Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Celebration

Good morning everyone!! I guess more accurately here is good afternoon, but I slept in 'til noon today. It's such a glorious day outside, so perfect with my sliding doors open and looking out at the mountains and city (of course unfortunately with a few electrical lines in the way...). I've got a load of laundry in the machine, ready to hang in the sun.

I guess it's such a glorious day because I had such an amazing time last night. A sort of celebratory evening. A celebration for what you ask? I GOT A JOB! I am sure many of you already know this from facebook or from talking to me personally, but just in case, I thought I should spread the word around.

It's quite interesting in fact. I didn't even really intend to apply for the job. There haven't been all that many English or Spanish openings that fit my "ideal" school/working situation. I wanted to work in a more diverse school district around St. Cloud or maybe the twin cities. I did a few applications, but realized I needed to start branching out and possibly apply for ESL positions since that's where my experience is and I would have a better chance at scoring a job. Well, there was a job posting for ESL at my alma mater, Round Lake-Brewster High School. The posting was pretty short and sweet and didn't give any details, so I decided to email the principal just to check if it was elementary or high school.

And well, that was the beginning of the end. He asked me to call him to discuss the position, and then we did a phone interview, and it worked out in the end that I will be teaching all at the high school: Spanish I and II, English 12 AP, Speech, and two ESL classes. Worthington has shown some interest in an interview with me, but it would be a full time ESL position, something I'd be okay with teaching obviously since I applied for the job, but in the end I realized that no other school will provide me with the opportunity to actually use both my licenses and teach English and Spanish. The class sizes are pretty small (like 10 kids) which is good for a lot of things, but sometimes isn't ideal if you want to do larger group things. But overall it's about as perfect as I could ask for. The cherries on top are an assistant volleyball coaching position, a SMART board in my classroom, a laptop and desktop computer, and a printer in my room.

It might be a bit of an adventure heading back to my hometown after having been so far away, but I'm looking forward to seeing my niece grow since I only saw her once in her first 18 months of life. I'm looking forward to hanging with my brother and Katie, helping out my parents and having my dad grill me a steak now and then, and being able to go to movie nights and shopping days with Dawna. It will be nice to have so many of the people who are special to me right there! Of course my sister and Nicole are still pretty far away, but at least a cheaper flight than Japan!

A sashimi plate to start off the night!

So on to this celebration!! Every now and then my adult conversation class and I get together for a celebration or night out. It's fun for everyone and they like to practice their English outside of the classroom setting. Last night we went out for a typical Japanese enkai.We started off with sashimi and raw chicken, a Kyushu (the south/west island) special food. I had eaten it once before in Tokyo, and really like it actually! Every time I put it in my mouth though, I have to get over the fact that it's raw chicken. Goes against everything I've ever learned in life!

Yes, that's raw chicken!

Chiaki and I eating the raw chicken.

After a lot of food, beer and conversation, we moved on to nijikai, which translates to "second party," basically like after party I guess...except in Japan there also sometimes is a sanjikai, which means third party. A typical nijikai second party is going to karaoke. I actually have never been to karaoke in Fujinomiya. Well, surprisingly people didn't want to sing all that much and I felt like I was the common thread holding the party together, so I sang a lot of songs. This is completely out of character for me, as I usually have to be dragged to karaoke by my friends. I have started to like it actually, with unfortunate timing since I'm leaving Japan!

Yes, Hirofumi was a rock star.

And so were we!

The whole group that went out. The class is bigger, but this is all that could make it last night.

So, all in all, a great week and weekend. I'll probably do a few more posts about school festival, at least that was my intention last week! I took a lot of pictures because last year I didn't post about it or put up pictures even. So hopefully I can get my stuff together this week. I'm down to about exactly a month left in Japan, so my days and weekends are filling up fast with social gatherings. All to be repeated upon returning home. Gonna take a lot of Starbucks to keep me going!! Take care everyone...til next time.


Ashley said...

Congrats on the job! Sounds awesome!!!! :D

Ahles Family said...

ugh... I couldn't ever do the raw chicken!!! However that sashimi plate looks divine!

ash said...

@Ashley Thanks! I'm excited.

@Nic I thought the same thing. And think it each time before I try another piece...