Daily Journal of an
Assistant Language Teacher / Automatic Language Tape Recorder (ALT) in the
JET Programme living and learning in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. More
information on the JET Programme here and
here. A real life Fukushima
Wednesday, June 1st
I forgot what day it was and accidentally wore long sleeves. We can't wear short sleeves before June 1st. I saw many students in their summer uniforms, which is basically the same, just a bit lighter. The girls wear thinner skirts and white shirts, and the boys wear thinner black pants and white shirts. I need to buy more short sleeves shirts since I never wear them. I always feel like a manager of a fast food restaurant when I wear one.
I had two classes today and then watched another James Bond movie. After school I helped one class clean their room. Students clean their own rooms as well as the whole school. There are no janitors, which seems odd, but it keeps the school clean. Since the students know they have to clean up, they are less likely to make a mess.
The two classes were the same as usual. I was just used as a tape player. I tried to elaborate on a few issues but was told there is no time. We must maintain the schedule. In the other class I did talk about how Charles Schulz passed away right after his last comic strip was printed. Oh we are talking about Snoopy and Charles Schulz, hence my story. A friend in college had a big printing plate of his last comic, it was pretty cool. He had it hanging on his wall. Printing plates are about 4 feet by 4 feet and made of thin metal. I was a printing management major in college so I know these things.
Hmmm, tonight I have no plans. Oh wait, Eriko is coming over and we are going to dinner. At some point the package delivery guy will pick up my bags I hope. He will probably be there promptly at 6 as promised. Tomorrow I have English club only because I bailed last week and the girls emailed me and asked if we were having it. So I feel bad. Still no word about the Koriyama interview, but I am not going to call anymore. I will call a week after I get back if I still haven't heard anything. That is really approaching the point of ridiculousness. I know they are busy, but we need to know something. When I say we, I mean I.
Thursday, June 2nd
Less than 12 hours to go until I leave for my week long vacation in the US. Well it's not really a vacation since I will be running around pretty much all the time. I've got to visit a few people, get my license renewed, stock up on American size supplies, eat American food for a while, buy some clothes, and much more. I'm happy to be going back, even though there have been signs that I shouldn't.
The first was the fact I have no actual vacation time to go back and my supervisor is going to have to do something under the table and put herself at risk. The second thing is the Koriyama job guy finally called and said the interviews are next Friday, which is when I return from the US so I can't go to them. There are other smaller things, but those are the big ones. My sister says I should just think positive about it, but I can't just not think about things for the sake of being positive. I can not worry about them, but that doesn't make things any better.
I already bought my Shinkansen ticket so I leave at 9:02am and arrive at Ueno, which is a part of Tokyo at 10:54. Then I scoot over to a train that connects Tokyo with the airport, since the airport is actually not in Tokyo. It's an hour outside of it in Narita. There is actually a 10 foot wall all the way around the airport because the government didn't ask the townspeople to build it, they just took the land and built it. So the locals would rebel and damage the equipment and such. I usually take the nice and fancy Narita Express, but this time I am trying the slightly cheaper Ueno Keisei Skyliner. I only save $10, but I want to try it. I should arrive at the airport at 1pm and get my bags which were delivered already (love that service). Then I will check in and request an exit seat. I'll go through customs, security, immigration, and finally wait in the waiting area. I'll board around 3pm (Japan time - 2am Eastern US time) and take off around 3:30pm. I will watch a movie and have the complimentary snack and then take my sleeping pills and hopefully wake up 5-7 hours later.
I hope they are not using this flight to film another series of LOST, because we are not traveling near any tropical islands. The flight goes up to Russia, over Alaska and Canada, then down through Chicago and finally to Atlanta. It's apparently shorter to do all that. I am worried about my big bag being too heavy. Oh wait, I should just think positively and that will magically change the weight. Seriously though, it should be alright since I have a 75 pound limit and I could lift the bag with little trouble. I just have no way of knowing what 75 pounds is. I have a lot of heavy stuff in it so I am slightly worried. The smaller bag is full and I can't stuff anything into it. If I am over, I will have to pay something. Argh. I need to pack my phone and my phone charger now. Ok, over and out for about one week.
Well my plan is working. I chugged some canned coffee around 8 or so and I am wide awake at 4am. This should help me sleep on the shink a bit, since it's a boring (but smooth) 2 hour ride. Then the awakeness plus the sleeping pills should help me sleep on the flight. Staying up like this will also help a little with the jet lag. Just a little. So far I have watch my Friends DVD of season 2 as well as a cheap DVD I bought in Guam about the history of Battleships. I'll probably get drowsy just as I need to leave.
Saturday, June 11th
Just returned from the US. Actually I got in Friday, but I spent the night in a capsule hotel to recover from jet lag. It worked out well so far. I landed at 1pm and made it out of the airport by 2. Then got to the east side of Tokyo by 3 then got something to eat and checked in by 4. Then I read some magazines I bought and calmed down a bit and was asleep by 5. I woke up at 8am.
This morning I ate breakfast then waited for Daisuke to wake up. Finally he did and we met for lunch at the Mexican place of course. I only ate Mexican 5 times this week. We talked about various things, then I left and just got home. I had Daisuke call the luggage delivery place and ask if they can bring my bags tonight rather than tomorrow. They said ok and told me between 5 and 7. So at 5 to 5, I jump in the shower. At exactly 1 minute after lathering my hair and my body, the doorbell rings. Perfect timing. I opened the door all soapy to tell him one moment, and before I knew it the bags were inside and I was signing something. Oh well, at least I got them. I love that service.
I'll make a big update shortly.
Tuesday, June 14th
The interview went good for the new job from August. Everything they said about the job seems to be exactly what I want. The only disappointing thing is I would have to live in the village only and not have two apartments. I can't really be sad because two apartments is just a ridiculous idea really, but it would be nice to have a second home in the city. Though I do want to be semi-stranded in the small town. It will help me save money, lose weight, get better at Japanese, and most of all get to know the whole town.
It was all in Japanese, but there was a translator. I think I said all the right things, though I was really just being honest. They laughed a bit and were impressed with various things. The only thing that could be better was my Japanese. But that will change shortly. They said they will make a final announcement this week sometime, but there are 4 jobs and 4 applicants, plus they already gave us all the paperwork for the hiring process. If I don't get it I will feel like a huge wanker and probably change my name to Davis Moxley. I've always liked last names as first names, or two initials as first names. D.C. Xanter. That would be hard to sign.
So far I have been making smoothies and juicing veggies daily. Hopefully that will help my health. I need to drink a gallon of carrot juice daily to flush out my liver. I bought the juicer a week before I left for the US and had it delivered there. Since shipping it here would be $150, I just shoved it in my checked baggage.
While I was back I ate Mexican about 4 times as well as Zaxby's, Arby's, Burger King, and even the Original Pancake House. It was strange getting adult sized drinks and food and having them refilled for free and filled all the way up. Drinks are usually really small, like child sizes and never filled up. I bought some new clothes, some gifts for teachers and students, and some crap for me assuming I get the job. Another bad thing is I will need to get a license here and buy a car. I wanted to avoid that expense, but I can't. I stood in a line for 2 hours at the DMV in Georgia to renew my license so it should be alright now.
I also saw my 8 month old niece. She was really cute and laughed all the time. Really she never cried except when my sister was slow to feed her or she really needed a nap. At first she was hesitant about me, but after a few visits she was cool with me. Though she would push away and squirm a few times and I almost dropped her. Overall she was really well mannered and I wonder how she will be as a child. I plan to spoil her as much as I can. I had them refer to me as oji (O G) which is how you say uncle in Japanese. It's an affectionate name and it will give her a little bit of Japanese experience. I finally got a new picture of her that is much cuter than the one I have of her as a 6 week old baby.
I couldn't sleep on the flight back because the two Indian guys on either side of me were chatting it up the whole time. They would talk in Hindi and then English and mix the two. I heard the few Hindi words that I know a lot. One was acha, which means good or ok, and the others I can't spell. I took my sleeping pills and got drowzy, but could never really zonk out like I did on the way there. When I landed, I made it out of the airport in about 45 minutes and went straight to a capsule hotel. I slept for 15 hours straight and then woke up at 8am on Saturday and felt great ever since.
I recently trashed my index page and just created a new one that is just right to the point. Check it out here. It has links to all parts of the site. I have to add some links to my travel history page, but that won't take long. Time to go juice my dinner.
Wednesday, June 15
I'm working on the mound of paperwork for the new job, even though I don't know if I have it or not. One thing is the hand written resume called a rireikisho. You might remember that from a previous post about me saying it and the teacher thinking I said election, but when she said that I thought she said erection. So anyway, I am doing it and it's a real pain. Whenever I mess up I have to start all over since white out is uncool. It seems so primitive really. A hand written resume? Why bother, it would be easier to make and read a typed one, but this is how it is done and there is no changing it.
I remembered another goof from the other day. Liz and I went to eat at the curry house. On the way out I wanted to ask if they deliver. So I looked up the verb "to deliver" and then asked him. He was all confused and said something like they can't do that while they are working. Then I asked why they have the three wheeled delivery motor scooters outside. He said there is no way they could do that, and two people wouldn't fit anyway. I showed him the kanji for the verb and he laughed. I read the other meaning, which is apparently the more common reading, which means "to escort someone home".
Thursday, June 16th
I was all excited about coming into school today, but now it's just another wasteful day. I had 4 classes and 2 were classes I really like, but some motivational speaker (who lives in a van down by the river) came and spoke during second and third period. Somehow that cancelled three of the classes, but I managed to beg for a new one 7th period. Can you imagine going to work and having to beg for something to do? Gotta love the Fukushima JET Programme. Instead of going to the motivational speaker, I stayed in the teacher's room and did more crossword puzzles and watched some things on the computer. After school I have English club which I am excited about since I brought the game Boggle for them to play, and some T-shirts. I got them cheap at Old Navy and they have fun English. I'm just not sure about the sizes.
Yesterday my supervisor game me a package and inside were two nice picture sheets made by students at the hospital school. I will take a picture of it later, but basically it's a piece of thick card paper and in the center is a small picture. Around the edges are little notes in English and Japanese to me. It's very nice and I plan to put it up in my apartment whenever I move.
Other than that, there might be bad news on the horizon. Remember a month or two back when I mentioned I was asked to be a best man in my friend's wedding, well as it turns out I might not be able to go to it. It's just bad timing for me. It's 3 weeks into my new job and I don't really have any vacation time then. I have asked a few people if it will be alright and I am awaiting a response, but the outlook does not look good. That really sucks since I really wanted to go to the wedding and see Jon and Salina. It's a beach wedding at around 7am. It looks like if I were to go I would arrive at 8pm on Friday, then leave at 8am after the wedding. That's really not feasible so I don't know now. I am still waiting to see if I can take more time off. We'll see.
The juicer and blender and getting their money's worth. I use the blender quite a lot to make smoothies and the juicer almost as much. The thing I don't like about the juicer is it is much more effective than the old one I had which means it produces less juice, but the quality is better. I still have to chop the carrots into small pieces, but the only way around that is by getting a $1,000 industrial squeeze juicer. I'll do that when I start my juice bar or something. I have noticed I am less hungry usually and that could be from the juicer.
We have a river picnic this Saturday for FuJET. Luckily I'm not planning it so I don't have to worry about it. I will just show up, eat, make a mess, and leave. After that we might do something like Philly Cheese Steak night at Dave's again.
Oh on the handwritten resume. I finished it, but it looks like crap. I feel so primitive doing it. Like I am filling out an application for Uncle Bucky's Burger Shack. Why would anyone want a handwritten form today? It is so Japanese. I did it, but I also typed out all the answers and glued them onto another one. I will send both and let them decide. I also have to get a body check from the doctor this week sometime and send that to them as well. I hope he is kind and doesn't write too much.
Well they loved the T-shirts. Boggle was harder than I thought since I just naturally picked out English words, but it took them a while to find them. Plus you really need a good vocabulary for that game, even as a kid. Maybe we will play it again or I will find some other game. They really seem to like the treasure hunt or scavenger hunt game. I might do an extended version of that next week.
Still haven't heard from the new job. Maybe I will hear tomorrow or early next week. Who knows. It should be a yes since there are 4 jobs and 4 applicants, and I want the least popular school since it is so far away from the main part of town. We'll see I guess.
Monday, June 20th, 2005
I can't believe I am eagerly awaiting a job that will have more work. I get to school today expecting the same deal as last week on Monday, 5 classes. More than I usually have in a week here, and somehow I only have one lined up. So now I have to ask teachers around me if I can go to class with them, even if they have no need for me, it's better than sitting in the teacher's room. I can remember being at jobs wishing I had less to do, but that's all gone. Now I know what it's like to have nothing to do. Honestly it's like a prison sometimes. Like a minimum security prison.
Well I just talked to a few and they said they would think about it. It's actually funny now. Having a native speaker come all the way from the US and teacher's having to think about whether or not they will use me. You might be wondering why have I renewed and why do I want to continue? Well I like teaching, I love the students, I like Japan (for now), and I like my life and friends, but I just don't like this wasteful part of my job. If you are coming on the JET program in August then be forewarned, the JET programme has a lot of wasted time. Especially if you are a Fukushima JET. I don't know many other people in Fukushima who have too much work to do, except for those who work privately as I want to from August.
Last night a Japanese lady friend had a party at her house. Her name is Mitsuko (meets sue koh) and I think she is a hottie. She is married with two kids and that might make it difficult for us to get together, but maybe not. Her husband is a liver surgeon who lives 2 hours away in a different town. She might teach me Japanese on occasion.
The party was fun. I met some new people and knew some of the other people. It was mainly people she worked with, which included 2 foreigners and one of their boyfriends. But he was leaving soon. Hopefully I can hang out with them again, but our schedules rarely match since they work evenings and we have evenings free. They also work on Saturday and have Sun-Mon off as weekends, hence why the party was on Sunday.
This past weekend we had a cookout on Saturday afternoon and then another philly cheese steak night at David's place. Actually it was at Corey's, but David did it. I helped him cook and oddly we have it down to a little routine now. I did it mainly to learn, but it ended up just working very well. Then we saw Batman which was much better than the other Batman movies. After that the others went on to Karaoke, but I was beat and couldn't make it. I had gotten up at 6am for no apparent reason. I do that occasionally, again stressing the no apparent reason.
Then Sunday I really did nothing all day. I did some minor laundry then hung them out to dry, then lied around the house. I want to say laid around the house, but people lie things lay. I wasn't telling lies to myself, but I was just not getting out of bed. I had nothing to do and not enough money to travel somewhere. So I just waited for her party all day. Finally I started riding my bike around 5:30 and found the place near 6. It was a long ways a way, and sadly there was a tall cell tower as a marker and reminder of how far it is, but it did make it easier to find.
Just got back from two classes. The one I had and the one I begged for. The first one, the one that was scheduled just didn't flow. It worked and we got through it, but it didn't flow. There was no chi, not fluidity to it. the second one was much better. It was a first year class and they were more into it. I went to the post office earlier and mailed my tax returns, which were late because of the preparer, but we also get an extension being overseas. Then I mailed my packet of information to the Koriyama job. The paperwork was the stuff I would fill out after I was hired which was a bit odd because they haven't officially told me yet. I'm not going to call them until they let me know. The only thing I haven't liked about the process so far is the vague hiring way. The unnecessary interview, well I guess they needed to make sure we weren't losers. But there is no reason to delay the announcement for a week or more after the interview.
Crap I am supposed to eat lunch with the English club now. Be right back.
Well only two showed up. Hmm, that was odd. So they ate and I chatted then got sleepy and went to the store to get something to eat. I came back to school around 1:15 and got really sleepy, but I don't know why. I went over to the couch area and slept for about 30 minutes I think. I was holding a book like I was reading it and then allowed myself to doze off. Some Fukushima ALTs I know have secret snoozing places in the school. I don't have that since there aren't that many places, though I think I know of a few I could have used.
School is over and I went walking around talking to the students. That is the thing I like the most about this, just chatting with students. I seem to have a high school, or lower, mentality so I get along with them great. Sometimes I help them clean other times I just watch. Their routine can be mesmerizing. They just know what to do and do it like a well oiled machine. When I help it disrupts the flow, but they like me joining I think. Maybe they like the disruption, it breaks up the monotony.
So nothing planned tonight after school. Everything I have planned depends on me having more money. Tomorrow I am going to mail some boxes to someone in AJET. I have been asking them where I should send them so I am just going to mail them to the new president and be done with it. Then Wednesday I might have dinner with another Noriko. I call them Cute-Noriko and Hot-Noriko. Wednesday will be with Hot-Noriko. If I knew another Mitsuko, the Mitsuko above would be promoted to Hot-Mitsuko. Unless by some freak chance the new Mitsuko was hotter. A freak chance.
One of these weekends I have to make an appointment at the driving school. All they really do is take us around the driving course and explain how to play the Getting-A-License game. I have heard it has less to do with what kind of driver someone is and more about how well you play the game. We will see. Most foreigners fail it the first time, though I know of a few who passed it the first time. My time is running out so I need to get it before the end of July. I have about two weeks of no classes in late July and should be able to go then. Of course they are not open on Saturdays, which would be convenient.
Thursday, June 23rd
No word on the job yet. Here's a chart to further explain me not hearing:
There were four people applying for four jobs, non of the jobs overlapped. I can see interviewing us to make sure we are not wankers, but we should have been told a day or so later. We are well past the point of absurdity. In the US I would know the decision has been tabled for a few days, but in Japan, they are probably actually discussing it daily.
I had to cave in yesterday and turn on the A/C. I had been sleeping with a fan in the door, but last night it was just blowing hot humid air around. I did sleep a bit longer with the A/C on. Actually I went to sleep really early for some reason and slept until now which is 7am. Maybe 6:30 even. I think I was a little sad. I haven't heard anything about the job which gives me a really nervous insecure feeling since time is running out and it's getting to the point of just being completely absurd and rude. Also, I was looking forward to dinner with Hot-Noriko last night and it was just eh. First off she ignored all my emails until 6:30 and then said "I am already here". Well we never agreed on a time or place. Then I get there and she was more interested in having me do her English homework. Then I suggested we go somewhere else after Indian food, since it wasn't really the time or place to do homework, and she gave an abrupt NO, "I don't need to go there, you don't need to worry about my homework". So after I ate I just left. It was a little odd.
Yesterday I had three good classes, and today I might have 1-3. I know of 1, but I have to beg for others. That is getting so old. If I didn't like Kumiko sensei, I might just up and leave. But I know time is ticking away. Even though I will miss the students, I won't miss just sitting in the teacher's room doing nothing. Oh so in the classes I noticed something funny. When the teacher would write a sentence on the board, she would completely over emphasize it. She would underline some words, then circle some, then make arrows connecting words, then re-underline more, then re-circle more. It is like trying to write an entire paragraph in bold, if you highlight everything, nothing is highlighted.
It was humorous. Something else that is annoying is at Nishi, one teacher in particular plays English from the CD player way too loud. So loud it hurts my ears as I stand behind it. He's one of those not-quite-in-reality teachers. So there is no point in talking to him about it. I just make faces as the students see me and agree, but he never gets it. There is another teacher who I have a little crush on, though of course she is married. But she is so cute and has the coolest personality. She would make a good wife, at least to me.
I had just one class today. Thought I could beg for more classes, but apparently Japanese teachers have had special training at teaching English that a native speaker could never possibly comprehend. So I just sat here watching Star Trek on my computer and then playing Solitaire. I actually look forward to playing Solitaire now.
Before lunch I mailed the final bit of the papers to the new Koriyama job, the one I still don't know if I have or not. So if I get it there is really nothing more for me to fill out. I've already filled out the license request, made an official Japanese handwritten resume, sent all the transcripts and diploma copies, had a medical check and gotten a teacher to review me. I did all that in less than a week, but yet it has taken them two weeks to match 4 people to 4 jobs. Amazing.
The Sapporo Japanese school I plan to go to this summer wants their money now, but I am not paying until I know I have the job. Then I have to get a driver's license which is going to be the most fun thing in the world. Japanese are not known for their efficiency and neither are DMVs so I can only imagine the Japanese DMV being something prisoners have to endure. I already know about the dozen forms I need and stupid things I need to fill out. Oh I can't wait. Most foreigners "fail" a few times. This wouldn't be Japan otherwise.
Friday, June 24th
Slightly good news on the job, though still no definite answer. One of the other applicants called the office and was told the stack of offer papers are making their way around the office and everyone has to review them and stamp their approval. He was also told we should hear something by next week.
Bigger update later.
Saturday, June 25th
Woke up and had to go somewhere and get out of the apartment. I took a day trip to Yamadera. Yama means mountain and dera also said as tera means temple. Though I never connected that in my head until I got to the base of the mountain and looked up, realizing a mountain temple would be on top of the mountain most likely. Which it was. I'll update more later since I am about to go out with Eriko, but here is what I saw from the base of the mountain, only to learn moments later that it is a famous 1,100 steps to the top. Click picture for more detail.
The top of the mountain. The shack on the far left is the main one.
Click the big picture to see more details.
After visiting the temple I went to Sendai, which is the nearby big city. It was an hour away from Yamadera and Fukushima would have been over an hour so I figured I would go to Sendai and see what was new. I found out when people are allowed to smoke, or when they are not.
That had been worrying me for the longest time. But I did find something I had been looking for:
A Mexican Restaurant closer than Tokyo, but not as good so I've heard. And then here are the two shinks in the station as I left:
The one in the distance went straight to Tokyo missing my town, but this one went to every stop on the way. Some trains that go a long distance miss several stations.
Here are some pictures of my cute niece, Skylar. She's very photogenic and smiley.
I am resting now, what are you doing with that thing?
What was that flash? Wait....was that a ....camera?
Let me lose the pacifier and fix my hair. Ok, ready now. CHEESE.
She loves her granddaddy, which is good for his blood pressure.
Oh no, the dork is going to kiss me with his gruffy beard thing.
Oh seriously, come on already.
So today I will just rest and pack some stuff in boxes. I'll probably live out of boxes for the next month since either way I will be out of this apartment by the end of July. I haven't decided what I will be doing before the Sapporo Japanese School. I was thinking of Okinawa, but I might go to Sapporo early and hang out with some friends who are driving from Sapporo to the south of Japan.
I was just filling out my Excel sheet of how little I am used as a Fukushima JET. So far my base school percentage is %36 or is it 36%. I truly can't remember. Like we say 10 dollars, but it's $10. In Japan is correct, 100 yen is written 100¥. Anyway, I realized I only have 3 more weeks as a JET. It's a good and yet sad feeling. I am really close to the kids at Higashi now, and some at the other schools. I will be a little sad to move on and leave them. I know they will gradually forget about me, but maybe in 30 years they will think about the goofy foreigner they had in high school. That would be fine with me, remaining as just a memory.
I don't go to Matsukou or Nishi this week. Tuesday I go to Ozaso, Eriko's school, which is the "special" school. I don't know what the politically correct term is these days. Then Thursday and Friday I go to the fireman's school. I guess I should say fireperson, or maybe firefighter, which is genderless and doesn't sound stupid like fireperson. That sounds like a superhero or something. Look it's Waterperson fighting fireperson.
Last week at Nishi I had one whopping class. I asked for others and they had no need for a native speaker in the English classes. One thing I did notice was there is this one teacher who plays the English CD way too loud. I've had classes with him where he did this, and maybe I mentioned it here. Anyway, I could hear his CD from all the way across the school. It was so loud. He's a nice guy, but he has no common sense. I mean it's good to make sure the kids in the back can hear the CD (even though there is a native speaker in the room), but there is a point at which the CD is too loud. And you have passed it kind sir.
I sit in this small satellite room with no A/C. They are funny about A/C here. You can't turn it on in public buildings until a certain day, and even then only when it reaches certain temperatures. Of course the temps are near boiling. The current most absurd thing I've heard is the prime minister of Japan has created a new fad-policy called Cool Biz, so workers don't have to wear ties. That way, and this is the kicker, Japanese governmental offices can cut back on A/C usage.
You can't reduce what you don't use.
It's like me cutting back on my heroin habit. I can't because I don't even use heroin. And in Japan, there is honestly not much of a way to cut back on A/C usage, because they seriously never use it. I am always sweating like a stuck pig at work. It's well beyond the point of a company being sued in the US. It's really uncomfortable sometimes. Most of the time.
So we didn't have any A/C in this little room and there was only a small breeze part of the day. I was roasting. Then the teacher tries to give me hot tea, which I can't drink when I am already roasting. When she would leave I would cut out the lights which oddly made a little difference, even if it was only mental. I just sat there doing crossword puzzles and reading some English magazine. They truly got their money's worth today.
So back to today, Sunday. I juiced about 5 big carrots, an apple, and then squeezed some lemon juice in the glass and chugged it. It was about the size of a Big Gulp cup, so I got a good dose of nutrients. One thing that is true about Carrot Juice is it will turn you slightly orange after a while. Not from the carrot color, but from the fact that it is cleansing your (my) liver and pushing toxins out. One thing I don't really like about that is the toxins make me itch. I am constantly scratching myself all over and recently I have been breaking out somewhat. It's from the carrot juice since I haven't been eating anything else like chocolate or greasy crap. "But....but...but chocolate doesn't cause Acne". No, it's not medically proven that it does, but my dermatologist told me it does for several people. The best way to tell is to go home and eat a lot of chocolate one day, and if you break out 2-3 days later, you are one of the few.
Monday, June 27th
They turned on the A/C at school. You know why? Because it rained and then it was hot. Then it became so ungodly humid in the teacher's room they really had no choice. I tried to turn it on myself but there was some code to type in of course. Before they turned it on I was dripping with sweat, absolutely drenched as if I went swimming then put on my dry clothes without toweling off. The only time it has been worse was when I went to the mountain top temple on Saturday.
Wednesday, June 29th
I went to the Special Ed school yesterday and it was crazy. I don't know what it was, if it was the weather or me being there or what, but the kids were going crazy. There is one boy who has severe epilepsy I think. He will be walking along and then jerk really hard or fall to the ground. But as a person he is really nice and I always look forward to seeing him. Yesterday we were all in the gym doing something like morning warm ups or something. He was in the back not participating and pouting about something. That part was odd enough. But then a huge garbage can comes flying into the gym and makes a loud noise. He is screaming and running away. Some teachers chase him and catch him and restrain him while he is having some violent fit.
Later we are in a class, and this tall quiet girl had a violent fit. First she mock chased someone out of the room and it was funny. Then she threw a book at him, which was still playing we thought. Then she kicked a chair. Then she kicked a desk over and started screaming. I've never heard her speak much less scream. Then she started throwing desks around and knocking people over. Then she sat back down and looked down.
Later more kids were causing problems and running around far more than normal. I took some pictures of the classes and the school and I will set up a page here.
After that we had Corey's birthday night which was gyoza night and then bowling with the people from the Indian food place.
This is a love hotel near the gyoza place. Notice the shrine in the lower left hand corner.
This is the gyoza place they go to. The top like says Chinese
Then the middle line says Gyoza (in Japanese).
The bottom line is the name of the place, Manpuku.
Then we went bowling, which started at 8 and we somehow
started playing at 10.
That's Mayu bowling now, she is the co-owner and wife of the Indian restaurant guy.
I did better when I found the balls with holes for "Fat Fingers" as the sign said.
We didn't join the Tonament.
Which is phonetically correct.
Hot Noriko on the right, though she is turning into Annoying Noriko.
Bowling was fun and I had a blast, but we went with a number of non-JET teachers who work privately at places like NOVA. The people are cool and we have no problems with them, but places like NOVA start working at 10 or 11 and we start at 8-8:30 so when midnight rolled around and everyone was giving speeches about something and taking 1,500 group pictures the JETs started getting annoyed and ready to leave. I finally left just after midnight and had to ride home in the pouring rain.
It was one of those nights where I had fun, but I wish I hadn't gone. I can't explain it. I had fun bowling, but I would have rather just rested at home. I guess it has to do with me riding home in the freezing pouring rain too. There are other factors as well, and I don't even know why I am mentioning this. I guess just to get it down so I can read it later and remember that feeling. I wish we could bottle emotions. That would be nice.
Still haven't heard anything about the new job and I am getting annoyed now. Not worried, but annoyed. It's been almost three weeks and I have heard only rumors about when I would know something. Even Japanese teachers are saying this is longer than normal and getting close to absurd. I keep forgetting I am still in Japan, I don't know why I expect anything different.
Thursday, June 30th
At home now, in about an hour I go to Kenchou and then to the fireman's school to teach basic English. This morning I made some carrot and apple juice with a half lemon and it was good. Luckily I don't have to go to school today or tomorrow, but then again I have nothing to do at home. Maybe I will pack a bit more or work on one of my 10 book projects. The weather is nice so I could go for a job walk. We'll see.
Still nothing on the job. Maybe I will hear later today or tomorrow. Here is a map I found recently of places I have been in Japan.
Here is a link to a page of simple cartoons someone sent me. The link is located not here so much, but here. There are four so read down. They are cute.
Well I should go get some bananas so I can make a protein shake for lunch. Then I will head out to Kenchou and will be driven to the firefighter school. Later.