Thursday, June 29, 2006

of .... not sure.

So yesterday we had this thunderstorm. It wasn't so bad for what I'm used to, but being away from West Texas for a while put my guard down a bit I guess. All of a sudden, the rain just turned on. It was fine one second, and the next it's just dropping sheets of rain. Then like 5 mins later the hail starts. Now the church I work at has lots of big windows. Let me tell you, it was loud. It started just in time for one of my students to get completely drenched leaving class. I feel sorry for him. I kinda wished I had ended class for him like 2 mins early, but how was I to know? Anyway, I had less than an hour break until my next class. Well, this terrible, loud thunderstorm was over in plenty of time for my next student to come regardless. Too bad, I was kinda hoping to cancel class. I'm a terrible teacher. :-P

Anyway, apparently this is typical of Japanese thunderstorms. They come, rage and then are over in less than an hour and you continue with your day. How strange. I'm used to them lasting so much longer. Ahh, the adjustments.

So today I ended up with a bit of a surprise. The hazards of my job. I decided to dress a bit down today, it was a little hot, so I went sleeveless. Not my most flattering choice lately. Well, of course today was the day I got a surprise observation. Not just one kid, but two (siblings) AND their mother wanted to watch class too! AHHH! My previous class had been a bit late getting out, and then I find this mother and two new kids standing around and I didn't know they were coming (apparently this had been real last minute.) Well, recently I don't really "plan" so much for my classes. Yeah, it's sad, but well, I'm good at winging it. Well, this caught me off guard, so I had to "plan" a really good lesson for two new students (who I didn't know their English level) and have their mom watch the whole process. Ick. Fortunately it went pretty well. I'm good at faking it. ;-) The kids left saying it had been a fun class. I was surprised. Not bad for on the fly teaching.

But it made me realize how much Japanese I've been using in class lately, just because it's easier. Most of the time the moms want us to only use English, but that's hard sometimes. But having the mom watch makes you really self-conscious. It was interesting, but the boys were pretty good and didn't have so much trouble keeping up. If they join, that'll bring that class up to 6 kids. My kids classes have been getting a bit larger this year. I guess that's good. But it does change how I plan er... "plan" lessons. Fun fun stuff.

And randomly, I've discovered a cute new hair style. (I'm constantly changing my hair style depending on season and length of hair) I cut it pretty short last October, and now, just in time, it's long enough to put up again. Not so long, but at least long enough to keep off the back of my neck. Well, I've discovered this "messy bun" look. I put up most of my hair in a messy pony tail with little bits left trailing out. The humidity works for me here and those stray pieces become nice and curly. The rest, I kind of just pin up wherever. The result is this really cute messy look. I like it and it's cool. So I'll probably wear it for the rest of the week. Until I get tired of it. Unforunately, I think I look better with my hair down, but I pretty much can't stand to have it down in the summer, so it'll probably be various up-do's for a while. That's ok, I like up-do's.

Well, tomorrow is Friday. I like Friday classes. They are always fun. Then comes Saturday, which will include a Bible Study, and then I get to go to the band "concert". Yep, fun stuff. Time flies though. I can't believe it's that time again. Wow. But I totally understand the people who live for the weekend now. I might become one of them soon. ;-)

And you know, Kids are great confidence boosters. I have this class of four little girls today. They are super cute. And they love me. It's great. Took forever for them to warm up to me, but now I'm happy. Yeah, I eat it up. I love it when the kids love me. Hehehehehe. The middle schoolers don't seem to care one way or the other, but oh well, you can't win them all. I'll take what I can get.

Ok, I think that's all the random rambling for now. I should go to bed because I have to get up early for prayer meeting tomorrow. I have to figure out when I'm going to do my Japanese homework too. Hmmm... That's what I get for procrastinating.

Ok, later.

Oh yeah, this is post 105. If you break it down, that's my birthday. 10-5. Hehehe. Yeah, totally random and meaningless. Kinda like my life. Yeah, I shouldn't try to make deep connections after work. ;-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

of toilet paper holders, long days and humidity...

So I've decided if I ever move back to the States, I'll have to install Japanese toilet paper holders in my residence. Why? They are amazingly easy to use. I don't know why America doesn't have more of these things! I mean, changing the toilet paper used to be such a pain. This is so easy. Yes, Japanese toilet paper roll holders are the best. Take my word for it.

Well, it's finally come, Japanese summer. The humidity is sinking in and making everything sticky and icky. The temperatures only getting into the low 80's, but still, it's icky. And it's still rainy season, although there's been sun the past few days. Well, the good news is, I survived the last summer. LOL

Yesterday was such a long day for me. I spent 6 hours with a group of my beginner students. It was rather tedious. Then I had to come back and teach the rest of the day. Long day. My students are all cute little grandmas in that class. They decided they wanted to take me to a Napoleon Exhibition. I don't know why. I mean, wasn't he a bad guy? I don't know. But what surprised me more is how many people were at this exhibition. I mean, Japanese people must love museums. It was so crazy. I was being jostled and it was hard to move and our group even got separated (there was only three old ladies!). It was worse than babysitting at an amusement park. And far less interesting. Then of course, I had to go to lunch with them, and then out for tea. And their English is not so good, so it was very draining for me.

I guess I'm just not a good socialite. I'm far too ADD to do things I don't like for very long. I'm amazed they didn't figure out I was bored out of my mind. And, it just goes to show how much of a baby I am. People do things they don't like everyday. And I whine and complain about it when I have to do it. Poor me. ;-)

Ok, time for my next day of classes. I just want to make it through the week. Saturday the band plays live. I have my ticket already. And it's close by so no trains or anything. AND they get to play for a whole hour, so I'm excited about this performance.

Monday I get to go out as well, so that's good too. I get to go to lunch with two girls and then go to dinner with a guy. Fun stuff. But it'll definitely hurt my pocket book. But it's pretty much the only way to spend time with people in Japan.

Ok, enough rambling. Time for work.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

of random thoughts while at work...

So my student just called and canceled, so I have like an hour of free time before my last class of the day. Thursdays, I have the most classes, 6 plus a Bible study. But four of them are only one student in each class. Fun stuff.

Anyway, so I`m at the church computer typing, because I just felt the urge to blog. Don`t know why. But Japanese keyboards are a little different from American ones, and so it`s a bit annoying to type on this keyboard. And, all the tabs and everything on my screen are in Japanese right now. Good thing I pretty much know what all the tabs do, or I would be really confused right now.

Random thought of the day: it`s easy to get nori (aka, seaweed) stuck in your teeth. I wonder why it`s always green things that stick in your teeth...

So tonight is the big soccer game against Brazil. It`s gonna be at 4AM. There is no way I`m going to watch that. I`ll just wake up in the morning and check the net to see how much Japan lost by. Oops, I`m not supposed to say that! ;-) I want Japan to win, but honestly, I don`t think it`s going to happen. After all, Brazil is Brazil, and hard enought to beat as it is. But Japan hasn`t won any games yet, so it`s even harder (have they even scored any goals? I don`t think they have...) They have to win the game by two goals in order to advance. Sad for Japan. If only they had scored against Croatia...

This month looks to be busy. Which means I`m REALLLY going to have to watch my money this month. I guess I really need to improve my eating habits and spend less on food I don`t need, so I can save money to do all the things that need to be done this month. I`m meeting several people (always invovles going out and spending money) and going to a couple of meetings (transportation) and the band has a concert next Saturday. I wanted to buy some new CD`s from them too, but it looks like that will have to wait another month. I really don`t like only being paid once a month. Oh well. Can`t be helped.
I`m also waiting for the exchange rate to go down so I can send some money home. This is a really bad time to send money to the States. I always end up loosing like $50-60 in the process. It`s annoying.

Hmmm.... what else? I can`t really think of anything else that is remotely interesting to say (not that anything else here is interesting). Well, other than my cooking Party is Saturday. Not so many people are coming, but there might be around 10 who show up. So, not so bad. Hopefully it will go well.

Well, OK, I think that`s about all for now. I`m going back to paying minesweeper...

PS. Oddly enough, the Japanese version of Blogger doesn`t have a spell check function. Guess it`s because words are auto finished on Japanese computers. So, forgive the spelling errors. No spell check.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

of small accomplishments...

Well, anyone who knows me, must know my loathing for all things homework. busy work, paper work etc. Well, the good news for this week is that I actually managed to finish all my Japanese homework. And I have quite a bit of homework. Class is today (I have it twice a month, because I can't really afford more than that...). I've decided to study for this Japanese Language proficiency test. I want to communicate more, so I needed my classes to get more serious. But it's a pain learning all this new vocabulary and grammar. Hopefully some of it will sink in. But Japanese is a crazy language. There are so many different ways to communicate. There's the really casual way, which pretty much everyone speaks to me in, then there's the polite form, which is what I learned first, so I revert back to that a lot, then there's a super polite form, that they sometimes use in stores. Let me tell you, it's confusing!

Anyway, my second accomplishment was waking up before 10 mins before class. I actually have enough time to shower before class. Well, if I stop writing in the stupid blog I do.

Blah, I don't like mornings! Oh well, another day.

Today is a bit crazy. I have 5 classes, but there are all these little breaks between them. Not really long enough to do anything with, just long enough to be annoying. Oh well, such is my life. I should at least get done a bit early tonight because I only have one student in my last class. Getting done early is always a good thing.

Ok, time to get the day started!

Monday, June 19, 2006

of return of the blog...

Wow, I've been gone from here for a while. Yeah, I'm a big looser. But what else is new?

Anyway, I could spend like a hundred pages and update everything that's happened since I have returned to Japan, but that would be boring and I don't have the patience for it. So, I guess you luck on sharing that experience with me. :-P

Anyway, it's been raining a lot lately. It rained virtually all of May (which is supposed to have fine and sunny weather) and now we have officially entered rainy season. Yuck! I'm not a fan of rain.

Anyway, teaching's still going fine. Don't have a lot of complaints, but I am getting lazy. I should be a better teacher....

And I'm studying for this Japanese Language proficiency test. It's a pain, but I want to improve my Japanese. Sometimes I feel like it's a waste of time though. Oh well. We'll see what the future holds.

So last night I experienced a bit of the Japanese love of soccer. I went with some friends to watch the World Cup game at a sports cafe. One of our friends had connections and managed to get us in for free. I'm not sure if other people were paying to get in or not. Anyway, the place was PACKED! It was like rush hour on the train, barely standing room. And we had the misfortune of standing right in front of the bathrooms. So we were jostled quite a bit. It thinned out after the second half though.

Anyway, Japanese's people are totally into the World Cup. They were all dressed up, had faces painted and were doing cheers and stuff in the cafe. It was quite the experience. Of course, I would like to see Japan win a game or two, but, like most Americans, I really don't care who wins the World Cup. But experiencing watching the game with the fans was fun. Of course, things like sports are much more fun when done with other people. Fascinating experience.

Next weekend I will have a "Cooking Party." This will be the English event of the Month. Basically, I will teach everyone who comes how to cook an "American Meal." We'll cook it together and then eat the results together. It should be fun, but I'm not sure about teaching a bunch of people how to cook. Hopefully it will go well. The menu will be Chicken Strips, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, and my special "Broccoli Slime."

Good news is, I continue to loose weight. Not fast or anything, but it's gradual. Thanks to all the walking I do, and the healthier Japanese food. I'm still much larger than I want to be, but I guess this is the best way to loose weight. I'm just worried about what's going to happen when my clothes don't fit me anymore. LOL.

I doubt anyone reads this anymore, other than Marlo, but hey. I've now done my civic duty, or perhaps disservice, and have updated my blog. Post 101! Yeah, I'm cool. Like melted ice...