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So Last Saturday  one of the schools I worked at last year, Izumi North Elementary, had it's annual bazaar.(sp?)   Susan, the teacher who took over for me, e-mailed me to let me know the day before.  I decided to go as I really loved that school and I miss those kids a lot.  Just as I was getting off the train at Izumi station I got another e-mail from Susan telling me to stay at the station.  She had decided to come to and was going to pick me up at the station and drive me the rest of the way to the school.

The parking lot was full so we ended up parking in the park behind my old apartment. There were ALOT of cars.  We got to the school and the place was packed!  Kids and adults everywhere!  So I decided I wanted to stop in at the special ed. class (hanatate) to see my special guys first.  When we got there, some of the parents (who knew me) were there and told me that the boys (Kaname and Shion) had gone "shopping". So Susan and I decided to go around all the stalls and buy some stuff too. EVERYTHING was 100 yen ($1).  There was caramel popcorn, cotton candy, chicken skewers, hotdogs, chicken curry, chocolate banana parfaits (no ice cream), and more.  I bought quite a bit of popcorn and cotton candy and I had chicken curry for lunch :)  It was so good!

We also stopped in at the teachers room and said hello to the teachers who were there. I got quite a few hugs and some handshakes and everyone wanted to know how I liked teaching at the Junior High level.  I told them that I preferred the little kids but the JH was ok.  Aside from one student who doesn't want my help because I'm "not a real teacher", I've had no problems.  (I am certified to teach ESL, I completed a 2 year program at my Uni).

Now some background info is needed here.  Kaname, one of the special kids, (My favourite little guy) has a hard time remembering new information. He's 6 years old and can't remember the hiragana to write his name and is terrible with names and new words and so on.  His favourite teacher is Mio-Sensei and so whenever a new person comes that he likes, he calls them Mio-Sensei.  I was Mio-Sensei for the first month.  The day he finally remembered my name I was so happy.    This little guy is super hyper, he litterally vibrates out of his chair sometimes lol. 
Anyway, I figured that after not having seen me in over 3 months that he would have forgotten my name. However, the second I stepped into the classroom he stood up and yelled (in Japanese ) Lisa-Sensei is here!!!  and he started jumping up and down and repeating it over and over. lol  I wnt over and gave him hug and a high five and poked him into finishing his chicken curry.  When I asked him if it was good, he calmly told me that it was "yummy".  We played games for about 40 minutes and then before i left I found Mio-Sensei in the teacher's room and told her how happy and surprised I was that Kaname actually still remembers my name and she told me that he talks about me all the time and is always asking "Why doesn't Lisa-Sensei ever come anymore?"  He doesn't understand that since I moved I don't teach there anymore.  He's been told lots of times and he just doesn't understand or remember why I'm not there.  I almost cried.  Kinda put a dampner on the day.  But I told him I would see him again but that I didn't know when.  He didn't seem upset when I left, so that's good too. 

Anyway, I had a wonderful time and lots of kids came up to me to say hi.  Lots of kids also called my Kasey-Sensei too. LOL  I just can't get out of her shadow!  lol  They all laughed when they realized what they done and then corrected themselves. But I still find it hilarious that after a year I am still being called Kasey lol. 

That being said, Poor Susan is constantly being compared to me since she is also Canadian.  My kids have asked her if she does things because I did them. Also, on my birthday, most of my students took care to tell her it was my birthday and ask her if she knew that and if she had wished my happy birthday! lol Some of them even e-mailed me! LOL  Awesome :)

frellnik: (Default)
I've  been wanting to post for a while now, and I kept forgetting.  So now I am. Not sure how long it will be so I'll put it under a cut just in case. lol

let's see, where to start... )

let's see, where to start... )

let's see, where to start... )

let's see, where to start... )

let's see, where to start... )

Oh! And I bought my plane tickets to L.A. for November. I will be going to the Farscape Convention in Los Angeles from November 17th to 21st.  The convention starts Friday the 18th and finishes Sunday.  I've booked the time off work and made sure that it was ok to go. The Fukushima Mid Year Conference that all Fukushima JETs must attend in Fukushima City is being held Novemeber 15th and 16th this year, so it will be a VERY busy week.  I get back from the Conference in the evening of the 16th and then leave for the airport the next morning to go to L.A.!  But it will be so worth it! I'm psyched!! =D

That's all folks!

Have an awesome week!!

frellnik: (Default)
November 11th

 3  very cute 2nd graders came to the teachers room to see me.  They had made me an invitation to their small festival that was this past Monday.  The invitation was hand written, in a hand-made envelope that was beautifully coloured, and also contained 5 "coins" for me to use at the festival.  Needless to say, I made an appearance. Unfortunately because I was teaching all day, I couldn't stay for more than the opening ceremony.  I got to see the grade 2s dance! They were amazing, as always; but I didn't get to spend any of my coins at any of their shops and stands.

I also got invited to go to dinner with all the teachers at my base school last Friday at an Italien restaurant called Momma Mary's.  I got invited to my other school's dinner too, but it was also that Friday. The food was amazing!!! But I'll talk about that later.

I was running late Thursday (the 11th) morning with everything! I was still throwing my lesson together as the first period class kids came to get me.  Despite being hastily done, it went really well. I even had students who never volunteer for anything come up at talk in front of the class!!!  Everyone had fun! I just felt relieved. lol


Onoda Sensei pulled out a textbook at one point, and one of the pages had a picture of a Tolberone bar.  The class wanted to know if I knew what it was and how to say it properly.  Then Onoda Sensei offered to buy some for everyone because he had seen them at an American food store near his house.  I asked him to get me one too.

On the 10th I went to an SGI meeting and we watched a video about SGI and how it is divided into three sections/goals.  Peace, Culture, and Education.  The section on Culture was amazing and by far my favourite!  It was like watching a festival performance or theatrical performance on video! It was amazing! All I kept thinking was, I wish my mom could see this because she would love it!  Also, I want to do that too!!!!  If I can get my hands on a copy I'll bring it home to show people!!

November 12

I love teaching the Izumi class!!  Today we did big/small and long/short as wells as colours, faces and lots of singing!!! 
The 2 kids who took me back to the teacher's room left without me and then, when they put my bag on my desk, they started talking to me.  When their teacher came to get them a few minutes later, she had to pry them away from me.  They had literally latched on to me! haha!
That poor teacher had to pull one of those boys off of me earlier this morning too. She keeps apologizing to me, but I don't really mind.  The kids are too cute and they just want to make sure they have my attention so they can ask me over and over again to tell them what "everything" is in English.  He literally pulled me around the classroom pointing at things and waited for me to tell him what they are in English.  When I told him I had to leave to get ready for class, he wrapped himself around me so I couldn't leave. lol  Most of the kids don't want me to leave once we start having fun.  I really need to learn their names.  I'm so terrible. lol

After school I went home to change and get ready for dinner. I walked to Mamma Mary's. It took about 25 to 30 minutes.  All the teachers were there.  Dinner was expensive..but worth it.  $50 for the evening.   It was all you could drink and there was so much food.  We started out with a cheese fondu with bread. There was also a platter of thinly sliced raw pork (I didn''t have any of that).  There was also another plate of cooked meat and vegetables. There was chicken, ham, duck, and various veggies.   Now all of these plates are large for sharing.  So we take a few pieces for our plates and pass the big one around.  4 people per plate. 8 people per table so about 2 plates of each on the table at a time.

Next up was these rice ball things. I thought they were meatballs...but they were rice and cheese inside some kind of batter and covered in tomato sauce.  They were really good.   Then we had pizza! 6 slices per pizza, 3 pizzas total.  Half the pizza was plain cheese and the other half was very japanese (although they didn't seem to know that! lol) It had miso and cheese and spinich and squid. It was ok but I much preferred the cheeze half.  I had 4 slices of pizza over the evening. Also one of the teachers at my table left early so there were only 3 of us per dish instead of four.

Next we had salad.  A really big salad with lots of stuff. I didn't have any.  I was getting full...and salad should really come at the start of the meal, not the middle. lol  After Salad there was pasta!  2 kinds of pasta. One was tomato meat sauce, large pieces of tomato and large kurds of Mozerella cheese.  So good!  The other pasta was good too! I'm not sure what kind of sauce it was, but it really didn't look like there was sauce, but I could taste it..so there was.  It had some veggies and shrimp in it.   Then finally we had dessert!  2 kinds of pudding (mango and some chinese thing that tasted like medicine) and sponge cake with some sort of whipped cream.  I didn't like the pudding but the bread and creame were great!  We got to take stuff home too! (that's unusual in Japan).

Dinner lasted 3 hours.  We socialized lots and played a few games! There were also the mandatory speeches.  I did one as well, in English, and when I finished, Onoda Sensei jumped up and came over with a piece of paper and told everyone he was going to translate for me.  lol  Yeah, his paper was completely blank! lol  He started off saying what I had said, about how I live in Canada and it's cold...then he went off and said how much I like him, and that our Principal is a very nice guy, and that Kondo Sensei is a terrible, no good man (Kondo Sensei and Onoda Sensei are actually really good friends) ...meanwhile everyone is laughing like crazy...so I grabbed his paper and flipped it around so they could see it was blank and that I hadn't really said any of that...  Then he turned to me and asked very nicely if he could have his paper back. So I gave it back, he said thank you and then continuted on with his speech of things I didn't say LOL!!   Yeah, it was a good night!

I got a ride home, which I was happy about, and then I watched a movie.  The Friday night Road Show played Twilight. But they cut out huge parts of the movie...and continued into the 2nd movie.  So I got to watch the first 2 movies in just over 90 minutes.  THe first movie only took about 30 minutes to get through and the rest was the second movie....interesting.  Also, it was in Japanese. I had fun.  

next post:  November 16-17 Fukushima Mid Year Conference.

frellnik: (Default)
Yesterday I woke up and it was a beautiful 21C. I slept without the AC that night and last night too! My apartment stayed at 24 degrese even with the windows shut! It was supposed to rain yesterday and today...but it didn't. Not a cloud in the sky. But it has stayed cool and not humid which is really nice and I feel much better now.  I taught grade 6 yesterday. I used my first period spare to get my teaching materials together and plan out how I was going to run the classes. Then I spent the rest of the period writing out my schedule for what grade at what school on what day in my planner so I would know at a glance what I will be doing when. It is hard to keep track because the two schools are at different lessons for the same grades. lol
I even put stickit notes in my curriculum guide (which is divided up by grades) so that I can keep track of whch lesson I taught at which school for each grade.

I ate lunch with one of the grade 1 classes. They are so small!  The stool I sat on was the same height as their desks! Cute!  They had lots of questions for me. I wish I'd get to teach them, but this school's first and second grades don't get English class.

After lunch I had another spare so I printed off an application form for go lloyds so that I can send money home. It will only cost me 2000 yen (about $20) for each money transfer...which is much cheaper than at the bank or post office.

I found out school starts a lot later than I thought after the New Year. Classes start Jan 11. Brings back fond memories of when I was in elemntary school and school would start on the 7th or 8th instead of the 2nd or 3rd that it has the past few years. So I'm happy for the extended vacation!  Also, the Canadian Thanksgiving Day just happens to land on a holiday in Japan.  I'll have to check with the other Canadians in Iwaki and see if they want to do a Thanksgiving Dinner on Oct. 11.

So yesterday went really well. The kids all had fun and I got to give out a few stickers.  We played the key-word game and fruit basket and a bit of pair work for conversation.  The lesson was about buildings and places in the city.  "Where is the...." "I'll show you" "Thank you" "Your welcome"
I was fun.

Today I got to school all set to teach my self-intro to the 4 different grade 3 classes only to find out that instead I'm only teaching 2 periods because they've doubled up the classes to give time to have an extra Japanese class.  Ok...so that means I have a LOT of free time.  So I taught 1st period and 5th period. And as it turns out...on Fridays, 5th period is before lunch.  So I spent a lot of today reading and studying.  

You know, for the amount of money they are paying me...I really don't do much. I did more work when I was in University. I really have nothing to complain about, but sometimes I wish I had a bit more to do. Yesterday I had things to do and I was busy for most of the day. I think I ended up with about 30 minutes of free time...so I guess today made up for that. lol

I went to the post office after school today to mail a letter to a friend in Ottawa. It only cost me 110 yen ($1.10). I was told it should take a week or so to get there.  That's really cheap because the same size mail got to me earlier this week and the postage was $2 from the same person I'm sending my letter to.  Amazing how expensive Canada post is compared to Japanese post. lol  

At 2pm, all the kids when home. I could here kids calling my name...or more precisely, English Teacher. So when I went to the dor there was a group of kids waiting to bye to me...which led to high fives...which let to a mass of kids waiting for individual high fives and goodbyes! Sometimes I feel like a celebrity... this was one of those times. Not to mention the hand made gifts that the kids keep giving me out of the blue. 

It's only been 3 weeks but I really like my job.

frellnik: (Default)
This morning I called my mom and taked with her for about an hour.  Then I called my other mom and talked with her and her family for another hour and then I went to the drug store to get some much needed medicine.  I ended up having to ask for help finding what I needed and the lady explained the two different kinds of meds that I could use and I went with the less invasive...it was expensive. I grabbed a large tube of aquafresh toothpaste for 98 yen (under a dollar) and some cookies. I brought 15 bucks with me and I came home with 24 yen (cents). Talk about cutting it close lol.

At 11am I left my apartment and headed of to Izumi Elementary.  I brought a water bottle and about 6 dollars with me.  I thought it was a small school ffestival. I knew that students from my other school, Izumi North, would be there but I was not expecting the crowds that were there. There were stalls set up with toys for sale (including two stalls selling toys guns, I'm talking AK47s and machine guns and all kinds of models I'd never seen before. weird to be selling that stuff at an elementary school. I bought some fried chicken which I only ate half of because it was too greasey.

Some of my students stipped to say hi and we talked for a while and watched the relays and races that were going on.  Then when I realized I was starting to burn one of the girls invited me to go sit with her family under the makeshift tents they had put up all over the grounds.  Just a tarp with four poles over a tarp on the ground. There were tonns of them set up and each one was designated for a section of the city.  So I joined a few families under one of the tarps and we ate together. it looks like the food was provided because everyone was eating the same things and drinks were being passed around. I'm glad I had my water because most of the drinks were cans of tea.   One of the ladies spoke really good Egnlish so we spoke both Japanese and English. Then the reason I went started. Both elementary schools have a marching band a colour guard.  Both schools performed at the festival.  

For Izumi Kita Elementary we moved up the front so that we could see better. As I was sitting there in the sun watching the colour parade my nose started bleeding.  Despite having bought a bunch of those little packetts of tissue yesterday I didn't have any with me.  So I was sitting there with my nose pinched and I could feel blood dripping on my mouth...so I gave in and asked if anyone had any tissues at which point people became concerned that my nose was bleeding for no reason and they figured it was the heat. So I moved further into the shade and someone gave me a bunch of kleenex and then a few minutes later someone came over and gave me a cold, wet, very white, towel.  So I cleaned my hands and face on it and finished watching the parade with my nose pinched and a towel covering my face. Just a little embarassing.

I've met quite a few of my students parents in passing so , yeah, just a little embarrassing. It probably was from the heat.  I felt much better with the cold towel. So once the parade was done I stood up and was asked by a few people if I was ok. I assured everyone I was fine and just a little embarassed and then I asked who the towel belonged too. I wanted to wash it and then give it back. It took a few minutes to find the nice lady and she told me not to worry and to please keep the towel.  She said it was not a problem.  So I  took a paper cup and filled it with cold water and re-wet the towel to wear around my neck.  About that time I was talking English again with Sakura's mom and we noticed a small group of very young children watching us and their parents were watching them. lol  Then Sakura's mom told them that I understand Japanese and that they can talk to me.  One of the smallest kids came up and asked me in Japanese if I can speak normal too?  Normal being Japanese. lol  all of the adults started laughing and I told her that I could speak normal. I think she was a bit embarassed because everyone was laughing.  None of the kids wanted to talk though. lol   That's about the time that I decided I'd been there long enough and it was time to go home.  It took me just under 20 minutes to walk there and about the same to get back.  It wasn't as hard to walk there as it is to bike...so I'm not sure but I think I might just walk there most days instead of biking. There are an awful lot of stairs! So I will still get my work out! lol  And once it gets cold out I might enjoy biking there.

Now I'm home drinkng ginger ale dry (Canada Dry)...hey I just noticed it's Canada Dry...excellent! and eating County Ma'am chocolate chip cookies (individually wrapped, of course) and listening to the New Hot 89.9 on my computer.

I hope you are all having a good day..or a nice night as I think it's about 12:30am in Ottawa....  sweet dreams everyone!
frellnik: (Default)

 

Today was the first official day of school after summer break.  There were no actual classes, just a school assembly and homeroom.  I arrived at school just after 7:45am and I was drenched in sweat.   I really hate how humid it is here.  It wouldn’t be half as bad if it was a dry heat. 

Anyway, I got all dressed up in my dark brown short sleeve suit and walked the 12 minutes to school.  In the morning I talked with some teachers and practiced my speech a bit.  At 8:20 everyone assembled in the school gym ( no AC, just open doors and windows) and we had our opening ceremony full of speeches.  First the Vice Principal spoke then the principle.  On the stage is a small platform and a microphone. Behind that on the wall is a big flag of Japan. When you go up onto the stage you have to bow to the flag.  Then you bow to the crowd of kids and teachers. Then you give your speech.  So that’s what I did, after watching the VP and the Principal do it. 

My speech went over very well.  All the teachers liked it and said that their students had enjoyed it and inferred from it that I was very nice and they are all looking forward to talking with me.

Every teacher I’ve talked to is very relieved and impressed that I can speak Japanese so well. They all seem surprised when I tell them that I want to improve my Japanese more.

At lunch today all the lady teachers had a special lunch together.  There was a lot of food.  There were some things I didn’t like so I just left them. There was enough food that even with not eating almost a quarter of it, I was still full when I finished eating.  And there was cake!   It was supposed to cost about 2000 yen, but they gave it back to me and told me they’d take it later…then they never did.  So I don’t know if I should try to give it to them again or not. oh well. I’ll find out later.

There was thunder in the distance this afternoon before I left school and I was really hoping it would rain here…but it’s now almost 7:30pm and it hasn’t rained yet.  So I guess it missed us…again.  Maybe rain would help cool things down….

After school I stopped in at the 7/11 to get dinner.  I need to do groceries on Saturday.  On my way home from 7/11 I pass by the park.  On my way, 4 girls from my school called out to me and ran over to me from the park.  So I talked to them for a few minutes and then I told them I needed to go home and change out of my work clothes.  So they said good bye and went back to the park…to get their things.  They followed me home. lol  They ran across the park and met me on the other street and then started chatting with me again (in Japanese) and then I finally asked them if they were planning on walking with me all the way home and they said yes.  So I said, Ok.   They knew where I lived once I said it was the pink building. Their response was…Oh Kasey’s house. hahah. yeah, I moved into Kasey’s old place.  Apparently Kasey didn’t have a problem with the kids following her home either. 

So when I got home I asked them if they wanted to play at the park and they were really happy that I wanted to play with them. So I got changed and then spent almost 2 hours playing at the park with the kids from school.  We started out just the 5 of us but at one point there were 10 of us.  I only learned 2 of their names, Miki, and Nana. Both are in grade 6.  So learnt a little more about Izumi and met a bunch of kids.  It was a good day!  Now I’m watching tv while writing this. I think I’ll go take a cool shower and get into my pjs and then have dinner.

Tomorrow I go to an elementary school in Yumoto to (eeeewww!!! A little fly landed in my hair and  just squished it on my head! eww.)  shadow one of the senior ALTs so I can see what it’s like teaching at elementary school.  I’ll be at Chelsea’s school tomorrow and Friday.  Then I start teaching on Monday at Izumi Kita.

And that’s it for today J

 

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