Thursday, May 6, 2010

Josui by Bike and Back to School

So I made the bike ride to Josui today in about 35 minutes. That was around 3 miles, with one minor point of being lost when I was about three blocks from the school. In short, a highly successful bike ride. I'm definitely slow though. One of the other teachers I was talking with at lunch makes the same ride (coming from the station, so mine is a wee bit longer as my apartment is a hint farther away, but still) in about 25 minutes. Still, biking is so worth it! (and it saves me money...yes, I get transportation reimbursed, but that takes a month at least. I'd much rather have my money now than later.)

I was also so much more cheerful today, having biked instead of taken the train. I am happier when I get more exercise. As a result, I really want to bike tomorrow to Ibo Elementary. It's only about 4.1 miles, an extra mile along the same road. But I really need to be early tomorrow in order to discuss lesson planning as I'm not 100% sure what they want (or even 30% sure actually), and of course I didn't get a fax even though I saw one of the teachers filling out the paperwork when I left on Friday. I absolutely hate this lesson planning process. As a result, I wrote out three lesson plans for where I'm assuming my students are in the book. Hopefully one of them will be close enough. But that means I didn't do much else tonight besides eat.

But about today, to keep it short (need to go to bed early), today was a great day! Etsui and Shion both made it into today, which made me very happy (and Etsui-kun had a fine time giving me the high give with vigor and repetition. Must have thought I was a cat). I also got to hang out with one of my highschoolers (whose favorite color is pink) and learned the Kanji for her name, so now I'll stop forgetting it. She's really into J-pop, anime and dramas, so we had some great bonding in regards to Arashi and Hana Yori Dango.

Another major bonus of today was being asked to teach a song about standing under a chestnut tree, which had a Japanese translation not only of the words, but also of the gestures that were supposed to go with every part of the song. So now I've got bunches of flashcards with such things as "put both hands on your head," "sway" "spread your arms," etc. Before that class, I had a free period, so I went through and memorized the new vocabulary in the song as well as starting on the gestures. This was a huge benefit because the teachers were asking me things like "what does 'spread' mean" and I was able to say Hirogeru (with the gesture), which I had just learned by studying the vocabulary of the song in reverse. Super cool!

Also, as a general note, today was just stunning. Warm, sunny, beautiful. Actually even a little hot. I am NOT looking forward to true summer here though. As of now, I've already taken the blanket off of my futon and am going to sleep with the deck door open tonight (for airflow. We're not yet ready for the AC, but a little aiflow wouldn't kill anyone.

Also, at the foreign goods store near my house, they had wheat bread again! (YAY!) And I was able to pick up some powder to make Thai Coconut Curry, so I know what I'm doing with that chicken in my freezer, that is as soon as I get some pineapple. In fact, I definitely overspent at the foreign good store. I avoided the good grocery store in Josui because I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on more food, so I just spent money at the foreign goods store instead. What can I say, I like having a well stocked fridge. As it is, I'm getting nervous as I'm down to just one bunch of Bok Choy. (I eat it almost everyday)

In short, it was a nice, boring day!

Tomorrow promises to be more stressful. I'm nervous about it, in part because I feel like I must have lost or not written down some critical information about tomorrow's lessons, which is probably why I tried so hard to cover my bases tonight. I really wish that the schools would just send the faxes though. It would be so much easier and better for all of us.

Anyway, gotta shower and bed. Tomorrow's entry should be more meaty, hopefully with positive memories :)