D's Daze

Like seconds ticking away on my egg-timer.... these are the daze of my life

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

ANOTHER LONG WEEKEND

We have a long weekend almost every month here. Some months-like November- we had TWO long weekends.
Hey...DEFINATELY no complaints from me!

My only complaint is that I am stupid enough to have taken on the challege of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test(JPLT)
Which means that most of my free time is dominated by plans to study, and a guilty conscience when I DONT!

In the interest of dedicating myself to studying-I made a vow of house arrest. About as successful as my vow of celibacyBoth times I thought I was very clever. I thought it would work.

Anyway...for the month of November, I made no plans to socialise-outside my apartment.
Two long weekends I thought. Plenty of time to study Japanese verbs I thought.
Yeah...right!!!

I didnt anticipate the steady flow of people, phone calls or emails heading INTO my apartment. NOR did I anticipate the verbs I would discover in the process.

Well...after this long weekend I know only one thing for sure:
I need another weekend to recover from the long weekend!

p.s roasting sweet potatoes(satsumono) on Friday was great fun. The rain held off long enough for the smoke to penetrate EVERY layer of clothing I had on(and I had on three layers!)
But it was fun. My kids spoke more English than they realised they knew. The potatoes were delicious. And thankfully the smell of smoke quickly washed out of my clothes and hair.

Friday, November 21, 2003

More that Just a TV re-run
Yesterday I said I was bored. Today I still am-but I know thats just with my current JOB.
In the last 24 hours I realised that I am in an amazing place and I am making a difference to amazing people's lives.

A student randomly came up to me yesterday and said:"Danola-sensei You Rock My World"
"Wow" I said "Thanx. But ...you do know what that means??"
"Yes" he said, "my best Michael Jackson song. I made a CD. Presento desu"

Last night, sitting in a restaurant engrossed in girl talk with friends who need me, students walked/rode their bikes past the us. Spotting me through the windows, several students STOPPED. In the cold. To wave and say "Hi" to me.In the process making totall asses of themselves. But they didnt seem to care or even notice it!

And finally today, some kids are roasting sweet potatoes. I have been invited me to join them. I have NO clue what to expect- especially since its FREEZING and looks like it might rain...but hey...every day is an adventure.

I have been given the opportunity to touch people's lives, and leave a little imprint on their hearts and minds.

Thats no TV Re-run.!!!




Thursday, November 20, 2003

Work is as it always was. But now things are now happening like a TV re-run. You have seen the show before. It was exciting and GREAT the first time around. But the second time around its lost its sparkle. Its actually kinda boring. You watch it cause theres nothing else on & you wish you could change the chanel!

Dont get me wrong. Its interesting. And the people here are WONDERFUL (students and teachers alike). And I now UNDERSTAND things around me- so the world makes more sense. Japan is like an onion. Every layer I peel away reveals another one underneath. Sometimes it makes me cry. Sometimes it doesnt.
BUT
Its work is still like a re-run of last years show.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Its been ABSOLUTE AGES since I updated this thing.
Iv had my hands full(every pun intended!) and I apologise profusely for neglecting any avid readers who may be out there!
But if you have been waiting for an update on my life- I assume you dont have anything exciting going on in yours...and perhaps you should STOP reading now...and GET A LIFE!!em>

OK. what have I been doing?? Or more specifically...WHO??(wink wink, nudge nudge)
And...if you think Im going to answer THAT question NOW...you obviously dont know me very well,or you must have been smoking happy stuff!!

On a serious note- I HAVE been busy. Crystal, a good friend, got a first hand experience of staying in a Japanese public hospital. And,of course, I was part of the experience- simply because I was worried sick about the poor girl!
AND...we discovered for all its efficiency, that hospital was certainly NOT the HILTON!!!
It was clean...well the parts of it that I touched were anyway!!
BUT...the experience once again brought home the reality that we are in a FOREIGN country, where communication is IMPOSSIBLE!!
And in that kind of situation- when you are in a hospital and DESPERATELY want to UNDERSTAND and BE UNDERSTOOD...
Trust me...that help-less-ness and fraustration...aint the nicest feeling in the world!!!

Anyway...we survived it. And after 12days in that place Crystal is home now, & feeling almost 100% better!

The other thing that has kept me away from this blogspot is:
Iv actually been working for a change!
Yeah!! Instead of teaching for 8hours a week...I took on extra classes and did a special lesson with my third year students. I had a great time- even if I was run off my feet for two weeks while planning and implementing it!
BUT- I DID manage to bond with a certain teacher who had previously fraustrated me completly.
He is an English teacher-obviously-since I cannot communicate with too many other teachers in this place!
The man is PAINFULLY shy, and totally lacks confidence in his English skills (GO FIGURE- HES only an English teacher!!)
ANYWAY...the special lesson gave me an opportunity to work on him,or on his confidence at any rate!!
I LOVE a challenge!!!

ALSO
I went to Tokyo for the November AJET/CLAIR Opinion Exchange Meeting.
To explain it all would take forever- so Im just going to say that Im on a council of about 20 people who represent about 6000 people on the JET Programme. We met the organisers of the JET Programme to give them our problems and see what they can do to fix em.
Sounds like a Union,doesnt it?? Its not really...we do loads of other stuff. If you want to know more...feel free to go to
www.ajet.net
THEN...go get a life!!!

And I went to a crazy Halloween party. A three floor party(3 ALTs live in the same building) so the first floor was HELL. the second floor was MIDDLE EARTH and the third floor was HEAVEN.
What a blast...I ended up going to HEAVEN, getting totally wasted, and landing on EARTH with a bump-and my arms around a toilet bowl!!!!
And...these are the days of D's life...