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Good evening, folks (at least it's evening over here!). I come with photos of my last journal, which I took around the same time as making my last post, but just never put them up. Here they are, starting with the cover. Click the cut for more!

The postcard was from one of my co-workers. March - especially late March - is kind of the season of farewells, as students graduate and staff members rotate schools shortly afterwards. The average rotation rate is around 25% of the teaching staff but I lost a whopping whole THIRD of my school staff, including the principal, vice principal, and FOUR of six English teachers.

Inner cover.

The remainder-of-March calendar. I started this one on the fifteenth, right in the middle of the month!

I had a friend getting married and I had no idea what to wear. I'm terrible at dressing for things, and a bit self-conscious ._.

Planning my final lessons for the school year!

So this was towards the end of my intensive Japanese class. There was this one guy who CLEARLY didn't want to be there. His Japanese was fine but every question he asked, he answered in a really put-upon way and I was so sick of his attitude at this point :(

I made these for my final day at the Intensive class, as well as for the leaving teachers. They went down really well 8D I advise you to try it out!

Getting a headstart on lesson planning for Tachi. The teachers names came later.

Farewell party with my Yodo co-workers.

So this was a questionnaire that appeared at the end of March? These are my answers.

The paper was from one of my Japanese teachers. We were meant to put our food on it!

So the day after my teachers' leaving party I had an appointment for a steroid injection to try to resolve my eye issues. It didn't help much, but that is what I'm mostly-talking about at the top there.


So my principal gave us a whole bunch of gifts. On the last day of school he gave us each a traditional Japanese sweet called Warabi Mochi, and a general, catch-all note - thank you for working hard this year, etc etc. On his final day, each of us got a box of cakes, and an individual note. He said that I work very hard and seem to be a very serious person - other than that it's mostly "thanks for the cakes" XD He transferred to the high school very near my house, though, so I can see him occasionally!

April /o/

Forward planning for May. It was a busy month - I was in San Francisco for my friends' wedding at the start of it, and Osaka at the end of it!

Slow day at the office!

So stick-ins had to happen.

...there is a Japanese pun in here. "Sushi Neta" can mean varieties of sushi. It's also a simple way of saying "the sushi went to sleep" XD

I can't look at my ridiculously drunk entry for the fifth without laughing. Let me see if I can translate first:

"As I sit absolutely lastered on my train out of Uchiko, I realise this is hanami. This is what I have missed all these years. And I love it. Thank you Doreen, Steven, Lisa, Linda, Moritz and Megan for a lovely time. And Ono and Onue-san and... [uh...] Riemi [?] and Yamamoto-san, who gave us - me, Megan and Katie - forks in lieu of meishi [business cards].

Srsly. He gave us forks made of elm in lieu of meishi.

...Let me stop now. The motion of the train in addition to my drunkenness is making my handwriting illegible!

...may I say I have no idea who Riemi is. But it was a fantastic day despite being a wash-out. We were all thoroughly plastered by 2pm (and then Yamamoto-san gifted us with a three litre bottle of sake :/) and at three we toddled off to karaoke with half the Uchiko handicraft guild in tow - mostly old Japanese men - following us up the main street asking if we were there yet.

Basically sitting out under the cherry blossoms (or, if it's raining and a massive event has been booked, a high school gym) and  getting drunk is kind of the done thing in Japan.

I had to present a teaching technique that worked for me at our monthly meeting. My presentation was actually meant to be a year ago, but it just kept getting pushed back, so I was nervous and made like three different things, and was convinced none of them would work. But I seemed to have done all right...

Final lunch with my co-workers before term started. We went to a different restaurant nearly every day during the spring break XD

Out of the blue, my supervisor texts me, "校長先生[the principal] says, only one, often. He asked, best one. OK? Can he use it?" I spent ages trying to figure out this text message thinking he wanted to used a THING, when I was actually being asked to check his English because he keeps saying "Yodo chu, number one, the only one" in his speeches. It took me nearly two hours of worrying to figure out that this was about his catchphrase :/

Ink drop :D I was fiddling with the inks and then I got bored.

Figuring out how to get around San Francisco, without actually double checking the public transport links.

So my parents friends live by a farm. My parents have been kind of wanting a cat for a while and these friends sent this picture like, "Oh, they had kittens! You should go and look!" Name brainstorming and bad cat puns were a thing.

They found three that they liked - these two, and a little grey one. I think you can guess which ones we went with. Their names are Gus and Bebop (aka Bee or Beep). The names have grown on me XD

More planning!

Saturday was "Parents Day" - where the kids have regular lessons/activities, but the parents come and watch. So we had Friday off.

TRY THIS. I mean it.

Trying to get myself organised for San Francisco. I didn't end up packing until the night before I flew :/

A co-worker broke her leg in the morning and came right back to work just before lunch.


Kittens, though.

Starting my journey to San Francisco. I was going to be sharing hotel rooms with Doreen and Onoue-san, but we were on different flights from different airports. Though we managed to meet in Matsuyama airport before we left, which was kind of cute XD

I did not enjoy having to watch the same in flight entertainment as everybody else :/ it was mostly buddy cop movies and explosions. Then the Secret Life of Walter Mitty came on about an hour before we landed.

I was feeling all right until we STOPPED, and I realised that I was terribly motion sick. So I ended up hiding in our hotel room for the whole first night.

I did, however, manage to figure out the money. You Americans, why is all your money so... circular???

Refreshed and ABSOLUTELY STARVING, we had a lovely breakfast at the hotel and then went off to the Golden Gate Bridge. We made it, after a couple of navigational hiccups.

Last-day-actually-in-the-city, we made a hitlist of places we wanted to go/things we needed to do/stuff we wanted to buy and systematically did the whole lot. All whilst barely straying a mile from our hotel.

We switched hotels, and spent the evening with the bride and her lovely family <3 Post-its are to cover Auntie Hetty's email address and stuff. The first morning in the new hotel/the morning of the wedding we were all a little bit wiped out - I think Doreen and Onue-san walked around the area but I ended up sleeping for three more hours. It was well-needed!

The official party finished at midnight, and then a bunch of us hung out in the hotel lobby with Melania and Steven. At 3am I had to call it a night, because I knew I needed to be up at six ._. Turned out to be a BIT too early, but I'd rather be safe than miss my flight XD

Cute crane guide from the wedding!

I bumped into two of my Tachi students the evening I got back XD One had just graduated and was attending the local high school. I was so glad to see she was doing okay!

May Ink drop.

I made a page of foxes, and decided that this was going to have to be a thing in other journals.

Quick activities with my special needs class /o/

This is supposed to be top secret information, shush. Basically I was given the choice between two school groups. They are both tough groups in terms of transport. I picked the one with the most schools :/ I may regret this.


Better view of the maps, so you can see how far out everything is. And where my home roughly-is :/

Using my diary to do an activity with my kids because why not.

Prepping for a review lesson with my third years.

Slightly blurry stick-ins from San Francisco. These photos were from the ceremony at City Hall (that only a select few non-family members were invited to 8D)

I bought cookies once for Melania and this was on the paper bag - this way WAY before she and Steven got together. We giggled when we read this, and I happened to find it again in with a box of photos. So I uploaded it to facebook again. Even with the typos, it's a handy reminder XD

And finally one of my co-workers kept saying she likes "dagashi", which are Japanese snacks. Kind of like Wotsits or Space Invaders or Monster Munch, if anyone has ever heard of them? The kind of potato chips you're not sure have ever been near a potato. I didn't know this word so I was like, "I don't know what those are." She decided to acquaint me with them. And I decided to record my findings :D


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Fabulous. I love the fact that you carry your journal around so that it contains work stuff, everyday notes as well as journalling. Just wondered what size the journal is? I have a glass in hand and a bottle of wine, for experimental purposes I may have to try out a bit of squiffy journalling!
Jun. 12th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
I encourage you to try squiffy journalling on some form of transportation, it makes for interesting results later!

I generally use roughly-A5 journals. This one is A5, but is bound landscape. It was a bit weird getting used to writing in it. Since it was the same size it wasn't any harder to carry around, but when using it I had to have more space around me to open it fully! I'm back to portrait journals now but it was a nice little adventure!
Jun. 13th, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
As always, love your post. I love the piggies you have throughout your journal! So cute! And the page about American currency made me giggle as I'm from there. :) thanks for sharing!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )