I will keep this post brief, as it is almost 2:00 (that's AM for my 12-hour clock friends) and I haven't the will nor the patience to put together a proper post. However, I thought I would share a little something with you guys.
On Friday of last week, one of my teachers, Okada-sensei (岡田先生), pulled me aside between classes to talk with me. He spoke to me only in Japanese, which I often fail to understand completely. He was saying something about the school's speech contest, and how he thought I would do a good job at it. I was surprised - I looked at him and said 「本当に？」 (hontō ni), which basically means "Are you serious?" Still, at this point, I thought he was telling me that he was just considering me, and that he was going to think about it.
So I went back to class at the end of the break. I took a seat at my desk, only to hear Okada-sensei ask me to stand up, at which point he announced to the class that I would representing our class by writing a speech for the school's speech contest. I'm sure the look of shock and horror on my face spoke volumes to the rest of the class - I often feel as though I am the weakest Japanese-speaker in my group. Nevertheless, Okada-sensei was adamant that I would be presenting. So, on top of my regular homework, I have to write a speech - in a language I can barely speak - about what the future means to me, and how I think we can make it better.
Yeah - I have my work cut out for me.