Wednesday, December 05, 2007

12/5/07 Busy Busy

I have had so much going on lately. It's been super crazy. Last Thursday and Friday I attended an English teacher's conference in Utsunomiya. I really enjoyed it. We had a few speakers at the beginning, as well as several workshops in smaller groups. We all traded ideas about effective ways to teach and interact with the kids.

One of the main ideas expressed in several conversations involved connecting English with the outside world. Quite often what we teach in class is restricted to the contents of the textbook. We were encouraged to try to find ways to connect the English we are teaching to some interesting things that are happening in the outside world. This makes everything seem more relevant and worth learning. The whole conference really motivated me to think about how I am doing my job. Hopefully I can put some of those ideas into practice.

Last Sunday I took a Japanese test at Hakuo University in Oyama. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is a standardized test that measures one's ability in reading, listening, and grammar. I took the lowest of the four levels, but I was still really surprised about how hard it was. I am not completely sure that I will even pass it. I won't get the results of the test back until February, apparently. An awful long time to run a paper of filled-in ovals through a machine, but whatever. If I pass I get a cool certificate and the supreme admiration of my peers.

Here's a clip from two weeks ago from a bar in nearby Sano. Its one song from a Japanese band that I particularly liked. Not only was the music good, but the lead singer had an awesome energy to him. He did lots of little dances that were super cool... only a couple of them are in this song. He wore a really nice suit, but he would strip a piece or two of it off every song until he was singing in his undies. Then at the end of the last song he mooned everyone. Unpleasant, but in a funny way. Enjoy. (Note: This is just one of the normal songs at the beginning. Moon-free.)

Oh, one last little thing. My favorite text message, maybe ever. So I talked a few posts ago about Nounours, a cool French guy that I met a few weeks ago. We were supposed to play poker last weekend. He replied with a pretty damn good excuse: married today.hanging with the family.
Mind you, he is the one that suggested playing poker the week before... We all had a good laugh.

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