Shorecrest grad presents new book at Third Place Books Jan 20

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chad Frisk, 2004 Shorecrest graduate, will be reading from his first book "Direct Translation Impossible" Tuesday, January 20, at Third Place Books. The festivities begin at 7pm.

After graduating from Whitman College in 2008 with a degree in English, Frisk went to Hamamatsu, Japan, where he taught English for five years.

In the book, we meet him as an ambivalent 14 year-old high school freshman on his first day of Japanese class at Shorecrest. We sympathize with (and perhaps laugh at) him as he tries to stay afloat during the fifty minute lesson - which is delivered entirely in Japanese. The rest of the book chronicles his fitful adventures in Japan, following him as he bumbles his way into an increasingly deeper relationship with the people and their culture.

The confusion of that first day never quite abandons him, however; he relates embarrassing things he (mistakenly) said to his host families, frustrations with Japanese-style bathroom fixtures, English lessons gone horribly wrong, wardrobe malfunctions suffered while participating in traditional festivals, and the horrifying form of assault visited upon foreign teachers by Japanese elementary school children.

He counts the five years he spent stumbling through a fog of cross-cultural miscommunication as among the best of his life, and has a few things to say about the surprising places in which you might find yourself if you're not afraid to look stupid. He had to pay for it in installments of self-esteem, but Frisk wouldn't trade his relationship with Japan for years of having his ego-stroked elsewhere. Let him show you what can happen if you learn to laugh at yourself.


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