Friday, May 19, 2006

White hot grease fires of pure entertainment!

Yes, musical performances are upon us. Last weekend we had our first show in Iwamizawa (nearish to Sapporo), and this weekend we head south, way south to Niikappu. Then one more show in Otofuke and we're finished. For this year... I can't wait to have a free weekend again. I think I have to wait until July for that though. Le sigh!

Yesterday was a fun day. I was teaching at Sounkyo, but instead of taking the bus in like I usually do, I got a ride with the guys in my office. They were headed up to build a "bi ni - ru hau su". Or in actual English (as opposed to katakana english), a "vinyl house" aka a greenhouse. Only problem? They were headed up an hour before I usually leave. So I got to sit in on some classes with the Grade 1/2 class.

Second period was writing practice with the principal. It was an interesting peek into the Japanese school system. These kids have just started school, so the principal spent the first 20 minutes or so lecturing the students on behaviour, polite speech and correct posture. And of course, the correct way to yell "hai!". No wonder kids think English class is so fun at Elementary school -- I encourage them to get a little crazy, run around and play games. No worries about sitting at attention. I do like my students to be polite though, but we learn that usually by playing games. I had so much time I went to third period as well and gave an impromptu lesson on colours.

I was there for morning recess, where the students took the opportunity to teach me to ride a unicycle. For some reason, small schools in Japan are given school sets of unicycles. And at recess, they all practice. I'm terrible at it, but it was my first try. I guess it's really good for developing balance in Elementary school children? It's certainly odd to see a horde of elementary schoolers coming after you on unicycles.

My lesson went well -- we practiced numbers, played some bingo, learned to give the time and played "What time is it Mr. Wolf?".

Junko-sensei gave me copies of the pictures they took of my lesson, so I'll post them when
I get a chance. Someday... sorry, things have been hectic around here.

Yesterday I shipped five giant boxes of books (yay HAJET Publications!) to Kobe for JET Recontracting conference. There are so many JETs they hold two conferences. I'll be going to Tokyo on the office dime at the beginning of June.

It was an exciting adventure, and I'm glad I have good post office people. It's not every day that the town gaijin wants to send five giant packages of books to Kobe. Ususally they just send things home... It ended up costing about 8000yen -- not bad considering they could arrive as early as Saturday. I actually had to ask them to hold off on delivery. I don't want them to get lost at the Hotel before the conference starts.

Its nice to have one more thing off my list of crap to do. Now I just have to deal with the issues concerning the author of one of our books making a distribution deal with someone else without telling us. We would never have known if we hadn't decided to update the book... but that's a whole other post and I have to get a move on.

I'm going to investigate water quality of the Ishikari river with the san-nensei class before I head to Niikappu for musicalling this weekend.

Have a fabulous weekend everybody, and I promise I'll update my photos soon!

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