Friday, April 28, 2006

Sports Day

Today was Sports Day at Starfish High.

Which meant...


No really, I'm all excited and stuff.

The first events of the day were badminton, ping pong, and dodgeball tournaments. Class vs. class, with the members of each class divided up between the three events. I played a rather important role as official timekeeper for the badminton matches. And let me tell you, there's nothing more exciting than watching a stopwatch for seven minutes so you can tell everyone when to keep playing.

Hiding my sarcasm was never one of my strong suits.

Although, some of these kids were pretty darn good. For...badminton, I mean. Umm...moving on.

The second round of games was divided up between the lads and the ladies; soccer for the lads, volleyball for the ladies. One class only has three guys, so Jack, Aoki, and I were drafted to even out the numbers (six players necessary). I started out on defense, but switched to goalie after we got scored on. Not that I am a good goalie or anything, it's just that Jack wanted to move up front and go on the offensive. I did alright in goal. One nice block and a couple of good kicks to clear the ball. Other than my control being lousy (always has been), I did well enough. No more goals were scored on us, and I schooled one of the seniors in the lessons of DMWD (Don't Mess With Dustin). He had a clear field and was coming toward the goal. One on one. I was the last line of defense. Since I fall for fakes and jukes pretty easily, I ran out and kicked the ball out of bounds. We both sprinted for the ball; I beat him to it. After kicking it out, I planted my feet and steeled myself up for impact.


I stayed on my feet, absorbing the complete force of this huge student's crash (he's a forward on the basketball team, and kind of a punk sometimes). He bounced off of me and hit the ground. And lay there. I knocked the wind out of him. Ha ha ha. Although I think he knocked a couple vertebrae out of place. He told me after the game that "Americans have tough bodies". Damn straight.

Dustin 1, Punk-ass high school senior 0.


Their team 1, Our team 0.

Ah well, it was pretty much a given that we were not moving on from the first round.

After round two of the events finished, we had a lunch break, followed by everyone gathering out on the tennis courts for the 16-person jump rope contest, and the tug-of-war. The class with only three guys made it all the way to the finals, where they lost to Hiroshi (No. 1)'s class.

The final event of the day, the relay, was cancelled on account of there not being enough time.

All in all, a fun day, although my back and leg still hurt a bit.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Watcha Gonna Do?

After the soccer game I was in, I got called into the office. Why? Because the police were there to see me.

See, back in January, right before the USS Blue Ridge came in to town (or, more precisely, port), I received an official request from the local authorities to be available as a translator should anything come up. I made sure I was available, but nothing ever came up. Which is most definitely a good thing.

The only thing is that the police officer who requested my assistance said he would come by the school sometime and talk to me, but never did. A few days ago, I remembered that conversation and mentioned it to the vice principal, who then put in a phone call to the police. The officer in charge, Officer Kon, said he'd come out sometime soon.

"Soon" was today.

So I went in to the prinicpal's office and sat down and talked with a couple members of Muroran's law enforcement. They asked me if I would be willing to be added to their database of locally available translators. I said I would. They got some information from me, and now I may be receiving phone calls at odd hours to come down to the police station and translate for somebody.

So much for being able to play the "I don't speak Japanese" card.

Friday night = ?

While waiting to play soccer that afternoon, one of my first-year students said,
"Hey Dustin! It's Friday. You're going to eat pizza tonight, right?"
Well, normally, I would. But tonight I'm meeting some friends for dinner at an okonomiyaki/monjayaki place.
"Well, just order a pizza there, then!"
I can't order a p...wait a sec. There is pizza monja there...hmmm.

So that night, at dinner, I ordered pizza monja.

Life was good, and all was right with the world.

I may be forced back into reviving a family tradition by one of my students. Maybe I should thank him.


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