So the month turns May and the weather here is finally taking a turn for the better. A stark contrast from the bipolar attitude it had all through April. It has been consistently sunny and warm (as opposed to the 40 and densely foggy) which is a much appreciated turn.
As it turns out, Wednesdays have become my be athletic days. Starts off with a game of football. I was able to recruit a bunch of Japanese kids as well as non-Japanese and teach them the great delicacy known as american football. At first they were skeptical and took some convincing to get them to come play. But once we started everyone was in agreement that they were having fun. Some of the Japanese kids turned out to not be too bad when it came to playing and actually did really well considering they were mostly first timers. At one point we even had a little crowd in the bleachers.
From there it I go to play basketball, and due to the fact that i SUCK at basketball i act as point guard and just try to dish the ball to the guys who can actually play. After basketball i go inside and face some asians in ping pong. Which usually ends up with me getting embarrassed. Although every now and then i'll come away with the W.
Then, the 2nd best time of the day...AIKIDO. I was really excited to join aikido in the first place because i wanted to learn a japanese martial art and aikido seemed like the best option in terms of speed of the sport and relative small size of the club (Judo-60 people, Karate-80 people, etc.) with a majority of the club being boys and about 4 or 5 girls. The purpose of aikido is to subdue your enemy without injuring him or her. So we practice a variety of moves and then practice on each other. Some moves are more severe than others, in that sometimes you are just redirecting a punch then twisting the arm but other times you need to stop someone's attack then throw them to the ground. Of course the one time we have a more severe move to practice i get paired up with one of the girls. I immediately consider what is about to happen to me...I am either gonna get embarrassed or be forced assert my dominance and subdue her. As it turns out i ended up with the former. This one particular move we needed to stop a "katana" attack then grab the enemy by the shoulder, spin them around, fix their neck in the groove between your forearm and biceps then throw them to the ground and put them in an arm bar until they tap. So before i knew i was pretending to attack this girl, i was going at half speed so i didnt surprise her but she didn't seem to pick up on that and proceeded to stop my attack, spin me, and throw me to the ground...i never felt so emasculated. I know it was just practice and i know no one else was watching but i felt like everyone just saw what happened. Once i was subdued i didn't want to take my face off the mat because i feared everyone would just laugh at me for getting my butt kicked by a girl. After i got up i had to do it again, and again, and again... until we switched. "Sweet Revenge," i thought. It was finally my turn to show everyone im not a pansy. But when push came to shove i was hesitant, and stopped the attack, did the spin, but couldn't bring myself to throw her to the ground. After a few tries i finally did it but felt so bad despite her countless demonstrations to the contrary. We had to do it a few more times and each time i felt worse and worse. Then finally it was time to take a break. At the end of practice, we had to work on our rolls. Before i knew it people were having a contest to see who could jump and roll over the most people lying on the ground. Of course i stepped in and ended up jumping and rolling over 6 people lying in a row. I definitely earned some man points for that because no one else would try 6 people. So i felt better after getting beaten up by a girl.
From there i went to the badmitton club practice that was taking place in the gym. I forgot i was in Asia where everyone takes their club sport REALLY seriously. So i walked in rusty thinking i could at least hold my own...i was wrong. I got dominated my first 2 games scoring 4 points total in both (2 each game). Once i got warmed up though i played another guy who i eventually beat then quit after my win lest i get embarrassed any more.
So throughout the days of Wednesday i managed to be extremely active which is a good thing i think. It is also helping me learn how to talk some smack in japanese which is kinda cool too. But i think they like the fact that they have an American who is interested in their club. it is mutually beneficial that i go to as many activities as i can, that way the Japanese can learn english and i can learn japanese and various other languages that are spoken here.
For those who are interested about my school work and classes can keep reading, for those who do not care i won't hold it against you if you stop reading here. This last week started out with 1 presentation and 3 midterms and a 1,000 word essay due in the first 2 days of the week. I aced the presentation and then was presented with an obstacle...a "quiz." i put quiz in quotations because the "quiz" that was given was worth 20% of our grade aka as much as the midterm but our teacher just called it something different. I was under the impression that the "quiz" was going to be 8 multiple choice questions, because that is what the teacher said it would be, so that seemed like a rational thing to assume. The quiz turned out to be 15 essay questions on topics we barely covered in class. I did my best then went home and cried (not really). I did better than some who just put their names on it and turned it in. Tuesday, i turned in my essay then prepared to take a midterm that i think i did well on (thanks to my cramming/pressure methods of studying). I have one more presentation tomorrow and a midterm on Friday that i am hoping i can do well on.
Until Next Time,