Right. . . twenty minutes left of work on Thursday, and let me tell you it`s been a humdinger of a week! The third year students at my school are now officially finished with classes until graduation (so that is two classes a week I no longer get to teach), and the second year students have been gone on their school trip since Monday (half of them went to Korea the other half to Tokyo). This all amounts to me only having 4 classes to teach in the span of a week. . . Let me tell you there is an art to looking busy while feeling bored. This is by no means a skill of particular use, or a resume building talent to be honed. It is a reality for ALT`s all across Japan. Some ALT`s (like Ashley and Cat) have schools that actually seem to put quite the amount of work on them, and keep them very busy (I am sure there are others of you out there who are very busy JETs) But there are also many MANY friends who, like me, have maybe one busy day a week. The rest of your time can be spent as you like (within the office or school).
I was told on my first day of work that I can read while at the office. Unfortunately, the book I`ve been reading was enjoyable for the first 100 pages, but since has become quite the battle to get another 100 pages into and I still have 250 to go. . . gggggahhhhhhhhrrrrrr.
So in my days I read (both books and blogs), research fun things to do in Japan, research better ways to grow stuff on my tiny little balcony garden, look up new recipes to cook, read random articles on Wikipedia, and check my e-mail an inordinate number of times. Also go in and out of frustrating slums of researching potential future career options (which keep going back to weird combinations of professional potter, summer camp owner director, and community gardener). Down that path however lies damnation because it ends up snowballing into my brain getting stuck in the rut of feeling . . . undefined in long term goals. So, I try to avoid those days if at all possible. If you`re wondering why I don`t practice my Japanese . . . I do, sometimes. The course books I ordered have proven to me that, as I suspected, I MUST have a tutor, professor, teacher, or some otherwise instructorish person to guide my studies else I am left with virtually no drive to study anything but phrases I frequently hear.
This week has been spent looking forward to the weekend. It`ll be a busy one. We`re kick`n it off right by hosting a dinner party at mine. I used having folks over as an excuse to finally get my self back together and make my apartment clean enough for company. Every night this week I`ve been a whirl in the kitchen. Over 20 some hand rolled tortillas, two jars of pineapple salsa, jumbo vat of red bean and corn salad, and the meats need dry rubs tonight! Love prep work. . . keeps my mind from aforementioned snowballing.
Photos of dinner party will follow
Right! Officially quitting time, and I`m off to start my hike home. The best store to buy big cuts of pork (the kind one needs for making carnitas) is about half way between my apartment and the school, and no where near the train line. . . these boots were made for walking!
More to come!