teaching and learning languages
Cherry blossoms herald the new academic year in Japan.
Like the tree itself, I get another year older. But the blossoms, like the students, are always new.
This is a great shot- the blossoms are so sharp in the centre. It makes me feel very nostalgic..
Have a great start to the new academic year, to all the ‘oldie’ teachers and all our ‘newbie’ students.
For me, after five years all cherry blossom came to be the same. I wish I could learn your attitude, but if I had it I guess I would’ve been happy appreciating the subtle differences in daffodils back home and never would’ve made it to Japan…
It’s a concious choice Alex. I think it’s a very powerful metaphor for my life in Japan, and my life in teaching. Every year I love to get out and take pictures of the sakura… it IS the same, to all intents and purposes, but I try to look for the change, and the difference. I want to keep a feeling of movement and development in my life, but I don’t want to move to a new country every few years.
And the students do seem to fit into archetypes. Every year, on the surface, each class has a very similar collection of characters. But of course each student is new and unique, despite the commonalities they share with previous students. A blossom is a blossom, and a snowflake is a snowflake, if you choose to see it that way…
And every year I am one year older, and one year different. If you add all that up, how can you ever get bored with teaching? Like I said, the cherry blossom tree is a metaphor which helps me stay fresh.
Nice metaphor and everything, but the picture is fantastic. I keep meaning to tell you how much I like your photos (I presume you take them, anyway) – they’re all beautifully shot. This is presumably what Tessa Woodward had in mind today when talking about the need to have an escape from teaching.
Thank you…. yes, I do take them all myself. It’s another metaphor – some people use one camera but take pictures of different things. Some people take pictures of the same things with lots of different cameras. Some people use one camera to take the same picture again and again really, really well. Whether it’s photography, teaching, writing, whatever – we need to find a way to regenerate and refresh our practice.
Sometimes, the teaching is an escape from something, too ;P
(This one is was shot on a Holga with Velvia 100F slide film, for those who care… It’s made of plastic and has no electronic parts. A Dogme camera? )
Cézanne painted the montagne Sainte Victoire again and again more than a hundred times, and I used to wonder why, as I thought “a montagne is a montagne” anyway, till I myself went up to the spot where he used to paint from, and it just dawned on me that *everything* is different, everything changes by the minute, and if you stay more than ONE minute there, you won’t see the same Montagne Sainte Victoire twice.
Ah, memories! I used to live just round the corner from Yasukuni Jinga, Darren.
ALiCe__M – Beautiful!
Vicki – *ahem* that’s the one we aren’t supposed to talk about, right?
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