My main job is teaching conversational English to anyone who is interested. There are group classes and private classes… classes at one elementary school and two kindergartens, three community centers and two hospitals.
My youngest student just turned two. (Yes, it’s a bit more like babysitting. 🙂 ) My oldest student… well, he is the reason for today’s title… he will be 88 this year!
Mr. Hashiguchi is a character! He grew up in Nagasaki, studied English in junior high, didn’t have to go to fight in WWII but had to watch a lot of his friends go and never saw them again, worked in the black market for a time in Tokyo, realized that wasn’t the path to be taking, moved back to Kyushu, worked on some of the U.S. military bases, then got a job working for the city.
What a life, right?
After he retired, he decided he wanted to study English. He started taking a class locally and it was soon after that that I met him. (Just happened I was asked to take over the class he was in.)
Mr. Hashiguchi not only studies and writes a diary in English every day, he takes a haiku class (and has had some of them published in a local paper), he was taking a computer class until just recently… he walks every morning for about an hour and loves watching the sumo tournaments on TV.
He loves fried chicken and drinks some beer and 3 small glasses of shochu every night. (Shochu is a type of Japanese liquor.) Whenever we have a class party and he starts drinking, he’ll always start singing songs like “My Old Kentucky Home” and “Old Black Joe”. (Songs he learned in junior high… and trust me when I say he remembers ALL the words for ALL the verses!)
I hope that if I live to be 88, I’ll be enjoying life as much as he does! Here’s to my Japanese “grandpa”, Mr. Hashiguchi! 🙂