Thursday, 18 March 2010

An Irish presentation

Last Friday I attended an event at the Tokyo International Forum, in Yurakcho.
Pretty amazing building, isn't it?!

I was invited by Enterprise Ireland to hear a keynote speech by the Irish Minister for Education and Science, Mr. Batt O'Keeffe. I was already in Tokyo having trained some new examiners the previous day, as well as meeting my line boss for oral examiners that evening in Shibuya, so I was able to hear what he had to say regarding homestays, visas, and English schools.

Unfortunately, he turned up ten minutes late and left five minutes early, without taking questions or really paying any attention to his audience nor the previous two speakers, who had already mentioned most of the stats, folk tales, and asides he delivered. It was fairly obvious he had other fish to fry. He did come up with a memorable line though, "Ireland has produced some of the world's top ten tinkers". Priceless. I am sure it has!

I did learn some useful things from a speaker representing the Celtic Travel Association (I think), but the round table at the end was a farce. Hard hitting questions such as 'What's the weather like in Ireland?' were staggeringly inane and conducted wholly in Japanese - pointless, given all six panel members were there to promote EFL excellence in Ireland. What were they thinking?!

I had engagements elsewhere, unfortunately missing out on a free lunch AND the black stuff. Silly me.
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