The second term (my first with the students) of the school year is coming to a close next week. The final term begins after Fuyu Yasumi in January, and finishes at the end of March. I feel like I've learned so much in only a few months with these kids. Happy as I am to have a break from teaching classes, I'm really going to miss them for the next few weeks. They've really brought out the best in me, and allowed me to think outside of the box with my teaching strategies.
In other news, the cold and the rain go on and on forever. We don't even get complete sunny days anymore... just brief glimpses of sunshine for an hour or two. In a single day, the weather can cycle from rain, cloudiness, sunshine, and hail several times. Forgetting one's umbrella at home brings many bad things. My heart goes out to the JETs who don't have cars and commute to work against the elements. But then again, you get what you pay for -- more expenses for more luxury (not that I even had a choice).
|From one extreme to another.|
The extreme cold feeling at school gets worse. No matter how many layers of clothing I wear, I can still feel it. I am adapting though, and they started to turn on the kerosene stoves in the classroom. The staff rooms remain ever-so toasty, and I seek refuge whenever possible. My visit JHS was even considerate enough to move my desk right next to the heater! I'm starting to master the art of layering clothing, and keep investing in thick tights, some of them lined in fleece.
|I rate this one a 9/10.|
The novelty of kyuushoku has worn off, and I've started to become revolutionary in my ways. In America, there are always choices. Chicken sandwich or salad bar? Packed lunch or school lunch? In Japan, there is only one choice, at least in these parts. Yes, the lunches at my previous place of employment were awful and I questioned their nutrition content. Yes, the lunches here are much healthier. But not all kyuushoku are created equally. My base JHS has by far, the best school lunches in town, in terms of taste, temperature, presentation, nutrition, and all-around enjoyment. Other schools... not so much. Recently, I've started to rebel against cold, metallic-tasting fish and mystery soup. It causes quite a stir sometimes, but I'm tired of making myself feel sick after forcing down food that isn't to my personal taste. I'd like to document kyuushoku on a daily basis next term; I find the various levels of quality and different menus fascinating!
Today was my last day at the visit JHS for this year and second term. Usually, I only teach 3-4 classes a day at this school, but today I had 5 since everyone was getting a little taste of American Christmas traditions! I really didn't mind, and they seemed to be enjoying my PowerPoint presentation and Christmas games. In the middle of the day we had the first snow of the winter season. Just a light dusting really, but enough to light my holiday spirit even more! It was the perfect ending, and gave me a good sense of closure at this school. I wasn't impressed with autumn in my area, but this prelude to winter is hinting that I won't be disappointed for the next season.