Ukulele Eigo-Sensei

There’s this trope in Japanese Anime, J-Dramas, and K-Dramas where a character is sick but tries to power through being sick, but is eventually overcome and faints. Usually this leads to the character somehow being transported to their bed and taken care of by the love interest. Sometimes the love interest actually starts off as their an antagonist… or usually the sick character started off as a jerk to the person who eventually takes care of them. But the whole taking care of them bit softens the character’s heart and makes them see the person taking care of him/here in a new light…

So I always thought this was a pretty overdone trope. Like seriously, who faints from a cold and fever? That is until I experienced my first Japanese cold/fever last week… No I didn’t faint. But I was probably close a couple of times. I’ve never experienced anything like that before! I was legit really messed up for a few days.

I still managed to teach while heavily medicated. But thank goodness I had a whole bunch of breaks throughout the day where I pretty much just shuffled back to my apartment and slept. That was basically Monday to Thursday last week (On Monday, I went to Nara park with the Nagaharas in the morning… I could feel the cold/fever coming on, and I had enough energy to hike a little with them, but that was basically it… I was spent by after lunch). Friday, I was finally starting to feel a little better. But since then I’ve been operating probably on only about 80%. Today is the first day I’ve really felt completely 100% better.

So needless to say… I won’t be under estimating being sick in Asia anymore. Oh unfortunately, no cute Japanese girls came by to take care of me.

MOVING ON! Among the various groups that I encountered throughout my first month here in Osaka, I’ve become known somewhat as the Ukulele playing English Teacher. This stems from my boss, Hideki-san having me play the Ukulele pretty much on my first day teaching with a seniors group. We sang “Over the Rainbow” together. Then, the last time I was with the seniors, we were discussing “Respect for the Aged Day”, which was a holiday here in Japan in September (actually it’s the reason why I was able to go to Nara with the Nagaharas, because it was a holiday that Monday). And so I sang Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko for them (“Even when my hair turns grey”).

Anyway, tomorrow, I’ll be leading a lesson at SIC English Club (I forget what SIC stands for, but it’s club that meets at the library really close to my house). Last meeting, I joined them and observed how that week’s teacher did. And so tomorrow is my turn, and of  course a large feature of that will be my Ukulele. Its my “introduction” week, so as part of my explanation that I was born in the Philippines, I’ll sing Kahit Maputi for them again. Then I will get everyone to sing Can’t Help Falling in Love together.

I really feel it’s important to use different mediums to teach English. Especially poetry/song because it can be some of the most difficult stuff to translate to another language (coming from my experience translating Hebrew Poetry). I also plan to use Calvin and Hobbes, which I first started reading when I was like 10 years old, to teach some concepts.


Finally, this coming Wednesday, my students at another church where I teach is throwing me a welcome party. I’m expected to sing a bunch of songs for them.. So I’ve been practicing a few here and there… So that’s really helping to solidify that Ukulele reputation.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Have a great week everyone!

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