Friday, September 07, 2007

One Week in the Bag

I finished my first week of school without a single injury! Huzzah!

It wasn't a week without happenings though. My first problem was that I couldn't get my bike lock to unlock. I was eventually able to borrow another bike, but it didn't have a light on it. Riding your bike at night without a light is illegal in Japan. Its one of those offenses that no one cares about unless you are a foreigner, in which case you get pulled over and possibly a ticket. It didn't have a nice little basket for me to put groceries and whatnot in either, so it was kind of a pain. One of the teachers that lives near my house volunteered to help me with it, which was really awesome. He just pried the whole lock thing off with a pair of pliers... and now Im free! Happy time.

My next little dilema was furniture. This place is a decent size and lacked furniture except for bedroom stuff. There was not a single chair in the whole apartment. I was in need of at least a kitchen table and maybe a couch to fill out the room with the tv. Luck had it that a previous english teacher had left some furniture at the school. All I had to do was to mention it once, and everyone pitched in to load the stuff into a truck and drive it over to my place... all during time that I was supposed to be working... glorious. So I am now the proud owner of a kitchen table and chairs, and a new wardrobe thing. Now all I need is a couch and I will have the hottest pad this side of Tokyo Disneyland.

One day last week, I was given a good size stack of papers that the students have written in English, and I was told to correct them. Fine, I can do that. Then I took one look at the first one and realized the huge undertaking that it is going to become. Many of them are powerful bad. One of my favorite gems of a sentence is "That it can be it as for the first to be able to do it someday if I do not give up till the last." Its the sort of thing that you have to read a couple of times just to comprehend how awful it is. How do you "correct" this sentence other than just punching its writer in the face with a red pen?

The teacher's desks

There are several children's propaganda posters in the hallways. This is one of my favorites.

My latest complaint/observation about Japan. This particular ATM(!) is open from 8:45am-7:00pm. To add to this insult, I believe that my bank's ATMs are closed on weekends. How can you take such a beautiful idea and then execute it so terribly wrong? The whole point of ATMs is that they aren't supposed to close. They are supposed to be (gasp) CONVENIENT!

Here they don't mind making humans work amazingly long hours, but mindless cash dispensing machines? They have to rest!

I had a fairly eventful weekend as well, I'll write a bit about that shortly.

No comments:

Post a Comment