As I was prepping for my day of teaching at elementary school on Tuesday, my ALT coordinator (the guy that is basically in charge of me and provides my schedule) tells me that the someone from a newspaper is going to come take my picture. I figure it's for the PTA newsletter, something I've had my picture taken for before at my junior high school. About ten minutes later, the vice-principle shows a man with a camera and notepad to the English room. He presents me with his business card and we do our self introductions. Pretty quickly he eased himself into interviewing me. He continually apologized for his scarce English, but my Japanese was no better and I did the best I could to meet him in the middle. He was a pleasant guy and asked where I'm from, how old am I, what Japanese foods I like, my recent travels, the other schools I teach at and a few other basics.
Unfortunately my first class shows up and I had to quickly get myself ready and teach some English (a post-summer vacation refresher on objects!), probably not giving him all the answers he would have wanted. He took some photos of me teaching and before I could notice, he was gone.
Last night I got a message from my friend Alex that lives in the next town north, Fujinomiya, that he came across a newspaper article on me in the Gakunan Asahi Newspaper that services both Fuji City and Fujinomiya. So it wasn't some PTA paper. Today when I first arrived at work, this time at junior high school, one of the English teachers told me he saw the article on me and presented me with a copy for me to keep.
Ladies, gentleman, family and friends, my Japanese print debut:
Excuse the terrible picture of the paper, it's the best I can do at the moment.
I have a less than a vague idea of what it says, but from what I've gathered from others and my knowledge of katakana, a little bit of it talks about where I'm from, the fact that I play dodgeball with the kids and the lesson that I'm teaching in the photos. That and the word "communication" is repeated a few times.
I am pretty curious as to why a piece was written about me in the first place. There are over a dozen other foreign ALTs in this city, and they are here year-in year-out. I even know a few ALTs that have been here over a decade. Whatever the reason may be, it's a surprise and I'm glad to be of service.