Saturday, April 29, 2006

Golden Week Begins

iPod morning commute music: Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)

OK, technically NOT on my iPod yet, but well worth mentioning. This is really good, unusual music for the Boss. First, it is an album of all covers, tunes from Pete Seeger's vast catalogue of recordings. Second, they were all recorded live and unrehearsed, in his farm house in upstate New York in three 1-day acoustic sessions, with a group of up to 13 musicians playing horns, fiddles, a washboard, drums, accordions. Finally, it is a happy album, fun and loose, full of different styles ranging from folk, country, bluegrass and gospel. I swear, Springsteen is one of those few artists who can record any damn thing he wants, follow any whim he wants, and at least here get away with it. A great album.

Golden Week is a week in Japan where national holidays fall on 4 out of 6 days, with many companies giving employees all 6 days off. Not so with schools. We have only the actual holidays off: April 29th, and May 3rd, 4th and 5th. I'll be in school on Monday and Tuesday, as well as Saturday the 6th. We don't have any real plans to go anywhere. Tatsu has 12 IB final exams throughout the holidays (he is NOT happy), Kaoru is sick (she went to an allergies' doctor yesterday, who took some blood and is running tests). Besides, it is a horrible time to travel, with nation-wide traffic jams. So Tatsu, Alisa and I went down to our local video shop and rented 5 DVDs. It's time to hunker down to serious TV time.

Yesterday, I went on a hike with the entire high school junior class to Mt. Koya. Most of the day was spent in transport: I left my place at 6:10 am, and arrived, by train and bus, with the students at the starting point at 10:30 am. The actual hike was only 2 hours and 15 minutes, after which we ate our box lunches, goofed off, and then reboarded buses at 2:30 pm to begin the long trek back home. It was a gorgeous day, sunny but not hot on the forest trail up the mountain. The students were, for the most part, in good spirits. My job for the day was photographer, which always makes one popular with the kids. All in all a good day.

Now, back to my start of Golden Week.

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