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!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I'll start charging a consultancy fee

A couple of weeks ago a make-up student (ie one that has a regular teacher who isn't me, but was 'owed' a lesson) had me giving her ideas for how she should sell more CDs in her shop. For about half of the lesson. Today I had the same bint again. Fifteen minutes before the end of the lesson - and I have NO marketing background and have in no way led her to believe I do have - asked me to help (ie 'do') her work homework for her. I said, surprised, 'oh, you study English at work?', she said no. She had to come up with a plan to market a new version of The Sound of Music. (A family sing-along version or something - I guess this means they'll be katakana'ing the English words rather than just translating them into subtitles). She brought out a blank form as well. I TEACH ENGLISH. YOU ARE IN MY CLASSROOM TO PRACTICE ENGLISH, BINT.

I considered breaking into song, but decided I couldn't be arsed to help her, so just turned the tables and threw the question back at her. Some people! Honestly!

Everybody: Doouh diru a feemaruh diru, rae a duropu ovuh goreden sunuh, mea naemuh iyu caru myserefu, faru ron ron wayu to runnu (Machiruda: you with me here?)

Hopefully this will mean there'll be a demand for the songs in karaoke though. I can't wait!!! And I'm pretty sure, when they introduce them to karaoke the videos will still be the same girl on the beach / on the bench / in the park, and the same shots of the Champs Elysees / Trevi Fountain / Central Park that they keep showing.


I trial lessoned a 2 year old today. If he joins my lesson I'll be 'teaching' two 2-year olds together. I'm already shuddering at the thought, especially as the one I haven't met I know a lot about already and the two personalities will be VERY different. Valium, anyone? (for me, not them).


I had to say goodbye today to one of my favourite classes. In April new texts and courses are always started and my 6-year olds are going up to the next class and splitting up. I am sad, because they were great kids and the only kids group I currently have as most of my classes are one or two students only. I took some photos of them at the end and gave them each a present that I had painstakingly wrapped. In Japan, wrapping is a BIG thing. An artform almost, and I was really nervous that the parents might see my normally crap wrapping attempts.

In another moment of almost predictable Japaneseness, what do you think the kids all did when I handed them the presents? What would a British kid do? I'd expect a British kid to maybe wait until all the kids had a present in hand and then I'd expect them to have the gifts out of the paper within about half a second. What did my littlies do? Nothing. We said goodbye and they walked out with the presents in their hands, still wrapped. As I tried to not burst into tears because I was sad to lose them!


I'm also happy that a student I'd thought would be leaving (another of my favourite students) just coughed up for another three months. I guess I must be doing something right. And this is another thing I love about teaching. You know if you're doing a good job or not on a lesson by lesson basis. You know if it's gone well. Maybe you just know. Or maybe it'll be something the student will say or the way they thank you, or leave the classroom laughing. Or maybe they'll tell the receptionist and she'll tell you....

I've never had this kind of instant work gratification before. Especially not at the BBC where to get a hint of praise would be akin to winning a medal without having taken part in an event, most of the time. It's nice to know you're appreciated. Why can't more employees realise this?

Enough rambling for tonight though!


Blogger machiruda said...

Oh yes, I'm with you.... That sounds like a pretty cool job actually, making corny European/American musicals into new boxoffice hits in Japan :-D

I'm sure the whole sing-along-cinema thing could be a hit in Japan as well!

1:38 am

Blogger Cookie time said...

Just wanting to say that I really like reading about your life in Japan and if Machi thinks it'll be a hit, well than I'm sure it will be;-) Dutchcookie

3:24 am

Blogger Jo said...

well, it's a big thing in the uk.

i just want more songs from musicals at karaoke! - what i meant though, was how good was my katakana'ing of 'do a deer'?!

cookietime - thank you!

10:29 am

Blogger machiruda said...

It seems a bit anglified to me (the katakana that is) but I can definitely make out what it says!
And the singalong things are big in the Netherlands as well btw.

6:38 pm

Blogger Jo said...

isn't anglifying it the idea, though?

how would you katakanify it?

11:44 pm


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