Come here to see the teaching life continue... in LIBYA!
Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!
Come here to see the teaching life continue... in LIBYA!
It's Friday 18th June. 2.50am. I should be 'getting up' at 5am to head to the airport... and onto the next chapter in my life. I was too hyped to sleep earlier, despite getting just three hours sleep last night. Seems to make more sense to sit it out now and doze on the way to the airport and on the flight instead.
Early hours of Sunday morning: Picture the scene: I'm sitting on my futon; above me the aircon hisses away, the tv is on - it's the news. In Japanese. I can guess what the stories are but I'm not paying that much attention. In front of me are things, behind me are things. In fact, see me as the centre of a clock with numbers in every direction. Now change the image of those numbers to - things. Things, things, things.
There was (is?) a stray cat outside my sliding doors. I had the doors and curtain open, and suddenly saw this little face staring at me. I opened the mozzie screen to see if the cat would come in. It wouldn't. But kept staring. I put my hand out but it wouldn't come towards it. I noticed it had infected weepy eyes and some mange. It moved back a little. I held my hand out again and it moved forward, cautiously, and swiped my hand. Long claws. Ouch. Luckily it didn't draw blood. I didn't know what to do. I don't actually have anything edible in the house that I could have given the cat anyway. It kept staring. I got bored. Eventually I just shut the doors and curtains. And felt guilty. Until I realised how many bugs had come in during the time the screen was open. Then I stopped feeling guilty.
How can I be expected to sleep when I have so much to be excited about?
And things to be not so excited about:
I never got round to coming back to my A - Z post or things I like / don't like here. Maybe I will; maybe I won't. Depends how depressed I get with packing!
Today is all about numbers:
I am currently having major second thoughts about 'the place I'm going to after London'.
Despite not sleeping much last night, got up early and had a very good study session in Kichijoji. I can't study at home as I play on the computer, nap and a heap of other things.
A is for Animation - is anyone not crazy about animation here? Whether it's comics or cartoons, everyone seems to be nuts for it. From the salaryman, reading his porno manga on the train, to the 18-year old school boy dangling his favourite Disney character from his phone; from the cartoon characters warning you against getting your fingers stuck in the train doors, to the cute character on the garbage vans. From his and her matching cartoon character clothing, to the old lady with cartoon characters dripping off her stationery. It's everywhere.
Takes battle stance for potential can of worm opening time:
1. Convenience Stores - they're just so... covenient for last minute groceries and a million other things.
We're in the middle of a pre-rainy season almost daily non-stop pissing it down season.
November 2007 NOVA, one of the big chains of language schools in Japan, collapsed.
I adore some of my students but others should definitely be either at home sleeping or running around a football pitch to expend their energy. They shouldn't be coming to us.
And unlike some organisations where students attend 2 or 3 times a week for 90 minutes at a time, how on earth can people expect to progress when they come for 30, 40 or 55 minutes once a week and can't be bothered to study in between lessons. It's a struggle to teach them. They don't show progress because they don't put the effort it. They choose to study for whatever reason but I don't think the reasons are 'solid' enough. The courses are ongoing. They never end. There's no goal. There's no exam at the end. There's no progress check before going to the next level. Many of the students have never gone abroad. Most of them are certainly not brave enough to go on a trip that isn't an organised tour. They don't NEED English. They know this. And that's half the problem. The number of students who came back from a trip abroad who, when asked if they practiced their English when away, said they didn't is staggering.
There. I said it. I said what I really feel.
I'm not talking about every Japanese person. I'm not even talking about every Japanese student of English. But for the majority of students who come to our schools, it feels like this is the case.
Things that once seemed amusing to me are now just irritating. The time really is right to get out.
On even more devastating news: my external hard drive, containing thousands of photos, documents, movies, songs, etc has died. I've tried freezing it. Nothing. Am gutted. Hopefully a data recovery service can work some magic - and without charging an arm and a leg for it.
A colleague, who is also leaving, and I were talking about work today. He said, 'there really isn't anything you're sad about leaving here, is there?', and it got me thinking. It's not that I'm actively not sad, if that makes sense, but rather that there's so many quirky ways of working and quirks in students, students parents, that sometimes I do find myself sighing in relief at the thought of leaving.
I spent all of yesterday completely knackered, got home, put the heating on it was so cold, fell asleep. Guess what? I then wasn't tired until about 3.30am. Am, again, exhausted.
... I'm bouncing around in a bubble of excitement about September. No anxieties today.
I can't believe it's cold again. Yesterday was lovely.
A full-time job.
Today I feel a little bit calmer.