frellnik: (blueflower)

My Halloween classes all went very well this week! I wore my costume to school yesterday and all the kids (and the teachers) loved it! It was the scariest costume any of them had seen in person (because Halloween here is seriously scewed!  It's way more cute than scary).  No one knew it was me until I started talking.  All the kids kept asking who I was. lol

I told all the kids that I would be handing out candy at my apartment and that they were welcome to come "Trick-Or-Treating" on Halloween night.  I had to repeat over and over again that if they didn't wear a costume, I would not be giving them candy.  I even went so far as to write on the board "no costume = no candy".  Most of the kids already knew where I live but I wrote my address on the board for them.  I ended up with about 30 kids which is less than I hoped for but more than I realistically expected.  I still have lots of candy left over...especially since a few of the kids gave ME candy! lol  I think about 6 of them gave me candy, and one girl gave me a bouquet of fake roses. lol   All but 4 kids came dressed up, and the 2 out of the 4 didn't even want candy.

The first 3 kids to come to my door were the little guys that live in my building.  The youngest is 4 and the oldest is in grade 6.  They were all dressed up and very excited! The youngest one was a bit nervous of my costume at first, but once he realized it was "just me", he was alright.  They went to my place and the other Canadian's place (Mai-Linh lives on the second floor while I live on the first floor).  They were so cute! It was their first time trick or treating and although they only had two doors to go to, they are already looking forward to next year.

Mai-Linh came over and helped hand out some candy and we watched Hotel Transilvania. 

Today I finished preparing my presentation for the Skills Development Conference next week and made all my copies for the people that will be participating in my workshop.  I think I'm ready! I'm nervous, but looking forward to it.

Tomorrow I go back to the doctor's to get my foot checked again.  Hopefully it's healed enough that I can lose the crutches and the half cast. My foot still hurts, and walking is a bit of a pain, but hopefully things will continue to get better from here on out.  I'm sick of being so slow and awkward.  I'm really looking forward to getting to the point where the heavy blankets don't hurt my foot and I can lie in whatever position I want without my foot screaming at me because it's in a bad position.  Sleeping shouldn't be this hard.

Thank god this is a long weekend! Tomorrow I refuse to get out of bed before 7am! Then Sunday and Monday I can sleep as much as I want! (or as much as I can...?)  Then Tuesday the taxi will pick me up at 6:45 to take me to the Board of Education and from there all the Iwaki ALTs will hop a bus to Fukushima city for thee Conference.  The last 2 years the hotel rooms have been so warm that none of us "foreigners" have been able to sleep well, if at all...so I'm not anticipating sleeping much there either.

Energy drinks are becoming my best friend...

frellnik: (Default)

Earthquakes are picking up steam again.  Been having quite a few lately in the surrounding areas and the last two, just a few minutes ago and last night, were right in my area. 2 decent sized earthquakes in 14 hours. Not too happy about that.  It's a little worrisome.

It's already March 1st!  Graduation ceremonies are in 12 days! End of school year is in 22 days! I'm going to have to say good bye to about 10 classes of kids who will be graduating in less than two weeks!  Wow, time flies!

I have no classes today, and only 1 class tomorrow. I have taught 4 classes a day the last 3 days, so today and tomorrow is going to be quite slow. lol  But I have a good book and I am supposed to be studying...so I have plenty to keep me busy.

Rehersals for the SGI performance are going well. I am feeling pretty confident with the dance, and I have one of two songs almost completely memorized.  So now I need to work on the other song and then combine the singing and the dancing.  One more month until the performance!

I know I had more to say, but I can't remember it now. I've been wanting to post for a few days now and just haven't had the time.  Now that I am posting, of course nothing is coming to mine. lol 

OH!!! yeah!~  It snowed ALL DAY yesterday!!!  The kids went nuts at school!  Lunch time had all the kids outside having snow ball fights! No jackets among them. Hell, one idiot was out there in shorts and he ended up on hit but in the snow more often than not.  Needless to say, the all came back into class after lunch completely soaked and hands cold and red from the snow.  Some of them looked like they had jumped into a lake. lol  I bed there will be some sick kids next week.  All the snow is gone today. It rained last night lol.


Ok, off to work.  Have a good day/evening everyone!

frellnik: (Default)

Woke up at 5 this morning and got ready for work.  Today, instead of going to school to teach, all the ALTs in Fukushima Prefecture went to Fukushima City for the annual mid year conference.  So Sam and I had a taxi waiting on us (he was quite early) at 6:50 this morning to bring us to the B.O.E.  From there we took a bus (just for us) to the conference.  The ride went great until we hit Koriyama...and then it was bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic for almost the entire rest of the way.  Instead of taking 2 hours to get to Fukushima, it took us 2 hours and 40 minutes.  So we were a bit late getting to the conference. 

On the way there we saw 2 beautiful rainbows.  One of them was so close and so bright that I could almost make out where it "landed".  It came down infront of a mountain and although you could see the mountain through the rainbow, it was like seeing the mountain through colour tinted glasses.  The colour of the rainbow affected the colours on the mountain.  It was amazing!!  I've never seen anything like that before :)

THe conference itself was ok.  The first lecture went by rather quick, which is a good thing because I was starving!! I don't even really remember what it was about but I have handouts, so I'll read them all later. lol   Kim and I went to Fukushima station for lunch and went to a burger place called Freshness Burger.  I had a Classic WW cheeseburger. (classic double cheeseburger). I also got a large fry to go with it.  The burger was DELICIOUS!! It was also almost too big to fit in my mouth! lol  And the fries were more like potato wedges! And there was ketchup and mustard and garlic sauce and relish! It was amazing! I ate the whole thing! Soo good!

Then we stopped in at Jupiter (a forgeign food store) and I picked up some American Chocolate food stuffs. lol YUM!

The afternoon went by in a bit of a blur.  I had a headache, so although I participated and even presented a bit, I wasn't really paying that much attention.  Again, there were handouts and I took some notes.  I didn't learn anything new from the afternoon seminars.  Then the final lecture was dull. It was good stuff to know, about creating events and activities in your city, but nothing that I really plan on doing myself. Or I should say, nothing that I plan on initiating myself. If someone else wants to, I'll help, but I don't want the responsibility of putting together and funding and planning an event.

Finally it was 4pm and time to go home!  I ended up in the same seat I had going there. The bus was small and cramped and us poor TALL foreigners did not have an easy ride. On the way back, D got sick and asked the bus driver to stop at the next pit stop, but we had just passed one and before we got to another, poor D had the bus driver stop (we had to ask him a couple of times because he was nervous about stopping on the highway) so D could jump out and be sick.  He climbed up the cement embankment to get to the grassy hill so he could be sick and void at the same time.  I'm thankful, for his sake, that it was dark and we couldn't really see him.  The driver didn't want anyone else going outside because we were on the highway and it was dangerous but P went out with some tissue and S went out just to help while I stood on the bus step wanting to help but not really able to.  I had a plastic bag I gave to D, just in case he needed it, but he made it back ok.  I hope that he feels better tomorrow.

I got home much earlier than I had thought I would and now I'm getting stuff together for my trip to L.A.  Tomorrow is my last day of teaching before the trip.  I'm at my base school tomorrow but over at the Junior High instead of the elementary school.  When I get home tomorrow I need to pack everything into my suitcase and then I'm all set!! I have to be out of the house at 07:05 Thursday morning to catch the first of 3 trains to the airport. My flight leaves at 14:55.  I arrive in L.A. at 07:45 which will be 01:45 for me.  It's like arriving in at LAX airport only 40 minutes after leaving my house in Japan! How is that for JET LAG! lol  damn, it's going to be a REALLY long day!  I hope I can at least doze ont he plane.  =P

frellnik: (Default)
Today has been one of those days.  I had a headache before I even left for work this morning.  I took some Advil and Tylenol and went to work.  I spent first period preparing materials that I would need for class. I made a game for my 5th period class and made copies of work sheets and what not.  Aside from the headache, classes went well.  I had one student (9th grade) tell me he loves me LOL.  That was great.  And one of my favourite 8th graders and I had some fun in the classroom too.  I walked into class today and was wearing a sweater (unusual for me) and Gakuto (GACKT) asked me, right away, where’s your akabeko (the I love Fukushima shirt with the little red cow on it). So I pulled the neck of my sweater down far enough for him to see the akabeko on my shirt.  Then everyone laughed because, yeah, that probably wasn’t the cleanest of gestures. LOL 

There is one student at this school that I am REALLY starting to dislike.  Wada (last name) is an 8th grader and she is a little freaky and a lot rude. She flat out told me that she didn’t want my help in class because I’m not a real English teacher. That was on the second day of class.  She has this really annoying habit of coming to the teacher’s room between classes and at lunch break and …well, whenever she has free time.  She just stands in the door and watches us.  She never announces herself and unless we ask her what she wants, she doesn’t say anything.  And when we tell her to go back to her classroom she’ll come up with a reason to be there. 

Today she came in at lunch and basically just stood around for more than 10 minutes and stared at me.  She kept staring at me during class too. Wasn’t even pretending to pay attention to what we were doing in class. I finally got fed up and just stared back at her until she looked away.  Other students have said that they’ll be doing something and turn around and she’s right behind them watching them too.  FREAKY!  And rude!
Today’s worksheet was another example.  She’s lazy and doesn’t want to try and won’t accept my help either.  So today’s worksheet was opinions. I think….  So they had to answer 6 questions.  What do you think about English Class?  What do you think about your homeroom teacher? What do you think about America?  What do you think about AKB48?  What do you think about (TV SHOW)? What do you think about (ALT)?

She wrote her answers in Japanese instead of in English (it’s English class, come on!) and then wrote that her homeroom teacher is “perfect” and that the ALT (me) is “not marvelous” (doesn’t really translate).  Other student’s opinions varied, and that’s fine, but Wada just gets to me.  So I’ve pretty much stopped paying attention to her in class. If she has a problem she can ask Kazuko Sensei, who teaches with me.  But this whole staring thing really needs to stop. Talk about annoying.

All I can say is TGIF!!! I need a couple of days off to relax. lol

Just got home...it's 14C in my apartment.  I miss central heating!

pondering

Nov. 9th, 2011 08:27 pm
frellnik: (Default)

Feel free to skip this post if you don't want to here my somewhat angsty musings.  For some reason I have a hard time getting the cuts to work right, so I'm not going to bother trying tonight.

I'm trying to update more often but sometimes I just can't think of anything to say.  Seems like lately all I want to do is complain and I'm pretty sure most people don't want to sit around and read that all the time.

I find I just don't have the energy to do much lately....well not just lately, it's been a while now.  I have such a hard time getting up in the mornings to go to work and I often fall asleep at my desk after lunch for 15 minutes or so (though, not today :)  )  and yet, despite being tired all the time, I have a hard time getting to sleep at night.  My back has been really bothering me lately, enough that I'm doing my physio excercises twice a day now instead of just once and my neck and shoulders have been sore since Canadian Thanksgiving day weekend (although they are getting better now) and I've been getting lots of headaches.  So I'm thinking stress is a major factor.  But I don't really feel all that stressed. But what else could it be? 

Today I had stomach pains all day and barely ate anything.  I had my usual breakfast but only ate a bun with peanut butter for lunch and I made a fajita omlette for dinner. I t's after 8pm and I'm tired but not enough to actually be able to sleep.  And before you say that's too early, I have been going to bed around 9pm since I got here over a year ago.  lol

It will be 8 months on Friday since the eathquake on 3/11 and there hasn't been a big one in my area since the end of August.  There have been one or two medium sized ones (M5) but the last M6 or M.something (tsunami warning included) was around August 20th.  So you'd think I'd be feeling a sense of relief at relative normalcy returning to my life.  But there are still the odd smallish earthquake and every now and then they come in little groups.  When that happens (like this week) I start waiting for a big one and then when nothing happens I don't know what to do with myself.  At least after a big one I knew that I had at least a week before I had to worry about another one. Now I either don't think about it at all or start wondering when the next one will come.  Not IF, but WHEN.  And I know that there might not be another big one while I'm here, but then again, it could happen tonight.

How many earthquakes have there been since 3/11??  The other day I was talking to [livejournal.com profile] ninja007 and once again made the realization that, "Holy Shit, I lived through that" and  "I survived".  That thought has hit me in the face a few times in the past 8 months and each time it's like the first time.  At least the nightmares have stopped :)  The town beside me got hit by the tsunami and then after that it burned down.  My Base school is hoping to be up and running again by Februray.  It is located practically on the beach and got hit and damaged by the tsunami. 8 months later there is still no running water at the school and electricity is limited.  So only one grade (gr 9) is currently able to use the school.  I'm getting very good at using Japanese porta potties (squatt toilets). We are hoping that the school will be ready in time for the end of the school year in March so that the students can have their graduation ceremony in their school gym (fingers crossed).

Despite all this negativity I am still happy here. I love my apartment (although it desperately needs a good cleaning), I love my job (97% of the time) and I still love Japan.  I have already decided to stay for a 3rd year.  I'm going to Chikako's place every weekend for about 3 hours to study for the JLPT which I will be taking on December 4th in Tokyo, and I really hope to pass this time around. If not I'll be taking it again in July.

On an happy note, Chikako is taking me to a concert (classical trumpet) this Sunday and then we are going out to dinner :)  I'm looking forward to this! Also Next Tuesday (the 15th) is the Annual Mid Year Conference for Fukushima JETs in Fukushima city and then on the 17th I'm off to L.A. for the Final Farscape Convention!  (and a wedding).  I'm really looking forward to seeing all my Scaper pals and having some fun.

Well I think this post is long enough. 

frellnik: (Default)

Sometimes I feel like the Pied Piper.  After 5th period the other day (grade 3 class 2), instead of the usual 2 kids that walk me back to the teacher’s room (which is normal) I had about 20 kids follow me back to the teacher’s room lol.  It’s only really that class that does it, but usually they are all around me. This time they were all behind me until we got to the stairs. J

Then I taught them finger tricks hahha. 2 of the kids were doing one I knew, so I taught them one they didn’t know.  I then proudly told them that my dad had taught me when I was their age.

 

I was invited out to a girl’s night out dinner last night with the teachers from my base school.  We went to an Italian restaurant in Kashima.  One of the grade 1 teachers, Mrs. Santo, picked me up at the 7/11 at 5pm and we met everyone at the restaurant for 5:30.  There were 6 or 7 courses to the meal.  Salad, Sashimi, battered fish, pizza, rice with veggies and seafood, pasta, and dessert. We also got 2 drinks for free. I had cola.  I sat at one of the ends of the table with the grade 5 teachers and we talked for hours.  I think we started eating around 6 and the food stopped coming around 8:15.  We left a little after 8:30. I got home just before 9.  It was a great night.  Mrs. Santo and I talked in the car all the way to the restaurant and back. J

 

My throat is getting much better too! So I guess it was just a cold! Looks like I dodged the bullet!  My throat is constantly dry and in need of water, but at least it doesn’t hurt at all.

 

Yesterday I played Hot Potato with the Izumi special class for the entire period. Each time one of the kids ended up with the ball I would ask them questions about themselves (favourite colour, favourite food, favourite TV show, etc.) and they would answer me in either Japanese or English.  They had fun.  I’m glad, because I had no idea what to do with them to pass the time.

 

And the big happy news. 

 

I got my confirmation of re-appointment for next year (starting in August).  I still don’t know if I will be with the same schools or if I will have more schools added or not, but I do know that I will be here next year. Officially J

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