More cart thingies!
This weekend was way too long, literally and figuratively. Friday, Saturday, Sunday came and went leaving me more exhausted than I was during the week. I was on-call Monday but didn’t have to go in. Was a nice recovery day, but still just kind of threw me off.
Still feeling out of it. Had to teach some new lessons today, which was harder since I was/am feeling so blah. I think the students picked up on it even though I try to keep upbeat in the classroom. Later on the day was better, but still can’t shake this weird feeling. Ugh.
Spent last night watching Alien (Tiffany you were right, was totally worth watching again) and listening to music that just made me sad. And if all of this is sounding kind of depressing, well, it is haha. I have confidence it’ll pass, and I figure I should put the good as well as the bad on here. Probably just a mixture of culture shock, loneliness, and missing my friends/family that all decided to assert itself over the last few days.
In any case, gonna try to get a good night’s sleep over the next few days and walk around since the weather’s been so nice. And geez, been missing my jade plant especially, so I think I’ll try to find one, or something else to grow, to liven up the apartment a bit.
You know, I never really started thinking about my little jade until it was gone. I guess that’s like a lot of things though. It was always so quiet and unassuming. Never complained except to get a little droopy through my own negligence every now and then. Nice to have that kind of quiet support.
Woops, my hippie is showing. Perhaps what I really need is just a few days alone in the woods, relaxing in the sun and breathing slow and deep under leafy shadows. That sounds nice.
Going to try to take Snowflakes’ advice and talk about today, and try not to think so much about the past or things I can’t control:
Talk about today
Cause yesterday is gone
What’d you do today
Cause yesterday is gone
First week teaching has been fun/hectic. Nine Elementary schools takes some getting used to, but all the classes I’ve taught in so far have been great. Some classes have been more shy/nervous than others, but warmed up somewhat after they realized I wasn’t going to eat them :3
Japanese teachers singing along despite themselves “Penguins! Penguins! How. Many. Penguins! Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three Penguins!”
My Uncle Dave. I really get a kick every time I use his picture, because everyone’s first guess is always ‘grandpa’ or ‘father’ (after I show them my dad’s picture). I ended up making it a ‘challenge question’ because it’d always take them a while to figure it out. Cheers to you, Grandpa Dave!
Getting called crazy on multiple occasions after I try to act out different animals. Except it’s more like “Eeee Ku REH ZI!” So surprised.. Geez, don’t you kids know who I am?
Welp, I’ll try to keep this more updated from now on. Been studying some Japanese again, and I got an idea for a Genki themed comic mini-series. Get ready!
P.S. Cherry blossoms should be coming this weekend. And if not this weekend, next weekend. Gorgeous pics to come!
Ok! It’s been a while, yeah? Got a lot more stuff, and sorry for the hodge-podge nature of the pictures, a lot has happened over the past few days!
Wow. So all the pictures of Max, Elisa and Lan are from Friday. We all decided to hit the town after a tough week of training! After much searching, we finally came across a cool place where I got noodles.
Fast-forward to Sunday. We’re on the train to Toyama and what do I see? Mountains! Whoa, the pictures do not do them justice. Also, Toyama itself is ringed by mountains to the East, so you can always see them rising up when you look down the street. Super cool!
Yesterday was the busy day. I went to City Hall to get my alien registration card (I’m now a Legal alien so that’s good), my health insurance, and then to the post office to set up a bank account. After that I got an iPhone. I really despise Apple, but having an iPhone in Japan makes things so much easier what with skype/translation/maps/email. Straightened out the electricity, water, gas, and internet situation as well. A big shout out to my Japanese IC: Thank you Thank you Thank you! I could Not have done any of that without you.
Today I went exploring with fellow ALT Rachel. We wandered around and found a cool noodle place in a random building, then walked down the river and went to Toyama castle, which also happens to be a museum. After that, hit up the 100 yen shop for some supplies and called it a day!
Until next time
I’m going to do a quick post before training today, since I’m feeling so much better, energy-wise, this morning.
Yesterday was incredible, as far as the information I learned and everyone I’m working with in general. I can honestly say I will be so prepared when I finally step off the train in my city.
Gotta talk about Cedric, especially. This guy is a piece of work. It’s his job to make sure we’re prepared, and boy does he. Just imagine a room full of 250 new teachers scared out of their minds by this thin, gangly looking man from South Africa. When we had random drawings to go up and present lessons people were literally shaking in their chairs, and everyone looked like trapped animals.
But man is he effective. I can safely say I am still terrified of this man, but I’m also more motivated than ever to do a great job.
Got to participate in a whole Junior HS demo lesson, which was wonderful. Thanks for that, Mike. And went to a whole slew of other classes with in-depth Q&As which alleviated a lot of my doubts/fears.
Looking forward to another day of training :D
Text only on this one. Been a long day travelling from Hama back to Narita, and I didn’t take any pictures. Well, I took a video on the train but that’s probably pretty boring hehe.
Anyway! Shinkansen -> JR line -> Narita terminal -> hotel! Today was arrival day for training in Narita! Five days of awesomeness will ensue, I’m sure.
Rolled up at the terminal around 1, made it to the hotel around 2. When I got there it was pretty nice. We had a checklist of things that needed to be taken care of, and everything was organized and went smoothly.
Got to meet my fellow ALTs going to Toyama, and a few of the staff as well. Everyone I’ve met seems really awesome, so I’m more excited/less nervous than I was.
The only thing that’s bugging me is we Still won’t get information on which particular schools we’ll be in and our apartment situation until Saturday. Tired of waiting. Oh well.
So training is until Friday. Saturday is just a chill day it look like. And Sunday I’m shippin’ out to Toyama.
More interesting posts to come, I promise!
So Friday night I finally got to stop by my host parents’ place, and ended up spending the night and the whole next day with them. It was awesome!
On Saturday my host mom and I went for a walk in the park near their place, and called around to see if we could meet up with anyone else I knew, but unfortunately everyone was out of town D:
Besides going out to walk, we didn’t really do much, which was fine with me! We mostly just sat around and caught up on the last 2 years. It was really nice.
Also, the wine conversation went something like this:
*as we’re watching a show on wine*
Host mom: Sean, do you like wine?
Me: Hmm yeah I like it, I just started getting into it like last year.
*Host mom leaves and comes back with bottle*
Host mom: Here ya go, take it :D
Me: O.o ..thank you.
Too nice hahaha, I’ll see you guys in May!
So yesterday. Taiga san and I planned to meet at Hamamatsu station at 2, but I ended up taking the train early (around 11) so I could wander around and get lost in memories of the place. The train in itself was an adventure since I’d never gone alone before. No worries though, didn’t get lost! Whew. I still don’t know how my dad wasn’t freaking out when he was here since he didn’t know any Japanese.
Anyway, wandered around and took pictures of random stuff. I really like the pathway design of the area. All sharp corners meeting smooth curves, and the way they integrate multiple floors of open space is something you don’t really get to see in Richmond. Might do another post on just that.
After wanderings, got some ramen for lunch went to meet up with Taiga. After many much exclamations of joy we stopped by Four Seasons, the school I studied at before. Joe sensei was there, but unfortunately Sasaki sensei was not :( Still fun.
Then we headed over to Taiga’s university, where I was introduced to some of his friends. One of them, Hiromi san, was nice enough to show me around the library. She didn’t really have any plans either so we all decided to go karaoke together, which was lots of fun!
Unfortunately, Hiromi san had to leave after that, and then Taiga and I met up with his friend Risa. After that, went out to eat and drink and be merry! There was so. much. food. I cannot understand where Japanese people put it all, cause they ate me under the table.
We finished up around 9.20 or so and made out way back to the station, where there were many heartfelt goodbyes. See you guys soon!
Welp, second post. And now I’ve synced this to facbook so I hope it works. We’ll see!
Going to the bank tomorrow, so I’ll take some pics on the way and in town. Japan is the same as ever, still kind of unreal though, being here.
Flight to LA was OK. Met a cool guy on that one, too bad I’ll never see him again. Here’s to you, random Taiwanese guy! *cheers* The 12 hour flight to Japan was actually super awesome. I was dreading all that sitting, but each seat actually had a mini-tv with ondemand, which was sweet. Finally got to watch The Descendants and some House and Family Guy.
The most important thing though, within the last day or two, was not even getting to Japan, which I think is worth mentioning.
I was napping on the plane and decided to open the window. Just wow! We were flying over the arctic circle, ice as far as I could see. All just white and blue, cracked and barren and so bright. I can almost understand snow blindness now. All that white space is so alluring for some reason, you can’t look away.
It was really breathtaking. I must have stared out the window for an hour and it didn’t end. Can you even imagine hundreds or even thousands of miles of ice over the ocean? Mind boggling. It really had an impact on me and helped me remember that, even though we can travel halfway around the world in a day, it is still a Very. Huge. Place.