Ask Sensei: Spring Break Edition

Spring break is coming, and you know what that means for students of all ages: Time to forget everything you managed to learn the previous seven weeks. No, of course I’m just kidding. It’s time to kick back for a week and not get into more trouble than you can live down during the next seven weeks.

My goodness, Sensei seems extra cynical this time around. Perhaps all of us can use a little break about now, yes?

This month, Tyler asks via Facebook: What driving purposes are the primary motivators that motivate you to work towards a goal you have each day? I’d be lying if I said that part of my motivation on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I have heavy teaching loads on those days, and only on those days) isn’t to get through my classes well. But at this point in my career, I’m also learning that happiness doesn’t come by “getting what I deserve.” Rather, it comes by taking on responsibilities and tasks, and getting a little better at fulfilling them each day. I’d again be lying if I said that I consistently do that every single day, but one thing I appreciate about my current job is that I can see a trajectory of general improvement as time passes. That wasn’t necessarily true at my previous job in The Land Of Tundra. I feel as if I finally have the space and leisure time to consider, even after 20 years, how I can reach more students better and more efficiently. But I take each day as it comes: I’m not worried about how I’ll be doing in ten years or even five years. As someone a lot smarter than me once put it, today has enough troubles of its own.

We also have several questions via Instagram, where celtic.nerd asks: What’s one manga that’s never been an anime that you’d like to see made into a series? Well, what I seem to hear you asking is, “What’s one manga that’s never been made into a proper and complete anime, that you’d like to see made into a series?” And that question is easy to answer: Fruits Basket. And wouldn’t you know it, the full series many of us have been waiting almost 20 years for, looks like it’s allegedly going to start soon, with a new cast of voice actors! Sensei is hoping that Honda Tooru isn’t going to be too squeaky, but he doesn’t hold out much hope for that.

Next, half_shade_ inquires after Sensei’s favorite anime girl. I am not known for having exquisite tastes in this area, but maybe Naruto’s Yamanaka Ino? Honda Tooru is also pretty great, and would be five times better if she were half as squeaky.

And then, lilianimes inquires after Sensei’s favorite anime. I think it’s important to distinguish first among a few things. There is one’s first favorite anime, which is always something special, if only to oneself. For me, and for its eleven other English-speaking fans, that would of course be Saint Seiya. And then there’s what one believes to be the most important series one has ever watched, the most meaningful series one can recommend to others, and the anime that one suspects others who refuse to watch it cannot be one’s friends. Acquaintances, maybe; but not friends, as Chef John of Food Wishes puts it (my favorite YouTube chef). For me that would probably be Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, with Angel Beats, Ookiku Furikabutte, and Tiger & Bunny being somewhere near that category as well. And then there are maybe a dozen shows that touched one’s heart in a special way, yet perhaps wouldn’t do it in the same way for too many other people. If you wish to learn of those, I would suggest reading my past essays here going back for several years. (Has it even been a decade? How old am I really?)

Finally, macky42ac asks, If you had to pick saving one of 2 BFFs who would it be? Both, of course. If I didn’t, then the one I chose not to save would be only a BF or an FF, but not a BFF, no?

Enjoy your break, everyone! And as I’m fond of saying, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, and not too much of what I would.

Especially you, Shiraishi-kun.

 

R86

R86 is a chemistry professor, which is the sort of job that probably made you stop reading already. He teaches at Texas A&M University, also known to Austin dwellers as "Enemy Territory." In his spare time, he enjoys music (flute/saxophone/clarinet and MIDI/Vocaloid synthesis), gaming, and watching anime.

2 thoughts on “Ask Sensei: Spring Break Edition

  1. Thank you for answering my question, Sensei. I’ve had a hard time struggling with purpose lately.

  2. Ah you liked Tiger & Bunny as well? I thought it was a great anime! I need to write something on it, there’s lots of good morals in that one. It was a fun anime, not the best, but fun.

    Oh and Chef John has the best quips haha. “The old tapa tapa”

Leave a Reply