Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

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Goodbye, Sho Ota

Today was a going-away party for one of the members of my judo team, Sho Ota.

More of a going-home, actually. He is going back to Japan on Friday- with his black belt.

Today started out with me failing to find pants. Trudging down four stories in my underwear from my room to the basement, I corrected the issue.

I went back up a floor to begin preparing my morning tea, to discover that my (ill with a cold) father had already prepared it for me- and he reminded my that Aunt Kate was coming by to ask for help with her computer.

At 10:30, Aunt Kate arrived, computer in tow. The problem was quickly diagnosed: a 150GB hard drive is nice, but if it's partitioned into 10 drives of 15GB, and she only knew how to use C:\, it's not that much. She paid for the help by using her legal training to determine that there were no hidden landmines in a non-disclosure agreement which my dad was considering accepting, to do some potentially lucrative consulting.

Getting back to writing my college application, I discovered Norton frantically beeping at me- my email program's every-5-minutes check dutifully retrieved a copy of Klez, which I removed.

"Adam!" Hey, I got two whole sentences this time before getting disturbed. "Get the mail!"

"Okay, Peter." I always call my parents by their first names- they prefer it. It came in handy when I was about five- if I got lost in a store, I was the only one yelling "Peter! Janie!" instead of "Mom! Dad!"

Appreciating the excuse for fresh air, I retrieved the daily pile of dead-tree-edition spam. Notably, I got three items from The American School, my homeschooling group:

I opened the first. I was greeted with an extra envelope, a First Page Form, and the following slip:

You have passed the American School course
United States History with a grade of 97, for the letter grade of A+.

You have been given one credit for completing the course.

Well, that was nice. Second envelope was my Literature test: 95%. Not bad at all!

Third: a big package. I just finished a class, there's only one thing it could be...

I opened the package, and two neon red books fell out. "CIVICS" and "CIVICS STUDY GUIDE."

Finally! The first class I was looking forward to! The first one I've had that doesn't suck! The book's even actually written in an interesting way!

Yee! I might be able to finish this one in a timely manner. Squ00t!

But there was no time to do much studying- I had to prepare for Sho's party. Switching my "COMPUTER WIZARD" t-shirt for a plain white one, and putting on one of my dad's long-sleeved shirts, I was suitably dressed for the occasion.

We arrived at the Mongolian Barbeque a good half-hour early, so we went to the nearby appliance store (as my parents are trying to get the kitchen rennovated (sp?). It needs it.)

What we all agreed that we do not need is an Internet-enabled refrigerator.

I kid you not. They had, on display, a refrigerator with an Internet connection. That wasn't hooked up, but the TV tuner, CD player, DVD player, digital camera, grocery list printer, and Food Organization System that allows you to track where you store things in the refrigerator were.

It was the first time anybody has ever taken my picture with a refrigerator, I must admit.

We arrived at dinner just on time, and added a photo album, filled with images of our judo club, to the mediumish pile of gifts for Sho.

Not too much of note at the dinner; the food was good, although we had to pay our own way. Sensei only gets teacher's wages, and our judo club's funds are going to an electronic scoreboard.

Sho's mother gave a speech- this is of significant note, as she speaks only very little English. She managed with the help of a "cheat sheet" that Sensei prepared- phonetically translating the Japanese words into English. Mrs. Ota did an incredibly good job, considering.

Sho was having too much obvious trouble not crying to say much other than a very heartfelt, if brisk, "I'll miss you all."

Sensei presented four people with their promotion awards: Ben Ott, first of her students to earn a second-rank black belt. She presented a black belt to Keith (and I don't know his last name), who passed his test; she gave a special mention to Richard, who passed his for the last rank before black belt.

And finally, she gave Sho his black belt.

The final punchline to two years of judo class for Sho under Sensei Eiko Shepard: while the monogrammed belts for all the other students were in Japanese, Sho's belt was in English. A fitting end.

They'll be leaving Friday, with Sensei (as she goes back to her family over Christmas.) But only Sensei will be on the flight back to America.

...I'll miss Sho. I'll get to see him again on Wednesday and Thursday...

and then I'll have to go see him in 2004, I guess, when Sensei has plans to take everybody she can in the club to Japan.

Goodbye, Sho Ota.


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