So yesterday was the Konan speech contest and as I predicted the overall victors were in the top class. That being said this was another occaision where the winners, two tied, were voted by peers (rather than those fluent in Japanese and capable of understanding everything), so it also could be accounted to more of a popularity contest (the winners themselves being pretty popular among the group). Like the essay contest, the main prize was a pretty nice (and large) certificate, after which one of them said that they were hoping the prize was a higher grade rather than a ‘bit of paper’. Good to know when things are appreciated eh. Oh and for the record, I wouldn’t refer to ‘explaining a bit about the speech’ in English beforehand the best course of action in a Japanese speech contest, but hey in the end it was what the people voted for. I guess you could say I have no right to complain seeing as I refused to participate in the finals, but I’m glad to see my reasons were justified by others’ actions.
Part way through the contest, while the votes were being tallied, the winner of the first popularity contest (which again I called before nominations were even discussed), the class president, wore a kimono and read out a selection of Haiku poems. Putting aside the fact that he resembled Weird Al in a Duffner and Kimberly lamp costume (all for the occaision I presume), it was all going fine until he began reciting Haiku about his home university (Hawaii). This is where I tuned out, being frank I don’t particularly give a toss about American universities when I’m here to study about Japan, especially as it feels like they’ve been shoved down our throats for most the year, particularly ones of attended by “Ikku-san“s. If it weren’t for the fact I had classes in the afternoon I’d have stayed home.
Which brings us to today, where I stayed home. No I wasn’t skiving, nor was I ill (though I did feel a bit funny this morning). Today’s the 90th aniversary of the founding of Konan University, so students (and I believe staff members) got the day off. I used the better half of the morning in bed, having an awesome adventure-style dream of which I remember very little, but no doubt it was influenced by me watching Brave Story before going to bed last night.
I started packing books away today, filling one large box to capacity and checking its weight to give me some idea of how much it’s going to cost to send home. On that note student loans came through today. Since I’ll be sending my things home via surface mail (cheapest option, but I’ll be in the UK a good couple of months before they arrive), I’ve been wrapping the books in cling-film to try and keep out any water that might get in (they will be on a boat after all … or some unfortunate and underpaid swimmer’s going to carry them), and also to help them not shuffle around too much in the box. I also thank my many years of playing tetris for my applied skills in box packing, or maybe I owe that to my Telfordian-factory background.