I'm going to try to rehash a few of the major things that happened in a rather quick sequence just for your viewing pleasure and to appease my guilt for being so negligent.
First up. I left you all in the middle of intense rehearsal schedule for the debut of an experimental dance poetry piece (I can hear some of you rolling your eyes now, but I really don't care). The whole process of making it was just as good as the actual performance. The performers and the sound artist I worked with were able to articulate and express my original intentions for the piece and we all had an incredibly fun time making the work together. I really came to love these people very much and we will be making more performance and film-related work together soon. So, here's to 2014!
If you like our work, or you'd like to have us perform at your venue, send me an email. We'd love to hear from you. But don't send insults. We're fragile, sensitive people. Actually, if you're going to insult us, you might as well send some cash our way to help us make the work better. And then you can say you funded the arts and that you're philanthropic. We'd be honored.
You can see our performance at Okinawa Christian University for the Japan Writers Conference here.
You can also see our dance film SIREN CALL here.
After the performance, I was really exhausted, but my school was working me hard with speech contest rehearsal practice. Our student didn't win, but she did a great job. I was really proud of her speech, which centered on her overcoming her struggle with cancer and moving forward with her life despite a disability. She was so inspirational to work with. I'm really happy she was able to open up and discuss her life.
My school then had a 3 week long 2nd grade skit contest, which proved to be hilarious and also showcased my students' English abilities. I wish we had more opportunities to allow the kids to use English creatively in a performative way. They really do have much better English than they let on and they are more willing to show it when they're doing something humorous or fun. Next semester we'll do a karaoke contest in my class after finals. I like my students to be able to have the chance to kick back and let loose in the classroom.
My English club also hosted both a huge Halloween party (Oct. 31st) and a Christmas party (Dec. 13th). Both parties were filled with games and activities and I enjoyed hanging out with the students and teachers. I like that they have a great time, laugh, and get a chance to relax (especially my 3rd graders, who I know are stressing because of their upcoming university tests). I have no clue if any of these kids will remember me in the years to come, but I do know that I will remember them. They make me smile and they keep me going everyday. I guess I have officially become a teacher.
I've been back stateside since Dec. 18th hanging with my family and enjoying my time here. I've been eating far too much (and far too many gluten free sweets that I cannot get in Japan). But it's been really enjoyable to see all my friends and to be close to my family since I rarely see them. This is the first time in 4 years since I've celebrated Christmas with my family. I cannot believe it.
It's now Dec. 31st, and as everyone counts down the final hours of 2013, I have started to make many plans for 2014. I know that this year is going to be one of the best. I already have many projects and personal goals in store (including working off all the cake I've eaten these past 2 weeks). As I mentioned above, I wanted to announce that I am starting a Youtube vlog channel that I will post once a week (I'll let you know the schedule when I get back to Japan mid-January). So you'll get 4 short updates about my life and life in general in Okinawa, Japan coming in 2014. I'll continue to blog here as well.
That's all for now. 2013 was an amazing year! I'm looking forward to 2014.
See you later Snake eyes (2013). Here comes the Horse (2014)!
Lots of love,