About Me

Ikawa-cho Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima-ken, Japan
I was recently accepted by the JET program as an assistant English teacher in Japan for one year.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

just normal things

blog of blogs,
i just got back from what i like to call "the mountain school", iuchi elementary school. i call it that because to get there, i have to drive for ten minutes up a winding, incredibly thin road alongside a river. at multiple points in this road, only one car my pass through, so the oncoming traffic must stop and wait to go. but today, when i got to the mountain school, the door was locked and nobody was there. some of my students were playing in the playground at the kindergarten across the street, so i asked them what was up. they said that the 6th graders, the oldest kids at the elementary school, had a graduation party or some such event yesterday, and that as a result, there was no school today. i go to the mountain school on mondays in the afternoons. it is a normal sized school, but there are only 30 or so students total, so 1st and 2nd grades are together, as are 3rd and 4th, 5th and 6th. usually i teach one of the lower classes and then the older class by the textbook. i was going to have to make up a lesson, because that is how i do it, which probably would've involved me saying "run, stop, jump" and just telling kids what to do in english while their teacher, a nice old woman, literally slept in the corner. every other week, a native japanese teacher who has some english ability because she works for a private english teaching company comes to this school, makes the lesson plans for me, and we teach together, but today i was supposed to be alone. the thing is, nobody told me about this or invited me to this party yesterday, at all, so when i called my home school, this middle school where i am now, people were surprised and said they would give the mountain school a call. "you're an adult, aren't you?" was said to me, which i answered with "aren't i?" it is really too bad. but at least now i dont have to teach anything, and i can sit here for the next two hours and read about whatever i want to on the internet. this experience is a metaphor for the mountain school as a whole: sleepwalking, lazy, not thrilled to have me.
on a positive note, lunch today was hamburger patties with shiitake mushrooms, and i got two and a massive serving of rice because i am a foreigner. i have badminton tonight which should be fun. i skipped karate all last week because i was playing metal gear solid 4: guns of the patriots on the ps3, so i have to get back into karate this week. or not! when i took the drive up to the mountain school, i noticed that it had become much warmer and nicer outside. this is wonderful, because i hate the cold, especially since my house and buildings in general here do not have central heating. okay wait this paragraph is supposed to be more upbeat. the fact that its getting warmer means that i am closer to coming home. eventually i want to go back to osaka or maybe kyoto when my japanese tutor from college gets there, but i see it as just a wate of money for a weekend. which reminds me i have to pay my rent at the bank before i go home. i decided i am going to start growing my beard back on my birtday, may 21st. that way i will be fully bearded by the time late july rolls around. february is almost over, i keep telling myself that.
also, i just learned about this:
which should give you an idea of exactly what kind of country i live in.

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