4:30 pm: Presentation over. I’m glad they don’t give out grades for presentations. I HATE them. I get so nervous. I don’t know. I do it everday in class, but when it’s bunch of strangers, well, I just lose it. As I was telling Hanazakari, who was nice enough to actually stay to hear what I had to say–although she had heard it before, since she already took my Culture Through Film course–I learn the names of my students as fast as I can. Many students have marvelled at how I am able to learn their names and how cool it was. Well, I don’t do it to be cool, I do it to famliliarize myself with them, thereby allowing me to relax since I kinda “know” my students. Anyway, I’m just glad it’s over!
It’s like 5 in the friggin AM and I’ll sleep for about 4 hours before I get up, shower, and boogie on to campus. The presentation is at 1:45. Hope they feed me.
Presentation in… oh, 12 hours? And I’m still friggin’ working on my draft. Fortunately, I have the video portion timed and ready to roll, as long as the audio-visual material works. I also just finished the handout: a list of films I show in class and the significance of each. I’ve even given them MPAA-like ratings, like “Ballad of Narayama” R (sex, beastiality, violence). Yes, that’s right I show a movie that has beastiality in it. But this is a great movie–not because of the beastiality–but of the struggles of rural Japan in the Edo period to maintain continuity for their family and community. It is based on the legend of Ubasute-yama, where the eldest son carried a member of the family upon reaching a certain age–70 in this film–to the mountains to die, regardless of their health. This practice, known as kuchiberashi (lit. mouth reduction) tried to limit the number of mouths to feed by eliminating those who were considered unproductive members of the community. A colleague of mine says it is pure legend and that no such thing could ever happen in Japan. Well, excuse me. I say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Besides, Musubi-chan swears that she had heard people talking–“so-and-so’s grandmother was taken up to the mountain”–when she was a kid, growing up with her aunt in the rural hills of Yamanashi. The converation she overheard was in reference to what happened before the turn of the 20th century, more than a hundred years ago.
And before you leave a coment, Sleetse; no, they were not trying to procreate with dogs…
Anyway, back to work.