Thursday, October 18, 2007

10/18/07 Work... Argh!

Work has become a bit more taxing as of late. There is an English speech contest for the students coming up, and I am being asked to do a pretty substantial amount of work in a pretty small amount of time. In addition, I have another demonstration lesson looming ahead that another teacher and I are preparing for. On top of that, I have had to give three solo lessons in the past two days. The teaching part of it is fine, I can handle the lessons fairly well. Keeping them quiet and in their chairs is what I can't handle. The material I was given when I arrived clearly states that I am not supposed to take part in disciplining students. I am not a trained teacher. I don't know what the rules are in Japan in terms of dealing with trouble makers, and the students can barely understand what I am saying to them in the first place. Today a fist fight broke out in the back of one of the classes I was teaching by my lonesome. I had to separate the two little hoodlums and then take them up to the teachers room to have someone yell at them in their own language. Not a big deal, but its all quite exhausting. One day this week I fell asleep at 6:30 in the afternoon.

Today at lunch we had some whole fish that had been battered and deep fried. Fine, I can roll with that. The crunchy batter means that I don't have to look the damn things in the eye while I eat them. Oh, but this time was different, friends. I bit into this thing and I knew something wasn't quite right. It was filled with a mass of little white eggs! These weren't just entire battered fish, these were entire pregnant battered fish. A new low in the downward spiral of seafood despair. I thought to myself, just because an animal will fit in your mouth, doesn't mean you have to eat it. Its OK to pass on some things, people. Sometimes I feel like we are eating like refugees. I think a "no pregnant animals" rule has just been added to my list of dietary guidelines.

Here are a couple random pictures from around the school.

This is the staff entrance that I use everyday. Just inside the door is where I change from my outdoor shoes to my indoor shoes. The hieroglyphics on the wall there read "Ashikaga City, Yamabe Junior High School." Surprised?

This is what I guess you would call the great seal of the school. It is on several on the outside walls and on official documents and whatnot. The mountain part I get, but what's the other thing? Giant dragonfly? I should remember to ask someone about it.

That's all for now. Hopefully I can survive to complain another day.


  1. Anonymous9:06 AM

    fyi, it's illegal for us to teach classes by ourselves, mostly for reasons like what happened to you but also because we aren't, you know, accredited in any way whatsoever. if you don't want to teach by yourself, i'm pretty sure you can refuse. --babs

  2. Anonymous9:08 AM

    OH! and that giant dragonfly is a stylized "chuu." you know, for "chuugakkou."

    i'm done now!