My AEON Japanese Farewell Speech, Tsukuba, Japan 2011

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Saturday February 26th, 2011
Portofino Italian Restaurant

So today, it finally became real to me, in front of about 80 adult students who showed up to Marisa Sensei’s and my farewell party…I’m really leaving.

We had a nice dinner at the Portofino Italian restaurant and I had a chance to walk around to each and every table to say hello to all the people who came. I made sure to shake hands with every student in the room. I really wanted them to know just how much I appreciated them coming tonight, and how much I enjoyed having them as students. Students who’ve been there for a while, students I have only taught a few times, elderly students, younger students, stoic students, happy students, it just seemed like there was a nice cross-section of some of the students that make up AEON Tsukuba MOG.

Honestly, I was SO nervous about giving my farewell speech. I knew it was going to be in Japanese so I really didn’t feel like eating all that much. I thought that I’d worry about eating after the speech was done. I didn’t want to have a full belly and then end up puking all over the microphone due to my nerves (lucky I was going last, right?). Marisa Sensei went first and seemed pretty nervous, but she got through it. In a way I felt relieved for her but at the same time my stomach was in knots because I was next. I decided to have one of the Japanese teachers come up to the microphone to help ease the tension a bit, and to get the students laughing. It worked!

Once the students started laughing, the speech went pretty smoothly from there. Once the students started laughing and enjoying themselves, I relaxed and started enjoying myself, too. This was my speech:

I want to say thank you so much to those people who helped me with my speech! Kana from the (my good friend Disneyland Halloween post) and Yumi Sensei (the awesome kid’s head teacher at AEON Tsukuba MOG), thanks for the grammar/writing help. Kouji (another great teacher from AEON Tsukuba MOG), thanks for sitting down with me at Gusto (ガースト), a 24-hour cafe close to AEON Tsukuba MOG, a few days before and drilling with me over, and over, and over again. After giving that speech, I am really motivated to get back to studying my Japanese even more.

Donald Ash

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Donald Ash is an ATLien expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last six years. While in aforesaid time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator, writer, designer, editor, programmer, and occasional bad artist of blog (that's just way too many hats, dude). Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.

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  • Marisa

    It’s so sad that that was my last time going to Portofino’s. It was my favorite restaurant in Tsukuba and it had a great view… I spent so many lunches there eating pasta and drinking tea while watching the people pass in front of the station with Mt. Tsukuba in the background… I was really hoping that it would reopen after the earthquake but it doesn’t look like it’s going to…

    BTW, where is my terrible speech????

    • Donald Ash

      HEY MARISA!! It’s INCREDIBLY sad! That restaurant was really nice, sigh…
      I really haven’t forgotten, things have just been busier than I’d like. I’m trying to figure out how to get it to you. Maybe I’ll burn a DVD.

  • Tomoko

    Hello, Donald.

    I watched your farewell speech.
    Your Japanese is really really good!!!!Amazing!!!

    I have to study English more harder.
    Recently, I’m a nervous about my English.
    But I’m keep going.

    • Donald Ash

      Thank you Tomoko! I wish my Japanese was as good as it seems in this video, but I had lots of help for my speech. I am studying to get better though. Keep at it. You can do it!

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