Just Joking
In one of my high school conversation classes the students learned about different types of American jokes (puns, knock-knock jokes, riddles, longer story forms, the infamous "why did the chicken cross the road?"). Then as their assignment they were told to bring an English joke to class. The results were-- you guessed it-- hilarious. Here they are, in their original wording.

Why did the dinosaur cross the road?
Because chickens were not invented yet.


What's the longest English word?
Smiles (because "mile" is in it)


A waitress in a restaurant brings out soup. The customer said, "Excuse me, but I saw your thumb in the soup when you were carrying it." But the waitress said, "Oh, that's ok. The soup isn't hot."


Ha hahah ahahah haha.........well, what were we talking about?


"Hey Peter! Ten years have passed since we met last time. You got a haircut-- buzz cut?"

"No, I only lost my hair."


"It's dangerous walking at that height. You nearly lost your life."

"That's ok. After I will get it back."


When do you have a camera when you sleep?
Because I take a picture of my dream.


I have big news. Recently a serial killer appeared. He has been killing thirty people every morning. The trick of the serial killer is cereal.


written by Ruthie @ 12:19 AM   1 comments
Opportunity Knocks
The following will be my last chapel speech, of sorts. I have one more "speech" in July, but I am planning to do an all-music chapel to say goodbye and thank you to the students (and so I don't have to write another cheesy quasi-sermon).

Proverbs 4:5-7

I hate math. I have always been a very good student.I learn quickly and enjoy school. However, when I was in junior high school, high school, and university, math was always my worst subject. I didn’t like learning it, I didn’t understand it, and I didn’t know why I had to learn it. “When will I ever use calculus in my daily life?” I thought. I was very excited in college when I finished my last math class—I was finally done! I could forget about math forever!

Or so I thought.

I use math everyday now. I use math to grade homework scores. I use math to pay my bills. These tasks should be simple, but because I didn’t pay attention in math class, these things are difficult for me. I regret that I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities I had.

You have many great opportunities to learn in school. You can get a lot of wisdom from your teachers. Are you taking advantage of your opportunities? Baiko is a unique school in that two American teachers are here almost everyday. Most schools have native English-speaking teachers about once a month. Are you taking advantage of this great opportunity to practice English with us? Miss Ami and I want to help you. We want to talk to you. So take a chance while you are here at Baiko to get all the wisdom you can.

Labels: ,

written by Ruthie @ 11:08 PM   0 comments
The Japanese must think I'm a harlot.

Because of the ultra-humid weather lately, I have been wearing a lot of skirts to work to keep the crotch sweat at a minimum (probably TMI, but I don't care. It's funny). So I come to work wearing a mustard yellow skirt that hits just above my knee (the following is the only good picture I have of myself in said skirt):Almost as soon as I get in the teacher's office in the morning, Hello Kitty Lover Gym Teacher points at me and says, "Miinii-sukaato!" (mini skirt). I look down, look up at her, and say (in Japanese), "No, this isn't a mini skirt. Wait-- is this considered 'mini' in Japan?" She confirmed that indeed, it was a mini skirt by Japanese standards. Shocked, I try to explain that this skirt is not a mini skirt, and that it's appropriate in the U.S. She just shook her head and chuckled.

When I was a kid I went to a weeklong Bible camp every summer. The camp was run by pretty conservative Christians, and the dress code was equally as conservative. The most infamous-- and most easily enforcable-- rule was "No shorts or skirts that reach 3 inches above the knee or more." They even made little 3-inch wooden measuring sticks to check people on their way out of the cafeteria. I checked the aforementioned mustard yellow skirt and it did indeed pass the 3-inch test. I thought if I could safely wear the skirt to Bible camp, it would be ok in Japan. I guess I was wrong.

Is Japan that staid that a skirt that hits just above my knee is not appropriate for teachers to wear to school during the most humid time of the year? Suffice it to say, I felt uncomfortable and exposed the rest of the day.

Labels: ,

written by Ruthie @ 7:25 PM   2 comments
I wrote awhile back about my traumatic visit to the hospital to check on stomach problems. Now I would like to balance that with a post about my completely un-traumatic visit to the dentist.

Apparently my wisdom tooth was a very clever little guy. He (apparently my tooth is a male. I will call him Gary) made my previous dentists think there were more than just one of him, and he waited over four years past the normal time wisdom teeth come down to make his appearance (I think Gary wanted to be fashionably late). I had a full mouth x-ray (at the hefty sum of around $100) before I left for Japan, and the dentist said I had only two wisdom teeth-- one on each side of my maxillary (that's the upper jaw for you yokels)-- and that they didn't look like they were coming down to bother me for awhile, so I should go to Japan without removing them. I know nothing about tooth migration, so I took the dentist's word for it. About two months ago my teeth seemed to start moving, and Gary the Smartypants actually broke through the skin. I debated back and forth if I should get rid of him, then after being told that dental work is really cheap in Japan, I decided to nip it in the bud and have Gary evicted.

I went to the dentist's office on Monday (my day off) with my friend, Nobu, just in case I needed someone to translate for me (plus, Nobu recommended the dentist and had to hear me complaining about jaw pain enough that he actually told me I should go to the dentist. I took that as him volunteering to come along). I filled out the obligatory first-timer forms and waited the obligatory half an hour until my name was called. Then I sat down in the giant, scary chair and told the doc in my best Japanese that I thought I had two wisdom teeth in my mouth. He did a physical examination and said, to my surprise, that I had one wisdom tooth and one tooth-shaped bone protuberance (I spelled that word correctly without spellcheck's help. Booyah). I looked at him in surprise, thinking he must be wrong because my American dentist said I had two wisdom teeth. I kept repeating in Japanese, "That's not a tooth? Not a tooth?" And he replied in English: "No tooth. Bone. Bone!" Then, probably because of all my bitching, he decided to do another full mouth x-ray. I thought, Great, now this visit will cost me my firstborn child. I was ushered into the x-ray room, given a lead vest, then told to stand in the appropriate spot while a red laser beam was directed onto my nose. The assistant left the room and turned on the machine. To my utter surprise and delight, the machine started playing "It's A Small World After All." I had to force myself not to laugh, for fear of messing up the x-ray.

I waited a bit for the doc to come back with the x-ray to show me, definitively, that I have one wisdom tooth and one bony protuberance. Then he asked what I wanted to do: leave it in my mouth to possibly hurt more and annoy me, or just yank it out. I decided to yank it out. Then the pain began. He injected a huge needle into my upper-left gums and began pumping me full of general anesthesia (also spelled that right the first time. Go me). This part hurt me much more than the actual tooth-yanking. But just in case it hurt, I asked if my friend Nobu could come in and, as the doc put it, "shake hands" while he was extracting. The doc pried Gary from his comfy little alcove and said, "finished!"

So many people had told me over and over again that having wisdom teeth removed is a huge pain and it hurts and you can't eat anything normal for a week, and it's really expensive. In my case, however, lil' ol' Gary was no problem at all. And the consultation, full mouth x-ray, tooth yanking with anesthesia, three kinds of medicine, and a check-up the next day cost me a grand total of about 3400 yen-- the equivalent of about $35. This is why I would love for our next president (please let it be Obama) to push for some kind of national health care plan.

The best part of the whole experience? I got to take Gary home with me.

Labels: ,

written by Ruthie @ 8:00 AM   2 comments
It's hydrangea season in Japan. I know there are hydrangeas in the U.S., but I feel like the colors of hydrangeas in Japan are more vibrant and various. But don't take my word for it! (Cue "Reading Rainbow" keyboard)

Labels: ,

written by Ruthie @ 9:05 AM   1 comments
Kit Kat
Behold, the newest Kit Kat taste sensation: Apple Kit Kat.
They're not bad. Still chocolate-covered. Just the inside wafery stuff tastes like apple, and not green apple, but like Red Apple Jelly Bellys. Very nice. As a side note, you know those little messages on bags of food that say "Tastes great with milk!" or "Now 50% less fat!" or "Filled with the healthy goodness of cranberries!"? Japanese food has messages like that, too. There's a little message on the bag that says, translated into English: "Easy sweetness of apple taste."

Labels: ,

written by Ruthie @ 8:27 AM   3 comments
Voting in China?
I thought this article on the American Idol-esque Chinese program "Super Girl" was extremely interesting. Check it out here.


written by Ruthie @ 10:33 PM   4 comments
Stained Glass

The stained glass windows in Baiko University's Sturgess Hall. Beautiful, eh?

Labels: ,

written by Ruthie @ 8:38 PM   1 comments
Person Drawings
Recently in a junior high school English class I taught the students the basic parts of the body ("basic" meaning I taught them the word "leg" but not "scapula"). Then as a fun activity in class I gave each student a piece of paper. The students sat in a circle. I called out the name of a body part, and the students drew that body part on their paper, then passed the paper to the right.Then I called out the name of another body part, and the students drew that body part on their paper, then passed the paper to the right, etc., until after several passes around the circle a strange, humanlike form appeared on the paper. The last step was to give their person a name and finish the sentence "This person is..." The results were quite amusing:"Manato Tensai." Manato the Genius. "This person is pretty."

Top: "Pankun no kanojo." Pankun's girlfriend. This person is very beautiful.
Bottom: "This peason is cleep" (they meant "person" and "creepy," I think).

Ikko. This person is sexy.

Labels: ,

written by Ruthie @ 12:33 AM   4 comments

Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
read more