Wednesday, 29 October 2008

PostHeaderIcon Crunch

Everything is a crunch these days in the media. How are you affected by the CREDIT CRUNCH? Have you lost your house, job and family? Please get in contact and tell us your sad story. Today I've noticed that all the environmental people are trying to jump on this bandwaggon with some witty "Don't forget the CLIMATE CRUNCH". It seems people would rather add to the climate crunch to alleviate the pressure of the credit crunch. I'm going through my own crunch at the minute. The crunch being my beer belly stretching against the waistband of my work trousers. I've tried to pretend that my clothes are shrinking in the wash but we all know I'm in the CRUNCH.

Get tae crunch. Here's some Japaneasy stuff I've been doing:

Harvesting the rice with my 5th graders.

Lion Festival thingy down in Muroto

Muroto Camp. We were Team Yuzu (local citrus fruit). Our lion was called 二日酔い柚子or 'Hungover Yuzu'

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles night in Tano.

Sumo in Aki. These were the best wrestlers in the whole world. It did get a bit dull...

Sunday, 26 October 2008

PostHeaderIcon Weekend

Hello. I've had an exceptionally long and enjoyable weekend and I'm about to crash in bed. Anyway, I woke up this morning and in the midst of semi-drunk morning banter people started to talk about my blog. It made me paranoid and now I'm scared to write anything. Their names are David Ireland and Nishmita Bhamra.

Anyway... right... I was out drinking for the whole weekend. I went up to Osaka on Friday to see Sigur Ros. It was a massive let down like the Radiohead gig but I can't complain too much because the performances were solid. The Sigur Ros singer was actually pleading with the crowd at one point to do something. Yeah... so I drank from about 4pm-6am with a crowd of Irish JETs and then crashed in an internet cafe for a few hours. Then I flew back to Kochi... had a shower... and then went out drinking again for a Halloween party. I still managed to be in the last crowd because everyone else is boring and goes home at about 10pm in Japan.

Then today I met up with Noah and Joey and we went to the bowling/baseball and that was that. Cheers JET. I loves the money.
Wednesday, 22 October 2008

PostHeaderIcon Bad Japan: Fads

Japan is full of stupid people who believe what the television tells them. For example:

Host: Good evening. It's very cold recently, eh? Anyway, we have an EXPERT on the show tonight. Look how old and alpha male he is. Listen to him.

Expert: Good evening, Japan. I have come to the conclusion that washing your hair with orange juice will make you 10 years younger.

Result: Nobody can buy orange juice for 6 months.

The reality is that nobody can buy bananas now because of some new diet. Apparently eating a banana for breakfast is good for you. No kidding!!!!! It's a shame some of us thought of that last year and now can't buy them because a bunch of skinny sheep who think they're fat.

Good night.
Tuesday, 14 October 2008

PostHeaderIcon Part 2

Hello again. I thought I'd write a quick update regarding my redundancy from work... well... kind of. I've got the usual Tuesday night downer because it's dark, raining, work was frustrating and now I don't have enough time to eat before my English class tonight.

Noah and I just had a meeting with the annoying teacher which went alright I guess. Basically, they want to be the main teachers at elementary for practice or whatever. I think we both understand that and don't want to be childish about it. However, I kind of mentioned that I would have preferred a proper meeting last week rather than them just doing it. Furthermore... the two of us are getting fed up of doing nothing and getting little out our jobs. I think the most fitting thought is that we don't feel it's fair that they brought us over here and hardly use us. We signed up to JET and somehow we're made to feel guilty for doing less than others.

It's a shame because I'm actually starting to really enjoy life here recently. However, I don't think I can cope with the continual pattern of my mood throughout the week. I can imagine many people would love to get paid to do nothing but it can become pretty soul destroying. It also destroys any motivation and I don't feel I am gaining anything from my work recently. I had an excellent weekend down in Muroto that I'll talk about later. It was basically a whole weekend of hanging out with interested school kids, University students and cool Japanese organisers. It was nice to get some sort of interaction and satisfaction out of being here for once. It's a shame. Anyway, I'm off to my eikaiwa now. I hope for their sake they don't bug me.
Thursday, 9 October 2008

PostHeaderIcon Why am I here?

This is a question that clouded over my mind for most of today. I've basically had all control in the elementary classes taken away from me in a really sly and sneaky manner. I never had a meeting or any discussion to set out the new classes but instead had planned lessons thrown back in my face at the last minute. I stood in class today and had over a years worth of teaching and rapport ripped from my hands. She actually explained to the kids that I was just there to help occasionally now. All in Japanese... thinking I didn’t know.

My main problem is that nobody told me... they just decided to toss my lesson plans and tell me to talk occasionally. This makes my job almost totally redundant. I had made my own schedule at elementary and had the kids answering and questioning the following in a about 2 hours of lessons.

What is your name? My name is....
How old are you? I am 11.
Where do you come from? I come from japan
What fruit/sport/animal do you like? I like....
Do you have any brothers or sisters? I have....

All with perfect pronunciation. Now they’re back to drilling stationery words and listening to the teacher going shiiiissaarruss shiiiiiisarruuusss rruuuraaaaarrr rruurrraaaarrr peeennnshhhil

Idiots. No wonder this country’s English ability is complete shit. Ironically... I have the Japanese ability to tell them exactly what I think of their interference. Sadly... I live in a country where all sort of expression and discussion is totally blanked in favour of bottling up all rage. It's not so much the control or being the 'main' teacher either. I'm just fed up feeling guilty about how little work I actually do. I'm trying to decide what approach to take but I might just give up. I'm really not that bothered when I think it through.
Wednesday, 8 October 2008

PostHeaderIcon Things I never learn

It's about 2pm and I'm just out the shower. I played football with my 4th grade about 20 minutes ago and I sweated so much that I want to cry. To put things in perspective:

It's about 26oC outside
It's the hottest time of the day
I was dressed in black

Then as I was leaving to go shower and enjoy my break. "Oh Craig... we have a meeting in 30 minutes". That was news to me of course. I've already had 3 classes worth of meetings... what more joys await when about 3 teachers will interfere in my exceptionally basic English class?
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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.

Shashins