Friday, April 15, 2005

of the end of a long day.

So today marks the start of my second week of teaching (keeping track of time is rather odd when I started teaching on a Friday...). I am beginning to get a feel for some of the classes now, and I can recognize most of the faces. I am still not so good with names, but hopefully that will get better.

Today, I had some good classes, (the Bible Study went especially well, but went long and I had a student waiting for me) and some not so good classes. I wouldn`t say any of the classes are failures, but they were certainly lacking in my mind. I have one class I have been having difficulty teaching, and I`m not sure if it was just the lesson or me, or what. But hopefully I will find a way to reach that class.

I notice that I have already begun falling into bad habits and I hope to remedy that. I don`t want to start off on a bad foot. I pray that God will be with me through this process of learning to teach English. But it is definitely rewarding when I see a kid smiling because she understands something, or because he had a good time in English class. And I know all days can`t be like that, but still...

Yeah, I don`t really know what I am trying to say here. I have been very ADD lately, even though I have been taking my meds. I think the real problem is that even though I talk about wanting to put God first in my personal life, I don`t. I need to put actions behind my words. Please pray that I am able to focus first on God, then on others, and finally on me. I want to be a good servant, but it is hard if I don`t listen and obey God first.

I must admit this is quite a struggle for me. I always allow myself to become distracted by daydreams or things I want, or things I like instead of taking the time to focus on God. I know this is the Devil`s tatic, but it is still hard to fight. I am so weak in this area. It makes me feel like a fraud. Like I am spending all my time, hoping no one else finds out how pathetic I really am.

Overall, I am happy with teaching. I just need to keep an eye out to avoid pitfalls, and work more on lesson plans and preparations.

A thought just occurred to me. Maybe I need to be ministered to. I am thinking of seeing if there are any English worship services in the area this weekend...

Anywho, I guess that`s enough for today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

of teaching..

So today was a good day (despite last minute lesson plans). Actually, I excel at last minute lesson plans. LOL. But I am actually developing quite a good system of planning my lessons. I hope it works out. (I plan on planning the next weeks lesson after the end of the current week`s lesson, so I have what we just covered fresh in my mind and what I want to review, reinforce, and continue still in my mind as well.)

I also came up with some good ideas to experiment with my kids classes. They are all good kids, but some classes are more difficult to control than others. Funny thing is, the classes with the brighter students are often the ones that are difficult to control. Then there are the classes that are just difficult to communicate to. Well, hopefully though more trial and less error, I will find a good solution.

I also have some working ideas on how I want to re-arrange my classroom. Hopefully things work out. Anywho, so far I am still excited about teaching, but then again, it`s only my second first day (two more first day`s to go!). I`ve also found that the classes that have more adult males in them are far more interested in learning about Texas than other classes. (and I really enjoy teaching about Texas!) I taught one class today about the joy`s of rodeo! Hehehe. It`s fun to teach things like that. :-D

On the down side of things, today was cold and I forgot to eat.

Monday, April 11, 2005

of wasting time.

Today I should have spent preparing for classes tomorrow. Instead I goofed off all day. Well, I still have to prepare, but that will be done as soon as I finish wasting time writing this. Silly me. The problem is that part of my wasting of time involved reading other people`s blogs, so now I feel compelled to write on my own. Oddly, I am rather surprised that I have written on this blog as often as I have.

Yesterday was a good day too. It was yet another beautiful day and Tami (a former missionary and member of this church) wanted to go to the park and see the cherry blossoms so she, Mika and I went to the park again. I think it is more fun when you go with people. It`s also nice how they have accepted me and invite me to do things with them. Hopefully we will continue to have good working relationships.

But in order to continue the possibility of good working relationships, I need to get busy and do some lesson planning. My second round of "first days" is coming tomorrow, and I should be prepared. I hope this whole teaching thing works out.

On a random note, I have been brainstorming on one of my novels lately. I think I almost have a good plot worked out. I need to flesh out the bad guys a bit. I need to find good motives etc. I suppose I should also start character development for the bad guys. Maybe I should dig up that old GURPs info and write up some character sheets. That is definitely one good thing I got out of role playing, the formula to write up hard data on your character. Good idea there. The hard part about writing a novel is you have you know what you are writing about. That means I need to do a bit of research on nuclear war, bio-warfare, etc. I also need to find some info about helicopters. Maybe I should read up on mecha as well. I find I have attempted to write a character-driven story in a world I have little actual knowledge of. Yeah, I also had this problem writing a space, future, fantasy novel. Guess I just need to wake up early and call Dek for brainstorming ideas. I also need to talk to Em about teaching stuff, so I can kill two birds with one call. But I won`t have good long distance until May (and then international phone calls will be roughly 2 cents a min! great deal!)

And finally, other random thought. I have been reading a lot of blogs from xanga lately (lots of people from old CUA blog there).  I like catching up on people I used to know, but since I blog here, they don`t read my stuff. I am a big fan of this blog space, so I think I`ll keep it, but I do wish I was part of that community more. Oh well. Most of the people probably don`t remember me, nor really care to read my thoughts. (with the exception of Patrick) Also I haven`t heard from my friend Raven for a while. (peers about, you there dearie?) I don`t have access to a lot of info right now since I can`t use my laptop to connect to the internet. If you are out there dearie, me loves you. Last I heard you were back home with your mom. Don`t make me worries about you.

Ok, I think that is enough procrastinating for now. I really need to write some lesson plans. Bye bye.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

of new beginnings.

Well, I suppose I have finally subcumbed to reality. Now, don`t take that the wrong way. It`s a good thing. I am now much happier about my move and new home. I think part of my problem could have been my inability to visualize my future. I think I would have had the same feelings no matter which church I went to. (It certainly wasn`t this church, this is a very nice church.)

So anyway, after a few initial bumps, things have been going rather smoothly. Yesterday was my first day of teaching. Things went well. I have a few things to learn (probably trial and error) about teaching kids on a daily basis, but I am sure I will be able to get through it without too much trauma involved. I am looking forward to many of my adult classes.  We manage to have some interesting conversation and they are all very friendly. Yesterday`s final class even decided to bring a coffee pot and brew coffee in the classroom! That class was especially interested in hearing about Texas, and of course, I am more than happy to oblige them! ;-)

Today was a good day. I slept in, and then I took a stroll to a large park nearby to hanami (look at the cherry blossoms). It was a good day. I have been waiting for the sakura for a long time and to finally see it out in full bloom was amazing. Tons of people were there too. There were food booths and even some game booths. It was like a festival. I took lots of pictures, and as soon as I get internet in my house (Mayish) I will put up some pictures. Actually, I suppose I should just put up more pictures as a rule. It would make it more interesting I suppose.

Another fun fact of the day is that I was able to wear a shirt that I have never bee able to wear before because it was too tight. It`s still a bit tight, but I felt it was acceptable to wear today. It`s really cute, I like it. It was also warm enough today for me to go mostly sleeveless. (yes, strange way to phrase it, but the shirt has butterfly sleeves, so it is pretty close to sleeveless.)

Randomly, I saw more foreigners than I thought I would. I expected less this far out of Tokyo. Not that it`s important. Just not expected.

Also, I am getting really excited about potential ministry here. I have been allowed to create a new monthly event for kids. We already have a monthly event for adults called Coffee House, and sometimes kids come, but I get to create an event called Gingerbread House for the kids now. Hooray! I am espically happy because this gives me a chance to start exposing these kids to Jesus. Before this there was little exposure happening because they were only here to learn English. I also get to start a weekly story time. I will read a book in English then another teacher will translate. We might sing some songs etc. It will be a good time. I was thinking about this today, and I am going to put up feelers after a while and see what people think about doing the same idea, only in a public place, like the park (on good weather days that is). I think this would be a great way to get the community aware that there is an English school here.  Yeah, I have tons of ideas. But I suppose I shouldn`t bore people here with them.

Anywho, the summary is: Today I am happy.