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New Year's News

New Year's News

I have been sick since before Xmas, I have stayed home for almost two week. I am getting better and I hope to be better in time for work.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Taking a Stand in Japan

I have recently become aware that my posture is horrible. Am I getting Lazy? Can I not even walk without scooping my shoulders down and hunching my back? Well, according to recent photos of myself.... Apparently Not! Why all of the sudden this preposterous posture?

Here are my theories on the subject.
1. I teach elementary school children all day. Of course they are smaller than I. They are munchkins for goodness sakes. They say things like "Harro Jody White-o Sensei" . And I must bend down, look into their little brown eyes full of hope and wonderment for this foreigner standing in front of them and say in a calm clear voice "HEL-LO. HARRO... no. HEL-LO. "

2. All the clothing I have bought in Japan is too short. Clothing is not made for long torsos, large breasts or a combination of the two. So anytime I wear a Japanese shirt to school I must not stand up to straight for fear that my startling white belly button might show. Or bend over and show my blue polka dotted underwear.

3. Bowing. When are you not bowing in this country? You bow when you say hello, goodbye, nice to meet you, nice to see you, long time no see, please, thank you, excuse me, after you, let's eat, yes I'll have more, no more for me, I'm done eating, when making googly eyes at the person across the bar, when someone lets you in during traffic, when receiving or giving anything, giving a compliment, receiving a compliment, receiving a compliment then telling the person that they are in fact wrong because there is no possible way you deserved the compliment in the first place, etc...

4. That 90% of the people I come into contact on a daily basis are , in fact, shorter than I. I teach in Japan, and even though, just as in America, each generation is bigger than the last, most people are still shorter than my average 5'7" frame (of course you must add 2-3 inches depending on the foot ware). Yes, men are usually taller than I, but I work in an industry where over 85 percent of the teachers are women and of course, I am taller than all of them. My chance for an actual eye to eye moment while in a prone position are pretty slim to none.

So lately... everytime I am sitting, standing or walking I am trying to tell myself to stand up straight! Shoulders back and down! Chin held high! Because even though I must to gaze south to see everyone, there is no reason for those who must look up to me to look down at my careless carriage.

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