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Monday, August 31, 2009

♥ Before Fuji- English Camp

(this is being sent from the paaaaaaaaaaassst... okay not really, this was the entry I couldn't post because the internet died. Fuji coming up, no worries... yes... I did survive.)

I have so much to cover, so I am going to do this is the shortest way possible! (yeah right...) Alright soooo... jesus... there were two major "trips" I went on after the earthquake (since that seems to be where I left off...); Kakegawa Orientation (essentially where all of the new ALTS in Shizuoka meet up) and Shizuoka Johoku English Summer Seminar (an English camp for high school students). While both fun, I think, overall, Johoku held the most memories for me.

Basically there were eight ALTs, and we each got five students. For a little bit of background information, Shizuoka Johoku is one of the best schools in the prefecture and it has a concentration on International studies. A lot of the kids are “happa” aka half-Japanese and have lived abroad before, so the level of English was quite high. This was great because not only was I able to speak to some students, I got to work at a school with a level similar to my own (I think Chuo is slightly lower, but it’s still an advanced school). This was my first chance actually being able to teach, so least to say I was completely terrified, haha. As all of us walked in, we were greeted with a gazillion faces and immediately I notice some of the girls pointing at my hair and then at theirs. So it starts. Anywho, we introduce ourselves and we go to our teams. Turns out I have five girls; Kaho, Shiori, Hitomi, Momoko, and Miko. It’s rather easy to tell who the strongest speaker is, and even though I shouldn’t, I sort of relied on her.

I won’t bore you with copious details, but at the beginning I really sucked. I was so nervous I barely spoke and did a lot of blank stares. It may sound cliché, but everything turned around the moment I gave them candy. I brought in some sour patch kids and offered them and immediately everything was so different. They were so happy and so surprised I was giving them something. It was actually rather hysterical. They stood around the desk staring at them until I insisted they eat them, and then they dug in like crazy. Of all people it was the shyest girl who spoke very little English that loved them the most. It made me really happy that something so small made them so happy. Eventually throughout the three days I got into a groove and had a lot of fun with my girls. More spoke English to me and at the very end three of them wrote me emails saying how much they enjoyed our time together. Here they are, just because they are too cute:
“Hello. Thank you for 3days! I enjoyed these days. I am honored I am your first student ;) I want to talk with you more. But I’m not good at English. I will study English more. Thank you crown of prince. I treasure it.” (to clarify, we had to do skits and ours was Rapunzel. I bought her a prince’s crown and said she could keep it.)

“Thanks to you, I could have a very good time! <3 Thank you very much!!”

“Thank you very much for three days!!! Since September, do your best. Good luck *star*” (I assume she’s wishing me good luck about starting school in September)

Apparently I am the only one to get emails or notes form anyone. I don’t know if this is still true, but if it is I feel kinda special. Not only that, the really shy girl gave me a series of post cards about tea ceremony she used in her Show & Tell. They are gorgeous and I was so touched I almost started to cry. I miss them all so much and I’m going to write each of them a letter, if only to give them a boost for the beginning of the new term. Oh they are so cute, I wish I could show you but I can’t publically post pictures of Japanese minors. I have pictures on Facebook but they’re on the highest security setting so you have to be my friend in order to see them, and I don’t name them so it’s alright. So yeah, that was Johoku. It was great, I was so nervous at first and got frustrated a lot, but it was really rewarding and apparently kids like me, whoot! (as long as I give them candy! Haha)

So yeah, after that I went to Atami after a day and a half of feeling exhausted and ill and just sleeping haha. Atami is a beach city and it was fantastic. It wasn’t that hot out and it was cloudy, but I swam and I loved it. It was a firework festival and it was just great. There were like 40+ of us JETs and other ALTs and eikawa people all grouped around, haha, Japanese were taking pictures of us it was such a spectacle. The fireworks were amazing and despite our best attempts, I didn’t make the last train home, so I camped out at Brian’s for the night in Shizuoka City and took the 7:15AM train back to Yaizu and amazingly made it school on time for quarter after eight. Least to say I went to bed at 8PM that night. Haha.

This week has been a lot of relaxing and getting things ready for my introduction. However, this would be so much easier if the internet at school didn’t keep DYING! Aaaagh! It figures, when I NEED the internet it dies. Thanks. I have NO idea when I will get internet at home. It’s looking like another freaking 6 weeks because of stupid stupid things… mainly the Japanese not trusting me and my research. Arrgh. I could get it a lot faster, like 2 weeks, but I need a credit card… and I’m obviously lacking in one. I can apparently use my debit card from home but the money would be pulled from that and that means I’d have to send money home to pay bills here and that is really obnoxious. Uuuugh. I don’t understand why this is so ridiculous.

Yeah, so I climb Mt. Fuji tomorrow. Oy. It’s going to suck, I know it is, but it’ll be an experience, and hell, I could use the exercise. So yeah, I’m still exploring, still trying to get around and settle in. Some days are good, other days are bad, but overall it’s an adventure… though I do miss school terribly. Oh well.

Peace out from the land of sushi .

1:01 PM

♥ Kristina

      The Curls. The girl. The Nippon.

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      22 yrs old
      ALT for Yaizu Chuo HS
      Has really curly hair
      These are my musings

      This blog is rated PG-13 for language, occasional violence, crude humor, and lack of pie.

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