Lately, it’s been hard for me to come up with titles in English.  I don’t mean to be a douche, it’s just that I’ve been hearing all of this stuff in Japanese, so I have to think about how to say it in English.

Okay, and maybe I’ve seen GACKT use the “Song Title in Japanese ~Subtitle in English~” formula too much and it’s rubbing off on me. ^o^;

One Friday in late October, instead of going to my school, I did a teaching visit to the Fukuoka School for the Blind and Weak-Sighted, usually referred to in English as the “Fukuoka Blind School.”  The grades are elementary through high school and beyond.  Students (from high school on, I think) can study and become licensed in massage, acupuncture, and/or moxibustion.  There is a clinic attached to the school that anyone needing any of the above therapies can go to.   All the staff and students were really nice.

The first class was with high school third years.  There were only three students, so it was easy to teach.  In that class they were all weak-sighted, so I was able to show them pictures of Detroit.  Since I have lots of pictures on my laptop, I asked them, “what kinds of pictures do you want to see?”  One girl said “Cars and animals!”  She said she liked seeing American cars because they have the steering wheel on the left.  Then, they took me around the school and introduced the different rooms in English.

The next two classes were with adults.  One of the topics was “how we study in the blind school.”  The four students each showed me their special equipment.  One had a braille typewritter, another a book with very large text, another a recorder for recording the lesson, and another a special pad that had a guide grill for punching braille dots with a point.  I was impressed by the manual braille writing; since you’re using a point to make the dots, the dots come out on the other side, meaning you have to write the mirror image of the dots to be able to read them correctly once you flip the paper over.  One student wrote the alphabet in braille, another wrote my name, and they both gave me the papers as souvenirs.  One student said his hobby was making leather goods, and he randomly gave me a pencil case he’d made. Aw! I felt kinda bad because I didn’t have any cool thing to give them.

The last class was also with adults.  We were supposed to do self-intros and sample patient-masseur conversations, but between my self-intro and all the students’ self-intros (this was a larger class of about 20) we didn’t have time for the conversations.  The teacher was very amused that I knew the Japanese idiom 「さばを読む」(“saba wo yomu”), meaning to lie about your age (it literally means “to read the mackerel” LOL).

That’s pretty much it.  A few days later I got a card in the mail (sent to my school) from one of the third years and their teacher. Aww! I think it would be interesting to exchange letters with them.  I have to go buy stationary though.  The card and envelope they used were really nice, so I don’t want use my usual paper. (Read: looseleaf. FAIL) ^o^