Jan. 20th, 2016

issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
So this is a thing. Every year I promise myself to read more books, and also, bookblog. It doesn't quite happen that way, so this is probably the first and only bookblog for the year until next year when new year resolutions re-strike.

Between You and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Read more... )

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Read more... )

The Vorrh, by B. Catling. Read more... )

The Dark Forest, by Liu Cixin, trans Joel Martinsen. Read more... )

***

As I'd gone back to teaching English while applying to full-time jobs, I was commiserating with a fellow teacher on students. The school I teach at is for Japanese expats, btw.

ME: So, in the first lesson, I often ask things like what's your job, where's your hometown... What I find most wtf about them is that they'd look at you with their big, earnest eyes, and say something like, "My hometown is Kyoto. Have you heard of Kyoto?" *rants* Why wouldn't I have heard of Kyoto? It's only the second most well-known city in Japan. It's a major tourist attraction. It's the atypical Japanese cultural billboard. It's got temples and geishas, just to give a couple of the most stereotypical things that people know of Japan.

FRIEND: I know, right?

ME: *continues ranting* If it's a really obscure place, yeah, I freely admit my ignorance. But you're telling me you come from Hokkaido or Nagano, or Nagasaki and you ask me whether I've heard of these places?

FRIEND: I've never heard of Nagasaki.

ME: *extremely non-plussed* What? But... but it got atomic bombed!

FRIEND: I thought it was only Hiroshima.

ME: No, they got (atomic) bombed in two places, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

FRIEND: Never heard of that.

So this became a story where I complain about my students' insularity and end up finding something even weirder. This is supposed to be common knowledge, right? I mean, even if you knew nothing about Japan, you'd know that USA dropped two atomic bombs on Japan during WW2, right? Sure, it happened like 70 years ago, but still...

more rambling )

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issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
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