It’s April again, which means it’s time to round up all the qualified, experienced people in the office, at school and wherever and shuffle them off to somewhere where they have no idea what they’re doing. Hooray. 🙁

I’m especially depressed because at my school, we’re losing some really good teachers and almost all of them are faves of mine. In particular, we have to say good bye to Shimamura-sensei who has been the strongest English teacher I’ve worked with to date. I don’t mean he’s had the strongest English ability (though it is pretty damn good), I mean that he’s been the most open to trying new things to get the kids to learn English, even if they may not want to. Ah well, this is the way things go here, I guess, so I’ll sack up and take it like a man.

Recently Heard in Fukuma

“Oh, you just know he’s got a boatload of teenage boys buried in his backyard.”

-Gerry (Fletcher’s Dad), on the unlikelyhood of Ben’s upstanding character.

It is a shame he’s leaving though, because there’s one thing I’m going to miss. We set up a system in the last semester for “bribing” the kids to speak English. Basically, certain impressive feats of English would be rewarded with fake money that Shimamura-sensei and I crafted. This fake money could then be used to enter a raffle held every Friday in which the winner could receive little souvenirs from home I had, like pencils, postcards and refrigerator magnets. This went over fantastically with the students, and they would often try and kill each other in the attempt to speak English and win some “money.” The best part was that most of them liked this fake money so much that they would just keep the bills and not even enter the raffles.

And this will probably be my most long-lasting memory of Shimamura-sensei and his legacy: The “One Shima” bill.

How can you not love this guy?


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