Recent recents I haven't blogged about. Prepare yourself for some totally disconnected randomness. But to kick things off, a photo. Apologies for the quality but a) it was taken with my very old crappy phone and b) I was being 'discrete' when I took this. To fully understand what you are looking at, this is a woman wearing KNITTED black drop-crotch trousers covered in large beavers (I'm guessing 'beaver', could be mole or groundhog or something else large and rodenty I guess), hearts and stars. I didn't know if she was giving out a message (I *heart* beaver) or had just totally and utterly lost the plot. Guess we'll never know!
And for the rest of the randomness:
- My local train station has a sign in English saying 'no dangerous good'. That's it. No picture. No clarification.
- Seen recently on a t-shirt: 'mellow is not enought' (sic.). No, I have no idea either.
- Had a student about a month ago, who complained that she didn't want to come to an English school to just learn English. I said maybe we should be teaching her to juggle.
- Had another old granny student tell me about how she'd had a 'special massage' abroad. I didn't delve any deeper into that one.
- On the subject of Japanese first names and what made parents choose certain names, one student replied she and her husband had named her daughter 'Tomomi' which means 'beautiful fat sheep.' (Before anyone jumps on this one, the kanji they had chosen meant this. I'm sure other kanji can be used for 'Tomomi' which has a different meaning.)
- Not funny but -actually REALLY not funny - but I want to share this. Talking to a high level teenager about Aboriginals and other indigineous people and asked her what she knows about indigineous people in Japan - ie Ainu. She'd learned they live in trees, they don't work, they don't send their kids to school, they eat food from the forest around them. I managed to not cry. But only just.
- Another student - and again, really not funny - described how she'd been to observe her daughter's maths class and the kids had just chatted away while the teacher was trying to explain something to them. I asked what did the teacher do? She said, nothing. I asked the whole group their opinion on this, and the agreement was, the teacher should have done something but teachers are too soft and they are afraid of the parents. Just kill me now.
- Talking about changes in Japan over the last 12 months. The student decided the most significant change was that the recession had meant Uniqlo (clothes shop) jeans had gone down by 800 yen or something (about four quid).
- The quid sign has vanished from my keyboard. It used to be here.
- Same student as #8 - on the subject of Obama's visit to Japan. I asked her and her classmate what they'd ask Obama if they got the chance. One student said she'd ask about his Nobel Peace Prize. Mrs. Bargain Jeans lady said she'd ask him what time he got up and went to bed. Other student and I both looked at her as if she was insane.
- Another student went on a holiday to England. Asking her about her trip she described in great detail which supermarkets she'd liked (Bath) and why Swindon's were a real let down for her (apparantly the supermarkets in Swindon only sell things you can buy in Tokyo).
- Asked a teenager what her dream vacation would be. (Tokyo) Disneyland. I said, 'your DREAM vacation, OUTSIDE Tokyo'. She panicked and looked frightened as I pointed at a world map reminding her there IS a world outside of Tokyo. She eventually decided her dream vacation would be to Italy because the food is 'very gorgeous'.
- A past question for an entry interview for high flying high school students who get the chance for early acceptance into universities: if your father and boyfriend were about to drown and you could save only one, which one would you chose? (This is for Japanese 17 and 18 year olds to answer FFS!)
- The mice are back in the walls of our house. The landbitchladymadcultwoman doesn't give a crap.
- My insomnia is back.
- When my insomnia ISN'T affecting me, my house is. I'm regularly kept awake / woken up by people in the house. Although the late night noise is against the rules in the contract, the landbitchladymadcultwoman doesn't give a crap.
- I mentioned the house is being demolished early next year didn't I?
- I also mentioned I've had no time (cos of diploma) to do anything about moving yet, other than register with some agencies.
- Am not looking forward to moving. For one, I'm in a gaijin/guesthouse now BUT I have my OWN kitchen. Anywhere else I'm going to have to share. I don't like sharing kitchens.
- Additionally, I'm not prepared to commit to a 12-month contract so that limits a lot of options down to... gaijin houses. And I need to get as much money together as I can so I can't afford big downpayments. And I have SOOO much stuff to sort out. Not good.
- I decided to delay the diploma exam until next year as I don't feel ready to do it yet. I do, however, have to get three reports finished for my portfolio by the end of this month (all in various stages of completedness right now), prepare a presentation for an external examiner, prepare a lesson for the external examiner, review phonology for the external examiner.. oh and she comes in 2.5 weeks.
- I also have to help organise a school Christmas party. You can imagine how I feel about this. Especially as the party is two nights before the external examiner.
- It's bloody cold and wet these days.
- Can't bloody wait to get to India. First day in Delhi may involve a visit to a hairdressers. Haven't had time (this year) and REALLY need to get it all chopped off. Well, maybe not all of it ;-)
- I have NO idea why I've done this post in numbered points but doubt anyone is reading it anyway.
- ... well, there's more I want to say, but can't.