Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Alice Went to Wonderland . . .

. . . and I went to Shimokita’s annual English speech contest. イットワーズワンダフル!! Sort of. Ten years and nine months ago one of my sisters submitted a “Report on a Speech Contest” in Ajigasawa to our exclusive siblings-only literary club. It read in part: “Students, judges, and the mayor sit in expectant silence as the first student goes up to the podium. She places her hands carefully on the top of it and gives everyone a significant look. Then she begins. ‘Dowwwn dowwwn dowwwn. Alice fell down a biiiiig hole . . .’ .” So naturally I was pretty darned excited when little Miss Mao Kisen in the first years’ category recreated this moment in my very presence a whole decade later. She even won second place. My sister’s report ended in the nervous breakdown of the JET judges, but I actually enjoyed myself as a spectator.

The English geeks of the Shimokita peninsula are congregated here, possibly for mutual protection. Oh yes, and for the contest.

Here I am with the cool speech contestants and my JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) partner.

This is Yurie visibly substantiating her coolness through the use of props. She was the only one from my school to achieve a ranking. But then, our other two entrants were boys. Only two out of the total eighteen winners were boys, and one of those two had a really girly voice. So sorry guys. You’d best wear a skirt next time.

This humpty-headed gaijin with a keitai was caught on camera at the Mutsu Cultural Centre. He is not wanted. I enjoyed the speeches, but there were far too many recitations of “Fly Away Home,” and nobody did the “This is My Rifle” speech from Full Metal Jacket. Maybe next year.