Search:




User: Password:







Select a category

GTX: As Told By Facebook
... maybe it's just easier this way

GTX: Great Teacher Xeno [ Check this category ]

Written by xenocrisis0153
December 17th, 2011

13099 views

Coverage Days: November 11th 2011 - December 18th 2011
Schools Visited: ES-1, ES-2, Jidoukan, KS
Entry#: The Fifth Season, Episode 11


Man... what day is it? We're somewhere in December, right? Is it 2011 or 2012? I'm not sure anymore. Time is but a vapor, someone in a random internet clip once said. I think I get what he means now.

I suppose I should apologize for not keeping up with the blog as much as I should, but since these long pauses are now seemingly the new norm, it would just become repetitive of me to do this each time. And really, it's myself who is suffering more from my own laziness anyway, as this blog had originally been created to serve as my own time-capsule, preserving my memories of my wonderous time in Japan for when I'm a senile old man, unable to remember where 10% of my life disappeared to.

Let me give you the basic jist of what I've been doing over the past month before I get into the more detailed stories.

I have, according to my calendar here right next to me, worked everyday Mon-Fri until at least 6pm, if not later. When I get home, my mind and body are just mush. I have enough energy to make myself something to eat and basically just veg in this extremely uncomfortable apartment-provided chair while listening to my radio from back home in Boston and goofing around on the internet (ragecomics has sucked up a lot of my time). I wish I could say I was spending my evenings taking my mecha out for a spin or practicing my transformations with a clan of magical girls, but sadly that version of Japan only exists on tv (or in Tokyo itself... I still refuse to believe that these things don't REALLY exist somewhere here in this island nation).

The major story of the season is that I will be going back to the United States for Christmas!!!! This will be my visit back home since I came here over 3 years ago. A lot of my spare time this month went into figuring out what I will actually be doing for the 13 days I'm back amoung the English-speakers of the Western World... though, to be honest, it's mostly the food I'm looking forward to.

Oh, and because I will be back home, I have no excuse to not buy Christmas gifts this time around. Because of this, I had to do some Christmas shopping, which is much harder when you lose touch with your friends and family and knowing what it is they want (and don't have). Well, random Japanese trinkets may not be high on people's holiday lists, but it more or less guarentees they'll be getting something unique. My sister wanted a "sweatshirt with bad English on it," which surely would have been easy to find in a store. I mean, I see bad Engrish clothese EVERYWHERE, especially in the elementary schools, yet, disappointingly and annoyingly enough, when I try to actually find anything for purchase, I can't seem to have much luck. Items in the children's section are more plentiful, but how creepy does it look to others to see a 30-something foreign man browsing through the little girls shirts? Gah~

This week will be the final stretch for my preparations in returning home. I've had my flight booked since August for this coming Thursday (the 22nd), though I'm a little miffed by what I was told as far as my work schedule goes. When I first came, I asked the Board of Education what day my winter vacation started, and they told me that "December 22nd will be no school," meaning I was free to skip the country that day. However, I've only recently learned that what they REALLY meant was that the 22nd will be "no classes."

ARGH!!!!

The kids will be at school, but they won't be stuck in formal lessons. They'll be doing fun activities and having Christmas games/parties/food, etc. And I'll be missing out!!! Even worse, the after-school jidoukan program, which I have become a big part of, at some point changed their party from this past Saturday to also being on the 22nd. I'll be missing that, too. Not cool.

Sigh, but whatever. I do have some good stories collected from the last few weeks to share. I don't keep my specific day-by-day notes anymore like I used, but rather just highlight one interesting story from each day on my Facebook feed. And now that Facebook Timeline has just come out, I was able to sort everything easily, giving me quick reference back to what happened at school.

Now let's just see how well I can recall the specifics....


Sun. Nov 13th: haha, I had almost forgotten how wildly fun it is to talk to hyper friendly junior high school girls.

This was at the junior high school basketball tournament for this part of Fukushima prefecture. I don't teach JHS-level anymore, but my friend here does, and he wanted to go support his school. I tagged along just because it's been a while since I've interacted with any older students, plus I like watching basketball.

As we were watching a game from the second floor gallery, this group of girls came and stood next to me. It was apparent that they were interested in talking with us because they kept practicing random English phrases amongst themselves, loud enough to be heard, hinting at us that they wanted one of us to make the opening. I can't remember what phrases finally got me to respond to them, but it was probably something along the lines of "I hate watching basketball," haha.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mon. Nov 14th: Special thanks to Yuina-chan, Kaito-kun, and Ibuki-chan for helping me make my "mystery game" today. Hahah, none of them have any idea what the finished project will be, but they enjoyed making the individuals parts I needed. Makes me wonder how feasible it would be to make a doomsday device entirely from child labor, haha.

This project turned out quite well, actually. I had randomly remembered earlier in November that my kids from the jidoukan in Okayama were obsessed with this game we played using marbles and paper cups glued to a sheet of styrofoam. Since the teachers here mainly just let the kids do whatever they want without much guidance (save for some origami projects and whatnot), I took it upon myself to construct something on my own for the kids to wonder and amaze at.

Even to this day, a full month afer I introduced this game, the kids have been obsessed with it. There isn't a moment of the daywhen this thing isn't in use; seriously... there is ALWAYS a line to be next to play. Of course, yours truly is still the champion with about an 80% success rate. I think I've played at least once with every student enrolled.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wed. Nov 16th: Not a big fan of jumping rope or cold weather, but 2nd-period P.E. with the 2nd-graders was quite enjoyable.

My 2nd-grade class is a bit of a handful. There are 28 of them, making them the second-biggest class in my roster (2-4-1 is the biggest with 29)... and being one of the younger classes, they are often a little chaotic. But you'd think I'd be able to work some magic, considering the class is 20 girls and 8 boys. Seems to only take 1 or 2 disruptive forces to really send things off the deep-end.

This is why it is near imperative that I get to spend ANY non-English-class time with them. I need to better relate with them on a level where I am not the big scary teacher, but rather just another fun-time individual like themselves. Hence my glee at joining their P.E. less... even though it was just jump-rope. They were beyond ecstatic at seeing me come outside to join them, even though I didn't have a jumprope.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thurs. Nov 17th: This confuses me: how did the noisy, distracted 5-1 class finish today's lesson plan 7 minutes faster than the well-behaved, attentive 5-2 class?


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fri. Nov 18th: Today's "American Games" activity of Capture The Flag went very very well. The 5th-graders were a bit more brave about charging into enemy territory than the 6th-graders. Actually, for the most part, the 6th-graders just stood at the middle line and taunted eachother from their safe-zone. Awww... just like real American children.

I was pretty nervous about this one. Wasn't sure if the kids would 1) understand the rules, 2) enjoy the game, and/or 3) enjoy it long enough to fill an entire period. I mean, if they got bored of it after just 10 minutes, then I'd be in hot soup trying to fill the rest of the class time. Gah... pressure!!!

But turns out that everything worked out in the end. The 5th-graders were up first. I decided right on the get-go to break them into 3 teams instead of 2, just because the gym was a little smaller than I imagined for 40~ to be playing in. Explaining the rules went alright; used the homeroom teachers to serve for demonstrative purposes.

Once the games began, it was total awesomeness. They played really tough and took a lot of chances. They planned a few coordinated attacks and made efforts whenever they saw openings. When the clock ticked down, they all went for broke and tried to be heroes. It was immense fun.

For the 6th-graders, though, it was a different scenario. As my FB status points out, they took the more delicate, calculated approach. They set up several guards around their flags and jails, plus send out guards to the center border. They basically stalemated eachother for the entire durations of their games. Anyone who did try to make a run into enemy territory was immediately captured.

Of course, what amused me was how like the American version this was... complete with the taunting from the safe-zones, haha. Oh well, as long as they had fun and enjoyed it for the full period, I guess I'm happy. I'm sure a few kids got slapped in the back of the head in the period after for being such douches during the game.

Where's your safe-zone now?


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mon. Nov 21st: wow, I knew the graduation album from my evacuated elementary school would arrive to me eventually, but I never expected a hand-delivery by one of the teachers.

I was totally caught by surprise on this one. I was outside for the morning recess playing soccer with the 5th-graders when I heard someone shouting my name from the sidelines. I looked up to see a man waving for me to come over. Wasn't sure at first who it could have been, but didn't take long to see that the 6th-grade teacher from my evacuated elementary school had come to bring me my copy of this year's graduation album.

Wow, what a nice surprise! I told him that he could have just mailed it, but he insisted on bringing it over. Ah well, he got to see my new school, so I'm sure that was worth it to him in some way.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thurs. Nov 24th: Aw crud, it's Thursday again. This means...
4-1
4-2
recess
5-1
5-2
lesson-planning
cleaning time
recess
6-1
6-2
lesson-planning
topped off with 3 hours of after-school supervision.
From 8am until 6:30pm, my only time away from the insanity is the 15 minutes I have at the very start of the day before classes actually being. Sigh... well, fortunately I like my students and my schools, so here's hoping nothing too crazy happens.



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fri. Nov 25th: An emergency evacuation drill during recess? Now that's just plain mean.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fri. Nov 25th: There is this 1st-grade girl who attends the after-school program I volunteer at. She is like a prodigy when it comes to English. Anything I say to her, no matter the length, she can repeat flawlessly without trying. Today's lesson: "everybody poops" hahahaha

Before you chastise me for teaching children dirty words*, I should point out that I only brought this up because she was reading the Japanese-translated version of the classic children's book... only in Japan, it's called "Minna-san unchi." There, you learned something today.

* hey, I hate parents who think it's amusing to teach their kids that swearing is funny

P.S. yes, the girl in this situation was Yura-chan

P.P.S. haha, I said "p-p"

P.P.P.S. poop


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sat. Nov 26th: My first serious injury ever in my life... and it comes while at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, of all places. Stubbed my toe on an odd-shaped tree root and cracked right through the nail. The officers at the police station patched me up, but we're not sure if the toe is broke or not. Guess I'll see if it still hurts like hell in the morning. Oh well, luckily all this happened at the end of the trip and not toward the start. Good day in Nikko was had by all.

I probably should have posted something more profound about this trip. I mean, Nikko is not ony the original capital city of Japan and home to some of it's most treasured shrines, but it's also the birthplace of those "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Spake No Evil" monkeys. Truly hallowed ground that must be respected*. And while I did enjoy my time there, took some great photos, and scratched another important locale off my travel list, the story of the day was that above.

* despite seeing some asshat Europeans hawking loogies right on the steps leading up to one of the shrines. You stay classy.

I didn't end up breaking the toe, but the toenail itself was very uncomfortable and painful. This pain ended up lasting for nearly two weeks. I showed it to the school nurse, who advised I take it to a doctor. The doctor took an x-ray, poked at it with some metal tools (thanks for that, doc), and then wrapped it up in some kind of anti-inflammatory gel. Best part... drugs!!! Instant relief!!!!

But only 3 days' worth.

Poop

hahaha, I said it again

Now, many of you might be thinking, "aww, poor whiney baby... a hurt toe and waah waah wahh. Let me call you some kind of vehicle used for medical transport and slightly modify the term used for it to meld it with some other taunting word. An 'ambulashutthehellupyoupussy,' if you will." But remember, I teach in an elementary school. Walking and standing I could handle; the pain was there, but not debilitating. It's when the kids rush up to me in the halls and during recess and want to be picked up and spun around... or just want to stand on my feet. They understand when I say my foot hurts, but then they forget what I told them no more than 12 seconds later.

For the record, it's been 22 days as of this posting, and the pain is still there, albeit very minimal at this point. Hoping it won't affect my trip back to the states.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sun. Nov 27th: Clerk: So with your insurance points, your replacement phone costs 17,350 yen. Do you want to pay it all at once now or in payments each month?
Me: Is the price the same either way?
Clerk: Yes, there is no discount for paying all at once today.
Me: Well, since I don't have the cash on me now, let's do it each month.
(5 mins and many questions later)
Clerk: Okay, so you'll be paying over time. You're not qualified for the free gift.
Me: Wait, huh? What free gift?
Clerk: If you pay all at once, you get a gift card to the store in the value of 10% of your purchase.
Me: So it's pretty much a discount then?
Clerk: No, it's not off the phone, it's just bonus money to spend in the store later.
Me: (all sorts of rage faces) CLOSE ENOUGH!!! I'm going to the ATM. brb...


I have been looonng overdue to get myself a new phone. The one I had been using for the last 3 years took a lot of abuse. It was mangled by volleyballs, basketballs, 4th-graders, and just the usual wear-and-tear. It was scratched, chipped, and fading fast. I could deal with the rattiness of it's lost veneer, but then the vibration function stopped working* and then the battery was losing it's life (was to the point it needed to be recharged daily, even when I barely used it). The final straw, however, was apparently when I took that fall in Nikko, I ended up cracking the camera lens. Or... the plastic screen that protected it. Miraculously, it still worked fine, but it was just a sign that I need to get myself a more super-awesome phone.

* no jokes about "overuse", plz

I told one of my Japanese friends about what happened, and she offered to bring me to the phone shop to get a replacement. I just needed something simple that would let me send texts, take photos, and let me manage a calendar. The cheapest model suited my needs, but best of all, it came with an earthquake-alert... which is awesome, except...


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mon. Nov 28th: Hey, look, new cellphone of mine, I know you were just brought to life yesterday and all, so I won't hold this too much against you, but you come equipped with an earthquake warning alert... and, well... we just had an earthquake, and you just sat there silently. Kinda dropped the ball on that one. Well, like I said, I won't hold it against you, but in the future, I'd appreciate it if you could keep up with what's going on around us. All right...

Apparently it only buzzes if there is a more decent-sized quake... or so I can only assume.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wed. Nov 30th: JHS/ALT-sensei came to one of my schools this morning for a mini-presentation. Fluent English conversations in front of the 6th-graders makes for about 47 blown minds.

If you look back at Nov 24th's post, you'll see why they didn't ask me to do any sort of mini-presentation. I woulda just laughed and said "yeah... that's gonna happen." So they asked my friend over at the JHS to put something together on Food.

I was amused by this only because to kick things off, I stood up front to introduce him and get the kids in learning mode. As my friend came up, we had a quick conversation using our mighty understanding of the English language to blow all their minds. Haha, they probably easily forget that I am capable of communicating in more than just short phrases and broken Japanese.

I let him do his thing uninterrupted through the duration of the period, only interjecting myself occassionally to ask them if they understood a word he had used from one of our lessons together. It wasn't until the end that I made some comedy of my own. The game he prepared afterwards was a multiple choice game where students would stand in a certain part of the room corresponding to their guesses. One of the culture questions was "Who is my favorite AKB48 member?" I forget who choices A and B were, but for C, it was Mayu Watanabe. I was standing over at A, so when he made the revelation about the options, I made a big show of it running over happily to C, as it's become a joke in our school that I love Mayu Watanabe.

or "Mayuyu" as she's lovingly nicknamed here


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thurs. Dec 1st: To my favorite 1st-grade girl: you are always adorable... even when you're trying to act mean and tough... which only makes you all the more adorable when you come stomping up to me with a huffy attitude only to trip on a jumprope sitting on the floor between us and fall flat on your butt.

This is why I adore Mone-chan, my favorite student.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thurs. Dec 1st: Just added up my "volunteer time" for the month of November: 44.50 hours... that's a lot of unicycle training, dodgeball, card playing, scarf making, math homework helping, jumproping, LEGO building, and anime watching.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fri. Dec 2nd: hahahha, I love my students who actually want to learn English. Said to one of my first-graders that I would see her next "getsu-youbi," to which she responds with this cool finger-pointing suave maneuver and says "Moooonnndaaay!!!!!"

Yura-chan strikes again. She's been curious about all the things the older 3rd-graders come talk to me about, so she tries to listen in whenever she can. She heard me talking about the days of the week one time and wanted me to go over each of the days with her. Her memory skills are amazing.

... and her adorableness levels are off the charts!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mon. Dec 5th: Today and tomorrow the after-school program teachers are letting me bring my camera to take some pics/vids to show my family back home what I do each day. I decided it would be a lot more interesting to just let the kids play with the camera as I went off and did my various things. Looking the results now, I see what they came up with is... about 20 or so vids all between 5-20 seconds which consist of either 1) the floor, 2) the room spinning around in a lopsided blur or 3) extreme close-ups of their friends arguing with them over who gets to use the camera. Sigh... cute, but I think tomorrow, I'm going to do all the camera work.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tues. Dec 6th:I put out a fire at an elementary school today!!!!! Well, I mean, the quote-unquote fire was actually made of plastic, and this was done with the supervision of the local fire department in front of all the kids. But hey, I knocked that sucker down quicker than anyone else doing the drill today, heh heh.

The kids were amazed at how quickly I was able to do this, but truth is, I hesitated because I wasn't sure when I was supposed to start. I coulda had that thing busted in 4 seconds flat, but I stopped to see if the other teachers were moving forward yet. Heh heh, well, if there's ever a fire, I'll be ready.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tues. Dec 6th: LOL... I should bring my video camera to school more often. Somehow at some point this afternoon, one of my 1st-grader's earthquake RFID card ended up in my pocket. Wasn't sure how that happened, but watching these videos now, I see that she gave it to me when she was trying to jumprope. Mystery solved.

This was Mone-chan, again. She often comes to me to hold onto her lanyard which has her earthquake victim beacon/barcode in it since it tends to get in her way when she's trying to do something like play dodgeball or tag. On this particular day, we had both forgotten that she had given it to me, so when it came time for her to leave, she was frantically searching everywhere for it. When I realized what she was looking for, I thought instantly, "oh, maybe I have it in my pocket." And surely I did, only it baffled me for the rest of the day as I couldn't remember particularly when she asked me to hold it for her. The video caught the moment and pointed it out. How oddly coincidental.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thurs. Dec 8th: holy crap... what a difference! For my 1st-period class with my 4-1 class, the three troublemakers were out of the room on discpline. The rest of the class was able to be move forward in absolute peace and silence. Ahhh... relish these moments

I should also point out how much I love this class. My 4th-graders are so sweet.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sat. Dec 10th: Lunar Eclipse... the red moon (11:42pm local time (GMT+9))

This was the big news of the day, since apparently the next one won't be until 2014. Unfortunately for those of you in the US and Europe, this lasted for only about 40 minutes around what was daytime for you all. I had a beautiful front-row seat, heh heh. I got a few decent photos, which I'll post when I do a photo update, hopefully soon.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mon. Dec 12th: My usually chaotic 2-2-1 class actually behaved today!! I think they liked the lesson on Animals, heh heh.

I mentioned this class earlier. The 2nd-graders at ES-2 are very difficult to handle. They have very low attention spans, unfortunately. I was amazed, however, at how much they liked the lesson on Animals. I think it was because I was asking them to guess the next animal before I showed them each new flashcard. They were pretty interested in not only seeing if they could guess correctly, but also in seeing how wrong they were.

For instance... if most of them guessed "bear," it was hilarious to show them the answer was really "chicken"... complete with bear-growling sounds, haha.

For "snake," I through in some of my good-fashioned xeno-sensei humor. I get to peek at the cards first, obviously, so when I saw that "snake" was next, I acted all over-the-top horrified. This signaled to the kids that a scary animal was up next. Most of them did guess "snake," but this is only where the joke starts. The previous animal was "rabbit," and as anyone who knows their Animal Channel programming can tell you, snakes and rabbits do not play together well. I put the snake flashcard up on the chalkboard, then had the rabbit pretending to freak out about its unfortunate placement in the line-up.

GTX to the rescue!!

I drew a chalk-line "barrier" between the snake and the rabbit, which had the kids wildly entertained. Even more so when I made the rabbit taunt the snake by waving its butt through its protective shielding. But then the clever ones were telling me that the snake could just go over the barrier. Haha, I took care of that problem by punching the snake and telling it to behave. Kids love watching things get punched.

I thought everything was in the clear, but then another student pointed out to everyone that the rabbit was left unprotected on the other side from the "bear." hahaha, I just pushed those two cards together and said "nah, it's okay, they're friends."

The children gladly accepted that solution.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tues. Dec 13th: Should I feel bad about totally mopping the field with my 3rd-graders during 4th-period soccer? I mean, I was playing defense in their passing drills with a hurt foot, so the playing field was somewhat level, no?

Not a particularly interesting story, but I suppose it's always worth note ANYtime I get to join in one of the P.E. classes, since they only happen once in a red moon, it seems. A lot of my admirers are in the 3-2 class.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tues. Dec 13th: I know that it takes roughly about 1 minute and 15 seconds for a student in my after-school program to run down the hall, go to the bathroom, wash their hands, and come back... even doing it at top speed. When they come back ANY sooner than that, I know they skipped a step... which makes me wary about continuing playing with them after that. @____@;;;

ewwwwwwwwww


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wed. Dec 14th: My adorable 1,000% 2nd-grade identical twin girls asked me to write their names on their hands in Romaji. I wish they would let me do this everyday; I'm sure many people would be grateful.

I've lamented about these two before. You would think that their mother would dress them in different colors or something. I dunno, I guess these two love not being able to be told apart* and never seem to raise a stink if anyone confuses them with the other. But anyway, I was asked after lunch to write the names of the kids who didn't want to finish their juice on their juice bottles in Romaji. When some of the kids saw me writing Romaji, they loved the idea of having their names written, too... only, they didn't have any bottles for me to write on. So, they used the next best thing: their hands, haha.

* unlike one of my other pair of twins, Ryouko and Shouko, who HATE it whenever anyone messes up their identities. Luckiily I can tell who is who... but I cheat because I go by who they are hanging out with, haha.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thurs. Dec 15th: Can't get too many kids interested in making Christmas ornaments for the tree, but for some reason, wreaths were extremely popular. Handed one of the teachers a stack of 6 and she was like "wow, this is a lot." Knocked her back when I told that these were just the ones that had been finished so far, haha.

Trying to get into the Christmas Spirit for my own sake while spreading international culture for the children. I made a pretty spiffy tree out of paper to hang in the hallway out front. I was leaving the ornament-making to the children, though they don't seem to have many ideas of what to make. And I'm no help because most of my family ornaments were Star Wars-related, haha.

However, when I brought up the idea of making wreaths, suddenly every kid within earshot was all over this idea. Hopefully the jidoukan doesn't mind how much of their construction paper I've used on this project... but then again, isn't that why they HAVE the paper in the first place?


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thurs. Dec 15th: Received a Christmas card from one of my former high school E.S.S. club students!! Happy happy joy joy!!!

No, not from who you're thinking, haha.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sat. Dec 17th: Survived another overnight teacher trip. Failed miserably during the "quiz" portion of the big game we all played, but pwned the physical challenge.

It's an annual tradition in Japan for co-workers to have an end-of-the-year party together. Some are just the typical 3-hour food/drinking parties sat around a long table, usually with games and Secret Santa. Others, like this one, were an overnight trip to the local mountain range. There was an onsen (hot spring bath) there, but of the three I've been to, it was the least fancy. Oh well, at least the 5 of us men who were there timed our usage so there was no overlapping, haha. Onsen all to myself... though this one was absolutely scalding hot. I couldn't even get in, it was so hot.

Anyway, the game we all played was a three-stage ordeal. We were broken into 3 teams. The first event was a bottled tea taste-test quiz. Man... how lame. The second event was a tamaire basketball thing. I scored 3 for 3, mostly because it was just like the game I play with the kids during English classes anyway, haha. The third event was one of those "let's see if everyone can come up with the same response" quizzes, which left me out in the cold since some of the questions were like "what is your favorite Japanese tv show?" I asked them if I could be excluded since obviously I'm just going to be hurting my team, but they insisted that I must join. Ugh... what was the point?

The Secret Santa present selection was interesting. We played BINGO... only, instead of using numbers, we used the names of the students at our school, haha. I had no problem thinking of 16 names to use, except when we started playing, they were going by last names, not first names. Argh... I don't know any of their last names!!

I was supposed to join in the karaoke mayhem afterwards, but instead ended up talking with the 3-1 teacher upstairs for about 3 hours. Hahah, he had a lot of questions to ask me. He especially wanted to know if I was coming back next year, which is a sure sign that I'm respected and valued in this school. I told him that it was up to the BOE and my company, but if he wanted to support me, then he can put in a good word with the vice principal. He was also amazed at my reasons for staying in Fukushima after the big earthquake and nuclear disaster.

Also, he asked me if I own a gun, haha. I've heard every American is asked that at least once.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Exactly 95 hours from now, I will be in the air over Hokkaido, entering Russian airspace, on my first journey back to the US. I will definitely blog about the differences between Japan and America early on in my trip.

Also, I have some photos taken over the last 2 months of the various events I've attended. I have them all sorted and resized... it's just a matter of uploading them and coding the article. If I'm good, I'll have it up before I leave.

And I should also point out before I end this that Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate are still in need. Please don't stop donating to Japan just yet!! The clean-up from the radiation is a contuning problem and the roads/utilities, especially in the more ravaged areas up North, are in desperate need of repair. In my area alone, there are no less than 5 roadway reconstructions going to fix damage, and we're fast approaching the one-year anniversary.

Keep Japan in your hearts, and come visit, if you can!!!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch Sucker Punch, or as it's titled in Japan, "Angel Wars" :D



P.S. Since these articles are a lot more in-summation of the more interesting events, it would help me a lot if you told me what you want to hear more about. Ask me questions about anything, anyone. I've been here so long that everything just blends in as normal life for me now, so I tend to forget what is "foreign" and "unique." Plus, I have over 100 Xeno Rangers here, so let me know who you want to hear more about.

P.P.S. I finally learned the difference between Chiyori and Shiori. Chi-chan is the super-quiet nerdy girl who only talks to me; Shi-chan is the tomboy who is super adorable in her own way. Now that I've been here over 3 months, I'm starting to understand better the personalities of all the students.

P.P.P.S. ::Peter Griffin laugh:: You all know what I was going to say...


There are 2 comment(s) for this entry
Post a new comment
[ Go Back To Top]




Displaying comment(s)
#1

cheshire
Haiku for Anime-Source

Xeno-Sensei gone?
Wind whistles through empty rooms;
Readers left forlorn.


2012-01-25 13:53:09
#2

darrendemers12
Thanks

Anyway, the game we all played was a three-stage ordeal. We were broken into 3 teams. The first event was a bottled tea taste-test quiz. Man... how lame. The second event was a tamaire basketball thing. I scored 3 for 3, mostly because it was just like the game I play with the kids during English classes anyway, haha. The third event was one of those "let's see if everyone can come up with the same response" quizzes, which left me out in the cold since some of the questions were like "what is your favorite Japanese tv show?" I asked them if I could be excluded since obviously I'm just going to be hurting my team, but they insisted that I must join. Ugh... what was the point?
downs-automotive ,


2014-12-15 10:49:04


Our Sponsors

Blog
5/16/13
Nominoichi at Anime North 2013
Conventions

9/30/12
Great Teacher Xeno: FINAL!
GTX: Great Teacher Xeno

6/10/12
Minister Most Sinister
GTX: Great Teacher Xeno

4/13/12
A Special Assignment
GTX: Great Teacher Xeno

4/8/12
Season of Many Changes
GTX: Great Teacher Xeno

3/24/12
GTX: New Evolution
GTX: Great Teacher Xeno

2/24/12
Xeno Has Reached the Top
GTX: Great Teacher Xeno

2/3/12
GTX 2012
GTX: Great Teacher Xeno

12/17/11
GTX: As Told By Facebook
GTX: Great Teacher Xeno

11/21/11
To the Moon
Gaming


Whos Online
There are currently, guest(s) and member(s) that are online.

You are Anonymous user. You can register for free by clicking here

Affiliates

Manga Updates
October 10th
Hohzuki Island (NEW!)
Chapters 1-26

August 15th
Freezing
Chapters 30-33

History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi
Chapters 268-393

Ping
Chapters 25-29

Shiki (NEW!)
Chapters 1-22

August 08th
Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer
Chapters 54-64

Yomeiro Choice
Chapters 27-28


All images and comments are property of their respective owners, all the rest � 2002 by Anime-Source.com.
You can syndicate our news using the file backend.php.


Web site engine code is Copyright © 2003 by PHP-Nuke. All Rights Reserved. PHP-Nuke is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL license.
Back to Top