On sunday, I was working at the school on a little bit of yard work. Basically all the kids and their parents come and do this once a year, and it was appropriate for me to do the same. It was actually pretty cool. Afterwards, there was a volleyball tourny between the teachers and parents, based on the corresponding grade of the students’ parents, and the age taught. My massive ups proved useful, though my skills did not. I was better than I was bad but ended up losing both of the matches in the 3rd set. I also managed to shred my boxers going for a distant ball. That was pretty cool, at least no one noticed. Basically, I am of the opinion that organized athletics are so sweet, but especially when nothing is on the line and it is fun. And of those, volleyball is one of the best.
I also went to the store today, to get some food. I just stocked up on meat. You can usually get stuff that is like 20-50% off because it is nearing expiration. My philosophy? Food doesn’t go bad. My backup philosophy? Eating expired food wont make my life 20-50% worse, so I stock up on the cheap stuff. This philosophy applies to most things in the store. Meat price drops are universal, but most things will fall under this umbrella: fruit, juice, kimchi, veggies, bread, etc. For these latter items, I don’t really recall seeing things like that in America. It’s really great, because I don’t care at all and can get a week of groceries for like 25 dollars. Generally, any meat plus rice = full. Also, I eat the school lunches, so that price is added to my grocery bill, but still a very reasonable total under the sustenance column.
This is the safest possible way to change a light bulb. Also, you can get an idea of my school and students in this pic. There are like 60 total at the middle school I teach at, they wear uniforms just like all of Japan, and then this was taken in the lunchroom. Also, the Sensei later went on to break a ceiling tile because his method was much worse than mine.
This is a panoramic of the outside of the middle school I’m based at. Japanese schools are always about function rather than form, and most schools are akin to this one
I had my boxers showing a tiny bit, and some student came over to pull my shirt down. I was like, errr, thanks…?
There was something I was asking a student about the other day, and she didn’t know how to explain it in English, as it was a word definition I was curious about. She came up to me the next day and asks if I had figured it out. Upon my no response, she presented me with it translated, and written out in 5 different ways (English, Kanji, Romaji, Katakana, and Hiragana). I Like that.
School is great. I really enjoy working with the children and find that my favorite ages to teach are 1st-4th. I have full control over planning and no curriculum to follow. Also, those kids are the perfect blend of excited 100% of the time, interesting, and I can still enjoy talking to them in Japanese.
Picture of me receiving some flower seeds from a Natsuki, a 1st grader.
Another picture of me on the job, as Justin Sensei.