It has been about a week since my last pathetic attempt at a blog entry. The Christmas season coupled with the amount of time I spend playing World of Warcraft and everything in-between -- including that thing called school -- have all added to the lack of motivation to acquire the time necessary to produce more frequent blog entries.
Once a week may cut it for some but I've let myself lapse into a terribly casual attitude when it comes to the literary pastimes of both reading and writing. If I wanted to be serious about writing -- and not just with regard to blog entries -- then I would write more than a simple diary entry every day and would focus on not only improving my writing skills but pursuing other ventures that required written submission.
It would be great if a lot more happened around here than currently does, but since I am not actively involved in any extra-curricular activities, the days and weeks slip by without any interesting anecdotes springing up. I hope to change that next year. Say, that could be one of my New Year's resolutions! --More on that in a future entry--
Picking up where I left off -- exciting content inclusive -- I am halfway through my Christmas break. This break will be broken by having to work this coming Christmas day, but so far it has been more of an adventure than the mundane existence thus far in Kochi. Yet another thing that must be changed in this coming year.
World of Warcraft, television series and anime aside, I'm going to delve into the past week of my life here in Japan and expose all of the readers of this blog to more than simply: 'I went to school and assisted the language teacher in three classes of regular, uneventful exposition'.
Wednesday saw me teaching at Iejigawa shougakkou. A shougakkou is primary school level, remember. The kids were all together and we had fun playing Christmas games in the gym.
I have been struggling through my Japanese study in my free time. Thursdays are a good time to do this, as Mizobuchi sensei is always happy to help me to understand Japanese more and to learn a bit more about kanji, if not kanji characters themselves.
I say struggle, because the language study is going very slowly and is incredibly frustrating just about every time I do a module. I find it incredibly difficult to not only retain what I learn, but to grasp what I am learning in such a way that it makes sense and I will be able to apply it to anything but the few examples given.
I finished the second book of this CLAIR course, did the test and posted it away. Book three arrived that same day and I did Monday's module on Friday, to try and stay on top of it all. I don't intend to do much, if any Japanese study while on holiday -- and while in Tokyo this weekend, I didn't because I hadn't even taken my book with me.
On Friday, I taught three classes at Wakaigawa shougakkou. Once again, I did Christmas things with the kids: cutting out and colouring in snowflakes (Winter and Christmas are synonomous in the Northern Hemisphere); and playing a game where the kids were blindfolded (using my Santa hatTM) and had to draw a Christmas picture -- from a selection of my A4 Christmas cards: Santa, a reindeer and a snowman (yuki-daruma, in Japanese).
After work, I packed my stuff and Michael and I drove to Kochi to stay in a hotel overnight. We both went to bed reasonably early, in preparation for our morning flight.
We flew up to Tokyo. We took a shuttle bus from Haneda (the domestic airport) to Narita, to meet Michael's brother, Joseph. We had to wait for a long time. At Kochi airport we actually met another ALT from our greater area, Kalan, and we had lunch with him at Narita, since we were on the same flight to Haneda.
Go to Part Two.