Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Six Weeks!

6 weeks until I come home for a visit!! I can't wait, though I know those six weeks are going to just fly by. I don't have a whole lot going on in the middle, I need to stay home and save up money!! I seriously went through a stage where I didn't go anywhere for months, and then all of a sudden was going going going every weekend! This month especially! So anyway, looking forward to seeing everyone, please drop me a line and let me know what you're doing in July!

I started back up with teaching again this week after midterm exams, things are good. It's still my usual slow schedule with only 1-2 classes a day, but it gives me something to look forward to (or dread and the love once I'm there, that's more my process). I have been using a lot more free time to read at work and at home as I'm coming across more and more interesting books. There are a lot of random books in my apartment...but lots that I'm not really interested in! So I've been doing lots of book trading with other ALTs, and it's been good.

Though I have been reading a lot which is good, I have not been studying Japanese. I decided I need to get a tutor for my second year, because then I will be forced a little more to study. I'm really one who needs someone to hold me accountable for things like that. And it's hard to be motivated to study when I make it through with the basics, especially at school and around my city without any problems. So...tutor it is for the second year so I don't leave Japan ashamed at how little Japanese I actually know! I don't expect to walk away an expert...but some basic conversation skills would be good.

This past weekend I went down to the Black Ship Festival in Shimoda -- It's where Commander Perry's ships forced the American's way into interesting thing to celebrate. I drove down with a friend, so this was one of my farthest driving adventures. Adventurous it was on narrow, windy, and mountainous roads!! Left us feeling a little car sick as we were trying to get there before the fireworks began on Friday night! The fireworks were amazing, definitely worth the trip there. I realize I come from small town America where the fireworks are a bit lame, but these were the best I've ever seen. And on the Japan scale, they probably weren't necessarily that spectacular. But I enjoyed them. The rest of the festival was pretty low-key, but it was nice to hang out with the ladies and have a big slumber party for the weekend. Since we all sleep on the floor on futons, it really does have a slumber party feel!

Yesterday we had our Regional Meeting for ALTs, so it was nice to get out of a day of school and spend some time with the other teachers in my area, even though the content of the meeting was a little dry. Still pretty informational, and we talked about textbooks and I'm in the process of picking out next year's book! I kinda want to stick with the one I've got, it's so much better than last years! But there are a few that are similar and I'm hoping they get whichever one I recommend, since I plan all the lessons!

Hope all is going well at home. See you in 6 weeks!

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