Awards Presentation

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Today, work was not so difficult. I joined four other language teachers, who are also resigning, at a ceremony today. We were instructed on where to sit and when to stand before the ceremony started. The ceremony took place in the Board of Education Director’s office. The Deputy Director and a few other high-ranking officials were also present.

We got lovely documents written in Japanese and English that thanked us for our service and working hard to improve the quality of foreign language instruction. I was trying to figure out if we were identified as having provided some special benefit to the city, or if all of the resigning teachers get to have a ceremony like this. I know that all the teachers present today served more than one year and took place in extracurricular educational programs.

I had permission to return home or to the library to study after the ceremony, so my day went pretty well. I spent part of the time preparing for Japanese class in the afternoon. I also printed out a few photos for the photo society meeting.

At the monthly meeting I submitted a few photos I took a long time ago at a place called kujuukuri (九十九里). This translates as 99-ri, ri being a unit of distance; traditionally between 3.6 and 4.2 km, but fixed in 1891 at 3.927 km. Sometimes ri appears in a dictionary as ‘league’, but a league is typically 4.8 km. Details aside, it is a long beach with a smooth, gentle arc; my guess is that it’s about 400 km long. If you look at a map of Japan you should be able to find a relatively smooth section of north-south coastline near the point where Honshu bends.

Fifteen years ago, I was surprised to find counterculture here. At that time, the average school had one or two “bad” girls who colored their hair; as opposed to now, where every school has a handful of “traditional” girls, who don’t color their hair. Most women at the time wore gloves while driving to keep their skin white and pale. At Kujuukuri I saw girls wearing Body Glove suits with skinned tanned to incredibly deep, rich tones.

Beach (Kujuukuri, Japan)I also saw this guy sitting under a beach umbrella, reading a book. I found it amusing and snapped a few pictures at varying zoom levels. I scored 9th place tonight for my efforts. The competition reportedly gets stiff in the Fall, so I’d better get cracking on photo practice before then.

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3 Responses to “Awards Presentation”

  1. kevenker Says:

    Do you have a time machine or how do you take photos from years ago if you need to get cracking on photo practice? Seems like you already took good photos! 🙂

  2. びっくり Says:

    Indeed I do have a time machine of sorts. In 1989 I started travelling a lot for work and got interested in getting photos of all my exotic work locales. I picked up a Nikon SLR body (4004-s?), and a couple zoom lenses (28-50mm & 70-210mm?), along with clear filter, polarizer, etc. For a few years I shot up a lot of film: experimenting a bit with speeds between 25 and 1000. Eventually, I started using slide film. Recently, my uncle agreed to scan my slides into digital images.

    For years these slides have been in storage and unused, so it was fun to have them reappear. He even scanned a tray of slides that my grandfather took of me between 1965 and 1979(?).

    Once I got into sales, my photography dropped off because I was far too busy to carry all that heavy equipment around and take photos. So, I am out of practice.

    Because my grandfather was an avid photographer, we took photos from a very early age in my family. I haven’t stuck with it for more than a few years at a time, so I have some familiarity with the tools, but am always a little rusty. Last night at the meeting, I was envious of the skills our top three possess; but am satisfied because I realize I would not enjoy it as much if I invested the amount of time they do.

    I am once again considering purchasing a “real” camera and lenses. Now I use a Canon PowerShot A80, which is limiting, but easy to carry. When I remember taking photos with my old Brownie, I think “a good photographer doesn’t need a fancier camera”; however, …

  3. Keven Says:

    Before you buy a newer, more capable camera, especially if you’re considering a digital SLR, be sure to ask my friend James. He’s a photo-bug himself and can probably point you in a good direction.

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