It’s the first day of Golden week vacation today, and as you can likely tell; I’m fairly excited because I don’t have to go into work ever again… or at least for a whole week.
My first week of being a ‘real’ teacher has just flown by…’busy’ would be an understatement; there’s always something to do at the office and the schedule can get fairly hectic at times. Lesson planning has become a five minute matter rather than a half hour project but teaching back to back lessons for five or six hours is pretty draining. The students are always fun though, and it’s great being able to actually feel like you’re helping someone with something they care about. The best part is probably answering questions (‘which is a worse insult, pig or dog?’) and being able to teach stuff that’s tangential to the curriculum (yesterday I explained about fraternities, sonorities and ‘keggers’ to a student who's planning a stay in an American university).
The biggest challenge is probably the kids classes; while adults are well-behaved, with kids it's often quite difficult to make them do the activities as planned. I have a newfound respect for early childhood educators everywhere. So far the teaching points have been making it across, but I still never quite feel in control in the classroom, it’s more like I’m a lion-tamer than a teacher or something. I’m hoping it’s just a matter or practice, otherwise I’m heading to aneurysm-land.
Last night me, Saori and Hiroki celebrated by going out to an isakaia for some food and drinks; lotsa fun! Chihiro's running off to a hot spring for a week (a plan which I am exceedingly jealous of) and everyone else has plans to visit their families (Golden week seems to be kind of a Thanksgiving equivalent over here) so I'm gonna take the opportunity to explore a bit.
I'm not really alone though; I got a knock on the door last week from Gela and Hannah, two foreign teachers who also work in the neighbourhood, although I answered the door in my boxers (I had some misguided idea about an 'early night' or somesuch) they still agreed to take me out and show me the sights ('sights' in this case means 'bars'). We went down to the local watering hole called 'Playmates’ and began a fairly epic night out that ended sometime around 3.30 in the morning and spanned another 3 bars and a karaoke parlour. Both of them are a great source of advice about teaching and life in
Want to try something different? Some Japanese bars have this stuff, which we affectionately call 'Snake Juice'.
And this is me, Hannah and Gela indulging in aforementioned snake-infused liquor. Why are we smiling? Even I don't know.
I’ve still got to get some plans together for the holiday, lest I fall into a deathly abyss of sitting in my flat watching MTV and eating dry pasta for a week and a half straight. I’m still slightly crippled in the organization department by my lack of internet or cellular phone access, but I’m gonna try and catch up with Cristi and Lauren anyway… after all, how hard can it be? I’m GTS (Great Teacher Shaun) after all!
Golden week means celebrations, and no town celebrates like Sasebo! Because Sasebo celebrates with a giant inflatable hamster.
Ummm ok, I’m gonna go, I need to fold up my futon and vaccum. Grand plans indeed.