last of the gaikokujin kyoushi

21Mar06

Below is a series of photos taken at Stephen Boyd’s retirement party. Pictured are the full compliment of Gaikokujin Kyoushi (Visiting Foreign Lecturers) who taught in the English Department at Osaka University during the 2005-2006 year. Since the position of Gaikokujin Kyoushi has been eliminated, this series of photographs captures what might very well be the last meeting of the full compliment of Gaikokujin Kyoushi. After this year the position will slowly fade out as contracts expire. These photos were taken at a restaurant that we lovingly refer to as “Tuna Jaw,” since that’s one of the tastiest things they serve there.

Stephen Boyd retired this year after having worked at Osaka University since sometime around 1972, if I remember correctly. He helped to put together several English/Japanese dictionaries over the course of his career, and his final lecture touched on the difficulties of translation. For this final lecture he brought up several lexical rarities, including the fabulous term “Ameshyon,” which is apparently a derogatory term that can be translated as “going to America just long enough for a pee.” This word came into currency after WWII when going to the States had a certain cultural caché and it refers to the kind of people who spend a few hours in a country’s major airport and then return to say “Yes, I’ve been to [insert name of country here].” Later in the evening, Steve introduced us to a fabulous soba-ya. The owner of the shop brought out all of the instruments of soba making to show us, including the enormous cleaver that he uses to hand-cut his soba noodles.

Bob Perkins, exchange scholar from University of Canberra, though he’s actually American, and not Australian.

Tim Gould, linguist and beardist extraordinaire. He has a sister who lives in Sebastopol and his wife, Linda, takes terrific photographs.

John Clenton is a scholar of language acquisition and can’t drink Asahi because it gives him a headache.

Me.  On exchange from Berkeley. Enough said.

Umm. Okay. It’s true. This is an old, old photo of Richard. But, since Richard was being particularly unphotogenic at “Tuna Jaw,” I had to throw something in here to make up the full compliment of Gaikokujin Kyoushi, right? Sadly, Richard and his fiancée Michelle will be moving back to England this year. Alas and au revoir neighbor!

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