Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010-

Spring Break 2010!! And we’ve made it, with a full autumn and winter behind me I’m now done with school. Not like the seniors back at Northfield High School (that’s a mental sort of “done”), I’m saying that my school year is actually over. I will enter this coming year as a third-year student beginning April eighth. From there it will only be a matter of two and a half more months before I’m checking out of fish school.

As I will be moving to the Shiozawa’s house during Spring Break that means that my biking to school days are all over as well(or so I’ve been told. I better not get to the Shiozawa’s mountain home only to find out otherwise!). So I figured I would crunch a couple numbers in order to remind myself of all my fun rides to and from school nearly every day over the past seven months!

I have figured that it is about a seven-kilometer trek one way, taking me 25 minutes to get from home to school. My second host family’s house is basically an identical distance as from the Sato’s, where I was staying during the fall, so no adjustment need be taken in that regard. Counting back I have no official schedule with which to count the school days, but I have roughly tallied it as somewhere around 120 days of school, out of which I have biked nearly 83. The other days I have not biked due either to rain, snow, sickness, or vacation. That in mind, going roundtrip, I have therefore biked the same route around 166 times.

166 x 7 = 1162 Kilometers = 722 Miles of biking…

1540 Minutes = 69 Hours = 2 Days 21 Hours of pedaling…

Some highlights out of all those miles: Music, music, music, actually fixing something by kicking it (my bike chain broke last December and I literally just kicked it in frustration a little bit and it jolted back into place), learning to bike without hands, packing on the leg muscles, having my mom ship me a LiveStrong bracelet as my Christmas present, spending a little time in the fresh air each morning, and now finally being done with it!

I have battled the elements, the knot-in-your-gut desire not to get out of bed each morning and have to bike for half an hour, and I can literally describe for you the entire route backwards and forwards in my sleep. I think it’s about time to move on. I just feel bad for the kids that have to do it everyday for their entire school career! God bless America and their age 16 drivers licenses, or at least their school buses!

Second highlight of the day? Waffles! The Kobayashi’s recently bought an American style waffle maker and we got to make Belgian waffles, pizza waffles, and even chocolate chip waffles with bananas, whipped cream, and ice cream on top. It was a fun evening and a nice reminder of back home again. I don’t think I’ve had a “sweet dinner” like that since arriving to Japan last August.

The Japanese nearly always have some form of rice, fish, or “dinner-style” dish for supper and it took a lot of convincing before the Kobayashi’s believed me that we often enough have waffles, pancakes, cereal, omelets or other breakfast foods for dinner. I’m just glad to have had a waffle again! =)

Masahito about to enjoy a chocolate chip waffle I made for him, yummmm

Pizza Waffle!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 15 – Tuesday, March 23, 2010-

Wow, a whole week without a decent blog. And you might still feel that way after tonight's as well! I feel so off my game, having missed nearly five days due to a wicked stomach virus I have hardly felt myself lately, and I am still going about in a haze. I could hardly tell you what I’ve done today, and even if I could remember I wouldn’t bore you with it (half day of school: soccer, English, library, library, home, lunch, skype Andrew and Liz in Omaha, watch プルーフオブライフ “Proof of Life” -an old Meg Ryan/Russel Crowe kidnapping movie- on the Japanese internet, more tv, read Sherlock Holmes, ofuro, bed, blog, zzzzzz). See aren’t you glad you bothered to read that?!?

The sad truth is that the highlight of my week was getting my haircut. I got it real short, so short that I can’t remember being able to run my hands through my hair like this since perhaps elementary school. It’s as close as you can get to a buzz cut before you’ve actually got to use the clippers. I am excited for the fact that spring is now fully arrived here in Japan and this was my way to celebrate.

Tomorrow is my last day of the school year, meaning I will soon become a third year student in the Japanese standard of high school. I will have nearly three weeks of Spring break ahead of me, which will be nice. Isn’t it perfect how I pretty much never do have school anymore, though? It should help my spring and summer zoom by. In no time at all I’ll be boarding that plane to come home on July 11th. That is the official date now. So go ahead and plan the parades and national holidays for the eleventh. Is three and a half months enough time to schedule the President’s visit AND to book Beyoncé? I want her to sing something distinctly “American” as I walk off the plane, i.e. the national anthem or America the Beautiful or the hokey-pokey or something. You know, just something to tell me I’m really home! Oh, but of course this will all be a surprise, right? Okay, I get it! Not another word out of me. My lips are sealed =X