Well, lots of things have been changing.
Every March-April school staff changes. Why? I don’t know, it’s a Japanese thing. Teachers that just got here as well as those that have been here for 6 or even 8 years get transferred to other schools or to positions at boards of education. The transfers seem random, certainly not everyone does. Some people want to move, others want to stay, I don’t see either opinion affecting the outcome very much.
Anyway, in other news I pushed to get an elementary level English curriculum established in the village since there was nothing before. So there is one now, I didn’t have any real input in it, and I apparently will no longer be doing my own lesson plans for elementary. Funny how that worked since that’s not at all what I was pushing for. Teaches you not to be ambitious in Japanese workplaces, someone else will just take your idea and remove you from it.
Since that happened though I really have nothing to do at work now that school’s out. Rather than planning lessons as I was expecting to be doing, I don’t have any lessons to plan, they’re all being done for me (we’ll see the results in May). I’ve been working on putting together a multi-media guide to English Phonics. The idea is to write it so that someone who doesn’t even know the roman alphabet can learn to read English. Lots of sounds and pictures and videos, etc. I’m a long ways from completing even the basic level, but I’ve got a decent idea and some good ground work. Recorded some video of my mouth while I was pronouncing the different sounds today, will have to edit it at home though.
I’m feeling weird about the Tosaben musical I’m participating in. Less excited about it than I was originally. I’m torn between practicing my lines/dancing and working on the video to the point that neither are really happening. I initially was shooting for a minor part but got a final group curtain call one instead. Combine that with messing with HD quality video clips and stupid AVCHD format and if I were on top of things I wouldn’t have any free time. Fortunately I’m not at all on top of things and although unprepared I’m at least maintaining some sanity.
The weather lately has been a downer too and I’m ticked that it’s still freaking cold in the mornings which is keepin me from waking up right. Trying to eat right is failing because Im not making my lunches. Cooking dinner takes up a crap ton of time after I workout in the evening then I’m busy with Japanese study.
I finally did get my apartment in a slightly more reasonable, less messy state. Though the trash collection days once a month (some being canceled due to weather and being moved to once every several months) are really frustrating and I end up collecting bags of recyclables that litter my floor.
Beyond that the political fracturing of America is aggravating me more and more. Esp with dangerous Tea Party maniacs running rampant. Too much hate speech, not enough patience. Obama’s lack of patience and ineffectiveness in cooling the issues are bothering me as well. I think the healthcare reform is obviously a step in a good direction, but right now I think it might be more important to be fixing this ridiculous polarization going on and rooting out the problems. Granted the current world economic climate is a real breeding ground for the discontent that’s fueling the mess, but I don’t see anyone calming people down about it. Where’s the reassuring voice of the leader? Maybe I’m just missing it because I’m abroad and less exposed to public media here, but from across the Pacific, America looks like a mess I don’t want to return to right now. I’m happy in my nice little safe Japanese village. At least the radicals and racists here don’t go around trying to off the politicians they disagree with, they just scowl at you and blast loudspeakers from their cars while driving along (this is normal fare here though, the same happens with normal politicians before and after elections requesting or thanking people for their support).
I’m looking forward to showing Seth and company around. Will be nice to vicariously re-experience Japan for the first time, hopefully giving them a better first impression than I had.