bit more, with her explaining why she wanted to study English.
Then she stopped, and with a mysterious look on her face said, ‘actually, I’ve got some photos to show you’. Confused, I took the envelope in her hand and took out the photos…
…and blow me down if it wasn’t Phil, my coursemate from Sheffield! I was stunned, and naturally clammering for an explanation.
She explained how Phil had been one of her first students shortly after she qualified as a teacher, when he was living in Tokyo a year or so back. It was only after she’d initially contacted me last Friday that she’d mailed Phil to ask if he’d heard of someone called ‘Joseph Tame’ who’d studied at Sheffield. Seeing that I was quite a bit older she assumed that we wouldn’t know each other …and thus was very surprised when Phil replied that he did indeed know me!
So that’s how it went. We’ve decided to meet on a weekly basis for language exchange – my calls for a teacher have been answered. Thank you Universe!
I’m guessing that’s Mr. Y (leader of the company) in the creepy horse’s head mask? And you in the butterfly glasses and red wig? I see Mr. S is wearing the same silly mask, er, expression that he always offers in pictures. And, I believe that’s M.T. (your new boss) in the pumpkin glasses.
When I was there, they’d never waste money on these types of parties. I guess they have loosened up a bit since breaking free of their daddy company.
I’m afraid they have fooled you with their cunning disguises!
The Horse is actually H (I think he’s newish, he’s very young)., who works in the Chinese dept., MT is in the butterfly glasses, me with the silver face. Pumpkin glasses lady is N., member of sales.
We were even given 2 hours off work!
Wow, I really can’t tell who is who anymore. I guess that’s an earmark of how long it has been!
At least I can still recognize Mr. D, though he wasn’t present.