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It doesn't seem to matter how little or how much I sleep, I am always tired.  I have taken to having a small can (100ml) of red bull every morning before work  and a bottle of coke with dinner every night.  And I'm usually in bed by 9pm and often up by 5 (even though my alarm is set for 6).  Doesn't mean I always go to sleep right away (sometimes 10:30 before I get to sleep), but I usually wake up around 5, sometimes earlier, rarely ever later.  I don't get it.  If I stay up later, I still wake up early.  Weekends seem to be the only time I sleep in, then I'm lucky to be up by 9am...and then, of course, I can't get to sleep until after midnight and then Sunday night/Monday morning sucks balls.

My neck and shoulders are bothering me too.  My shoulders hurt and my neck feels like a wet noodle.  Which is probably contributing to the damned headaches ( I made it all day without a headache today, only to get one around dinner time =(  ).  I don't know......

***

I got my new passport in the mail.  It looks a bit different than my old one.  I like that it says it was Issued in Tokyo = )  Now I have to take a day off work (probably the week after next while there are no classes) and go to the nearest Immigration Office (which is in Koriyama, 90 minutes from here by highway bus) to get my VISA and re-entry permit transfered from my old passport to my new one.  The sooner the better because I heard that the office is moving further away near the middle of April.

note to self....stop making excuses and put the stupid Christmas Tree away!  and find something else to use to confirm whether or not an earthquake is actually happening.

Sometimes I'll be sitting on the floor in my living room at the computer and I'll feel like I'm moving. I think...earthquake? Then I look up at my Christmas Tree and it's not moving...so I know it's just me.  I get a lot of phantom quakes.  Sometimes I feel like I'm moving slightly and I look up and the ornaments on the tree are gently swaying and then I know it's not just me.  It's like a crutch or safety blanket and I am reluctant to get rid of it. Even though it looks completely rediculous sitting in my living room in March.

Any ideas on what I can replace it with? 

ok i'm going to go to bed.  Have a nice day/afternoon/evening everyone :)

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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.

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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.

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December 2016

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