Sunday, October 07, 2007

10/9/07 Demonstration Lesson

Friday, on top of all of the other stuff I had to do last week, I was tasked with giving a demonstration lesson. It was only a bit more complicated than the usual classes though, so it didn`t end up being so bad. Several head english teachers from other schools and their accompanying non-Japanese english teachers all stood in the back of class and observed. I was sure of my own ability to perform, but I was uncertain what affect our guests would have on the students. Nothing would be worse than the students turning shy and refusing to answer any questions. Luckily everything turned out ok.

Afterwards we all had a little meeting about the class and exchanged comments. The response was mostly positive.

I`m making kind of a weird Hulk face and pose here, but this is a good picture of the class anyway.

One of the games we played in class involved the students wispering their answers to me.

After all of the excitement last week, I really needed a rest. I took it pretty easy, forgoing another trip to Tokyo that my friends had decided to take. I did have one interesting thing happen though. I was checking craigslist one day and I found someone who was looking for a Japanese license plate. I figured that this would be an easy order to fill, so I decided I should keep my eyes open. Two houses down from my apartment is a taxi place/car garage, and I figured that would be a good place to ask. So I just wander in there one day after work and ask the first oil covered guy I see if I can possibly purchase some useless license plate that they might have lying around. After a very long, barely understandable conversation about how old license plates must be turned in to the government for destruction, I realized that this particular quest had come to an end. This slightly over friendly mechanic though, then wanted a short summary of my life story, which culminated in him realizing that his nephew is one of my students. So he proceeds to whip out his cell phone and call said student, who comes by on his bike in short order. So the three of us sit and chat in the garage`s office for a time about all sorts of random things. By the time I could return home the whole thing had ballooned much farther than could possibly be expected.

Of course, this guy works everyday in the open right on my daily path to work, so I consistantly see him. Eventually I stop to chat again and he invites me to a local eatery hole in the wall for dinner. This was a nice opportunity, because the place we went to was a particularly insular looking neighborhood place that I wouldn`t want to enter by myself. It was a nice establishment, and the head cook guy behind the counter was very entertaining. An avid Elvis fan, he had songs like Return to Sender playing in the backround... what song goes better with raw octopus I do not know.

I commented on the owner`s cool headband, called a hachimaki, and of course he gave me one.

One of my friends had a couple of questions about the sports festival video in the previous post, so I think maybe I left out a few important details. My school has over 800 kids, so everyone featured in that little clip were all my students. I have just under 25 classes a week, which means I see each students once a week. The field itself is pretty rough. Its a fine gravel, which means if you slip while running you are going to come back up bloody. There was a little medical station at the festival for those occasions. Due to the playing surface, they play something called soft tennis instead of the tennis that I am familiar with. The ball and even the racket is a bit different I believe. So there you have it.

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