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Jul. 28th, 2012

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Good day, my journal-writing lovelies! I'm here with highlights from another volume for your delectation!

Planner for the month! I believe it was beautifully clean in my last post... now look at it XD

I signed up for my first ink drop with ink nouveau and I was aiming to use the inks in my diary, rather than my traditional black biro. I tried it. But I didn't like it very much, so although I persevered with this journal, I'm now using a nice, waterproof ink throughout my new one.

Sitting in starbucks, musing about my kids and teachers.

...and co-workers. And a poem that I saw on my reading list.

I'm a coffee thief :/ And a rundown of what's going on in all the years and classes. Because I have to be on top of EVERYTHING that is going on in English in the school because I work with ALL THE CLASSES and ALL THE YEARS >_<V

Worrying about my third year high school kids being unable to answer basic questions/follow the simple commands that my fifth year elementary schoolers can do. It worries me because my ES kids get English once a week if they're lucky, and my high schoolers have it four times a week.

Speaking of my ES kids. See? They understand me when I go all-English on their asses. There are just... a few fundamental things about my life that they misunderstood. Apparently I come in from England every week... XD

Bugs are kind of fascinating. I just don't like them near/on me :/

Regarding elementary school. I'm so sad to have left this school :(

...I should stop buying things.

The left hand page is by one of the ALTs in my city. The right hand page is my epic to-do list. And pictures from the cat cafe I visited with my friend.

Figuring out how to make it to my new schools easily...

The first week in July was terrible. It rained and rained, and I had to take half-hour bike rides to get to school. I just gave up, rode in crappy clothes, and got changed once I arrived. I don't know how it happened or what exactly what it was, but I got some kind of eye infection that was bugging me all week. More on that later on.

...I wanted to gouge out my eye, really. I looked like Quasimodo.

Purikara pictures with other ALTs, one girl who was leaving... and our boss XD The Japanese photo booth fixes all manner of sins...

Also, trials of the Japanese eye clinic.

It wasn't so bad. Though I had a nasty run-in with Japanese homonyms... I couldn't tell it the nurse was telling me "The eyedrops are the same" or "Use the eyedrops together" >_>

I've had issues with eye cysts before and apparently this was related to a cyst I went to the doctor for a month ago >_< It's still here, so I need to get rid of it. But considering I'm doing it in a foreign country... the treatment is a little on the scary side.

...I used all the medicine. Honestly. And I'm about to lose two of the most awesome girls here. One of them is from my home town, but this is a little-known fact.


The Olympics in figures!

...or work on the other side of the world. Yes, I'm a Brit <3

Preparing for farewells at my elementary school. And business cards. When I first started at my schools, I did a self-introduction and asked them all to make business cards. I have since refined this to an exchange game I use for first years and elementary schoolers... I gave my kids a little while to work on these.

...yes, those are poops on Seiya's card. He's a weird one. Rather cheeky. I spoke to him after the third year graduation - "Seiya! How are you?" "Very, very sad. You sex?" "..."

Being trolled by my kids...

Speech contest notes - I made CDs for my kids. And in clearing out my desk, I found intro cards from my favourite fifth year kids <3

More trolling from my kids, and mental preparations for my last day at elementary school

My leaving speech for the staff and students.

I decided to end my diary here, and have some space for some of my kids notes. I didn't have much room left at all by this point. Yes, that's me on the blue card XD

There was no more text on this, so I didn't unfold it. But I talked to this girl's teacher, and she said Rena went ahead and wrote this by herself. Lots of kids study English at cram school, so I know she didn't learn this from me. But I'm blown away and ridiculously proud. And wish she'd written me a letter sooner >_<

...and this note was certainly not written by the boy in question, because the handwriting is just too perfect. It's... basically a mix of poor English and romanised Japanese. I can't understand the line above "Waslemasen". To me, it looks like "Happy womanly" o_O

And in the back I have a LOT of tape printouts. And these kanji were just to kill time.

And here's the new journal. It's by far the biggest I've ever used. Just to give you an idea of the size, in comparison to my previous ones (at least, the ones I've used in Japan)

My calendar for the month, which has had a bit of a workout, considering it's only been in use for half a month.

Tomorrow will be my one-year anniversary of my arrival in Japan. I left home a year ago today!

I road-tripped to the next prefecture with a friend, to visit another friend XD The three of us kind of have the same temperaments so it was a really nice, chilled long weekend - we had a public holiday on the Monday!

Unlike my last one, this journal is a return to form in that it's unlined. I cheat and use a line guide, like I did with my moleskine, but it's nice to have the option to kind of... free-style. The lines in the previous journal were much too big for me and I actually felt kind of uncomfortable in it.

Unfortunately there's not much for me to do now school is out. So I ended up doing a personality test.


Small skip ahead. I'd delivered my farewell speeches at both my schools - I can't find the picture of the entry I made after my speech at my base school, but basically there was a huge assembly for various purposes. Another teacher was also leaving, so we both made speeches, and when we were finished we were presented with flowers, and the kids made an aisle down the centre for us and clapped us out. I don't tend to get emotional in public, but when I got back to the staffroom, I literally dumped my flowers on my desk and ran back out to cry in the bathroom. I think it all just hit me pretty hard.

This entry is after the end-of-term party with my second high school.  One of my fellow teachers was trying to get me to say rude things to my superiors. I was not fooled, though I was heartily amused. I think I'm starting to get a handle on Japanese humour.

Thank you card and chopstick sleeve from the work party, scattered entries from my time at English Camp. In an icebreaker game I was asked my hobbies and I told everyone that I'd kept a diary every day for ten years. All of the other assistants were like, "DISTRACT HER FROM MAKING ENTRIES!". I may have only written one sentence on Tuesday, but I can proudly say that they didn't succeed 8D

Evaluation of the camp. I photocopied mine before I returned it.

Camp Stamp!

I was bitten almost forty times, and it seems I'm allergic to Japanese mosquito bites...

I just got paid and I'm already freaking out about where my money needs to go, because I'm travelling right at the end of the month >_<

Wondering how my travelling partner can do so much! And I pasted in a primer on Japanese polite language that I meant to revise and didn't. I had a Japanese test today. It went surprisingly well, despite my lack of studying.

Good luck with the Olympics, Britain! And coffee-shop-hopping.

As always, thank you so much for sticking with me this far <3 I hope you enjoyed looking!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2012 04:06 pm (UTC)
What a creative journal! Thank you for sharing.
Jul. 28th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
Your journalling skills are positively amazing! I love how colourful and creative it is!
Jul. 28th, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
Aw I was missing you so I'm glad to see your post and what you've been up to lately. I enjoy hearing about your students and your adventures. You filled that journal up quick!
Your cycling comic is really cute.
Take care!
Jul. 29th, 2012 10:25 am (UTC)
I always love your posts, thank you for sharing. I'm a language teacher too, here in the UK (EFL in summer schools and French/Japanese during term time) and it's really interesting to see the life of someone who took the ALT route (I was too scared when the opportunity came up!)

I also wanted to say that you've inspired me to do my own day-to-day lesson planning in my journal, which is working out much better for me than how I've been doing it in the past. So thank you!
Jul. 29th, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
It really is awesome out here - you should totally try it if the opportunity ever presents itself. Or just fill out the application and see what happens. It's a really worthwhile experience, even if it's just for a year!

(My main reason for my lesson plans going in my journal is mostly just because I KNOW I won't leave them behind that way XD I'm a tremendously forgetful person!)
Jul. 29th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
I've got friends who are out there with Shane's School and...someone else whose name escapes me right now...and it always sounds like a lot of fun. The contract at my current school comes to an end in July 2013, so maybe if my PhD applications fall through I'll give it a shot :D

I still maintain lesson planning in your journal is inspired. I used to carry around my planning folder as well as my journal, and it was a nightmare. I've also found that limiting my planning space has reduced my daily plans to how they ought to look after 5 years experience, rather than how they looked as I was training!
Aug. 1st, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
I've never heard of Shane's School... I'm with the JET program and for a while I didn't realise there were other schemes aside from JET XD I don't know how it works with anyone else, but JET's fairly structured... we had a huge arrival orientation, and then there are prefectural meetings for skills development every year.

I'm in the habit of bring my journal to class - all my notes go in there. My kids love looking inside, too, especially my elementary school kids! And... yeah. Like I say. It's more convenient for me. And it also is nice because it prompts memories of my kids <3
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )