Blog Silence and Japanese Exchange Students

by Katy on July 13, 2013 · 11 comments

Sorry about the recent blog silence. I worked 12-hour shifts on Wednesday and Thursday, and then picked up two Japanese exchange students on Friday. They speak pretty much no English, and because of a soccer tournament and my older son’s lifeguarding work schedule, there’s been a lot of time with just me and them. (Just so you know, all Japanese students take years of English classes, so it’s super odd how little English these kids speak.)

Just me and two extremely shy non-English speaking 16-year-old boys.

Thank God for whoever invented video games.

And today, there is someone else transporting my son to and from his soccer games, and my older son has the day off from work. So I will take everyone to the mall, (Their request) and walk my Non-Consumer self over to Goodwill. (My salvation.)

I might self destruct if I spent any significant amount of time at the mall.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

bella July 13, 2013 at 10:35 am

We used to do the Japanese exchange student thing. We had to teach ours to use a knife and fork. What we did when we wanted some down town was stick a well known movie on and put the subtitles on as well! Worked like a charm!


Katy July 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm

We have hosted probably 20 times over the years, so I’ve got it down cold!



Karen July 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

The big regional mall is about 25 blocks from us. I think it has been 2 years since I set foot in it.


marie July 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm

My ex used to work for Reed college and he brought home a chinese student for the weekend. We spent the whole weekend telling him that the cocker spaniel did not want a puff off his cigarette, she wanted to be petted.
They have pigeons for pets, not dogs. They are food!


Practical Parsimony July 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm

In my limited Japanese classes, the Japanese professor assured us that they did take English classes for years, but they did not learn to speak from a native English speaker. Even when they did, they did not have a lot of practice.

My linguistics professor assure us that all Japanese know more English language rules than a professional grammarian here. They can read and write and are just shy.

When I taught English to the Japanese mother and teen here, they really tried to speak after they got over being shy. I have a good ear for accents, but it was trying. They had hand translator that we used when they could not communicate.

As much as I enjoy teaching ESL, it would exhaust me to have a foreign student for a house guest. I would feel like I was teaching all the time.


Lilypad July 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I totally agree with you about the mall. If I have to be there at all (and really the only reason is because my favorite sushi restaurant is there), I get in and out quickly like a frugal ninja. My son and I were walking at a park by that mall yesterday afternoon and he got the hiccups. I didn’t have any sugar packets (his hiccup remedy is a spoonful of sugar) in my small walking purse, so we had to go into the mall to grab one for him. Not wanting to just “steal” one, I bought an iced tea at Starbucks. (That’s painful for me.) Then we had to get the heck out of there because the noise, the crush of people, the stench of perfume and desperation were just too much for me.


dusty July 14, 2013 at 4:23 am

I totally agree with you. One of my friends everytime we get together wants to go to the mall and go to Macy’s. I stand there in shock as she looks at (and buys) simple little blouses, nothing special and pays between 40 and 50 dollars for each one. The last time we went I treated her to coffee at Starbucks and almost hyperventilated! What a waste of money!!!


Katy July 14, 2013 at 7:51 am

I did go into the mall yesterday to meet the kids. Otherwise, I would have been sitting in the car in full sun. They were eating at the food court, ad ended up running into an old co-worker and having a lovely chat.

Bought nothing.



Yvette July 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Malo is Spanish for bad. Mall – malo, coincidence? I think not.


JaneUlness July 14, 2013 at 7:36 am

I can’t tell you the last time I went to the mall. I think it was to bring my sister something because she works at JCP about two years ago, maybe three. It just drives me crazy. I went around the outside to the apple store to get them to fix my broken I Pad. my husband took the baby to the play yard today while they fixed it.


kris July 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Yesterday I went to our local Goodwill…EVERYTHING $2!! Heaven!! I got a totally cute pair of boots and pair of sandles. I picked up a couple of things for everyone in my fam & I walked out only $25.00 poorer. Fun!


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