Today's homework for my freshmen English conversation classes was to write 6 interesting questions for me to answer. Frankly, I get tired of answering the same questions over and over again, particularly about what kind of Japanese food I like and whether I like natto (fermented soybeans). I got a few of those and several that I call my FAQs, so I simply pass out handouts with CA's Favorites and FAQs for Foreigners in Japan and CA's Answers.
This time there were a number of questions that were more interesting (for me), so I've copied them with my replies.
Q: If you had the money to buy whatever you wanted, what would you buy?
A: Medicine and food for children all over the world.
Q: What is the strangest present that you [ever] gave [someone]?
A: I knit a sweater for my boyfriend that stretched until it was so large that both my mother and my sister fit inside it. They really laughed over that one. In fact, they took a photo of them in the sweater.
Q: How do you think about "teacher"?
A: It's really important for teachers to listen and to make space for students to be themselves. That's when magic happens.
Q: What do you think of Japanese education?
A: I think the emphasis is too much on so-called experts handing down "knowledge." It's very teacher-centered. It ends up making students totally passive. I think students learn better through interaction than just by listening. I also think exams are meaningless.
Q: How about the American class?
A: Students talk more and ask lots more questions.
Q: Did you belong to club when you were a student?
A: Several - drama, music (Madrigal singers), newspaper, yearbook (I was the editor in my junior year), poetry, women's speaking club (I was president), etc. In high school, I belonged to Thespians and the Latin club.
Q: Are you a magician?
A: A hypnotist - almost the same.
Q: What Beatles song do you like?
Q: Do you like "Anne of Green Gables"?
A: I read every book in the series when I was a girl. I have also visited Anne's house on Prince Edward Island.
Q: What do you do when you feel sad?
A: Talk to a friend, listen to uplifting music, read an inspirational book, cuddle with my cats . . .
Q: What kind of scenery do you feel relax?
A: Any place with lots of trees. I also like water - waterfalls, the ocean . . .
Q: Where is your favorite spot in your house?
A: In front of my computer - and in my bed (futon).
Q: If you can back to the past, do you wan to to back how old and why is it?
A: I want to be the age I am now because I'm so much wiser - and calmer and have more patience. It's wonderful being me now!
Q: Who's your favorite historical person?
A: Gandhi. I believe in non-violence.
Q: What's your blood type?
A: Be positive!
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