Humor of Last Day of School

Humor of Last Day of Japanese School in Tokyo is adapted from a humorous book by David Sedaris: ‘When You Are Engulfed in Flames’, with this part about struggling to learn in a Japanese language school in Tokyo.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter The Smoking Section, pages 295-296:


Yesterday was the last day of school, and once again I had second thoughts about defecting.

Our teacher was Ayuba-sensei, one of my favorites. With her we spend a lot of time repeating things, which is fine by me. Talking is the only part I’m good at, and she’ll occasionally reward me with a little “Il desu,” meaning “good.”

At the end of the session, she moved her fingers down her cheeks, imitating tears.

I started to think I was making a terrible mistake, (in not signing up for next session)

but then we had our break, followed by two hours with Miki-sensei. She’s a lovely woman,

but I died a little when she handed out lined sheets of paper and asked us to write an essay (in Japanese) titled “Watashi No Nihon No Seikatsu” (My Japanese Life).

My final product was rather simple, but it involved no cheating and it was all written in hiranga. (the Japanese alphabet letters)

“My Japanese life is entertaining but very busy.

My place is tall—28 stories—and all the time I am riding the elevator.

Sometimes I go to the movies with my friend Hugh-san.

Every day I do homework but always make bad tests.

Now I will go to England and talk English.

Maybe later I will study Japanese.



Humor Speaking Japanese Slowly is more from David Sedaris.

Humor of Japanese Vocabulary Cards is more from David Sedaris.

Humor of Japanese Placement Exam is more from David Sedaris.

Humor of Japanese School is more from David Sedaris.

Humor of Speaking Japanese with Skill is more from David Sedaris.

Humor of Japanese Indirectness is more from David Sedaris.

Return to Humor of Language Learners.


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