A couple of us ALTs took part in a beginner intensive Japanese course for 4 days in Akita City. Now I at least have the capacity to have various simple conversations (ie: ordering food, asking someone if they like Jonny Depp, counting into the hundreds and thousands)...but of course these conversational tools usually evade me when I'm actually faced with a situation in which to use them.
The course instructor was a right riot. One especially noteworthy thing he said, while teaching us colours:
"Blue is 'aow'. To remember it, think of Michael Jackson - AOW!!!"
To this day it is the one colour I have no trouble recalling.