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|Sunday, July 29th, 2007|
Yesterday afternoon: my computer starts acting weird. I decide to back up all my important stuff to my external hard drive.
Yesterday evening: while I am away from my computer, my external hard drive spontaneously disconnects while copying a huge file.
Later yesterday evening: I return to find that my external hard drive (home to all my old 3D projects from high school, as well various not-irreplaceable-but-difficult-to-repla
ce things) is now unrecognizable to my computer, and that my computer has stopped acting weird.
|Monday, July 16th, 2007|
|Tuesday, June 26th, 2007|
|There's a hole in the bucket
I don't think I ever realized what a wildly energetic and vital person I was before getting this job. I'm not sure if it's the job itself or just the inevitable result of taking an eight-to-five job with my sleep cycle, but the last two months I've been coming home absolutely drained. That's part of the reason I haven't been posting (also because I'm lazy). It also means that I have yet to do a great many things on my "cool stuff to do" list. This is especially annoying because I've been foregoing said things due to a lack of sleep and energy rather than a lack of time.
My training manual says that this is a normal part of culture shock, and that the cure is to get out and do something.
Blargh you, training manual. I have to carefully budget my time so that I have enough energy left to both make dinner and eat it. In my current condition, I'm not even sure if I could competently schedule an outing.
I wasn't always this lethargic, however, and a few weeks ago I bought tickets for a local Kabuki performance this past weekend, and arranged to meet my host mother the weekend before. My host mother rescheduled to the same weekend as the Kabuki, so I ended up with a very full weekend.
I managed to scrape together the energy to pull it off, and it was one of the best weekends I've had in a while (or possibly in a very short time, it's all been kind of blurred together). And now I am paying for it in sleep debt and undone tasks.
Sooooooooo tiiiiiired. And I need to take out the trash. And do laundry. And I'm almost out of toilet paper. And my water and gas bills and rent are due really soon, payable only at three different places, all of which are open only during business hours.
Oh, God, I think I've turned into an adult.
|Sunday, May 20th, 2007|
|Up late, but still no real update
I said I'd post, but I'm too lazy so far to do complex things like recall the previous week. Here's a picture of my cat.
Ok, I don't have a cat. But internet protocol requires me to offer a cat-picture.
Here's a translation into English of the Japanese version of the Internationale instead. Um, belated happy International Workers' Day?
(I'm a bad worker; I still haven't joined the Interac union. In my defense, I can't remember where I found the Interac union, and if I found it I doubt I'd have the energy to fill out the paperwork).( Original Japanese with 旧仮名遣い (pre-war orthography) included.Collapse )
|Saturday, May 12th, 2007|
FINALLY got actual internet in my apartment. Will post more later, but right now I have two months of internet to catch up on.
|Saturday, April 7th, 2007|
I finally found a way to access the internet properly! There's a net cafe in Nagaoka, which is merely an hour's train ride from Muikamachi.
The place I'm living is actually Muikamachi, not Tookamachi, although I think it was technically absorbed into Tookamachi during the great municipality merger two years ago. It's a friendly town, and my apartment is located such that I'm within easy walking distance of two of the three schools I'm assigned to, as well as two grocery stores and the train station.
... And my time's almost up at the netcafe. Crap. I spent most of my time downloading fanfic updates and pictures of Ithaca for my first class (mostly the former, I admit). I'll post again, um, when I can.
|Monday, April 2nd, 2007|
|Not the first class
Contrary to what I originally thought, today was not my first class, but my first meeting with the teachers. So it looks like I'll know things like the students' level and textbook before I start. Phew!
I'll be having similar meetings with the staff of the other two schools I'll be teaching at, and classes will start on the ninth. By then I should have an actual internet connection, so I can freak out at the length the subject deserves, as well as give an adequate account of the karaoke I did the last night of training.
|Friday, March 30th, 2007|
|Spouting viscous yellow clumps of wisdom
I arrived at my placement, moved in, and was promptly greeted by a high fever and matching cold symptoms. I'm writing this on my cell, which can display enoughof LJ to post, but not to read. Other methods of contact with the outside world may be unavailable for two to three weeks. Health insurance may take even longer. Thankfully my disease seems to be on the retreat, so I should be fully recovered by the time I teach my first class on Monday.
If not, I may have to nasally generate my realia.
|Saturday, March 24th, 2007|
|Ahh, genuine Royal Milk Tea.
Still no karaoke. Tomorrow is the last day of training, in which we present, with a partner, half of a 20 minute lesson to a class made up of our peers and trainers. After the lesson is over, our lesson plan and teaching skills are criticized. I'm sure I'll get around to being worried eventually (probably all at once, five minutes into the presentation), but for now I'm more bored and waiting for Monday, when we leave by train for Niigata.
Training has been surprisingly non-stressful, and I have nothing in particular to say on that subject. I've reunited with some of the wonders of the land of the rising sun (such as the above beverage). I've also found out that I'm definitely going to Tookamachi, and I'll be eligible for transfer in six months.
|Wednesday, March 21st, 2007|
|Training, Day 1
I'm still placed in Tookamachi (knock on wood). This morning, they told me that they might have to change my placement again, but thankfully they changed their minds about changing their minds. I've signed the first of many contracts putting me on my way to getting an apartment, so hopefully there won't be any last minute changes.
I tried to get out to explore earlier, but the hotel is an island surrounded by highways and at the time I didn't want to have to deal with the shuttle (they have a free shuttle to various places, but I can't find a schedule posted anywhere and the receptionist couldn't find a spare one). Hopefully later on I can organize karaoke.
|Tuesday, March 20th, 2007|
In Tokyo, sitting in the hotel's internet room. Everyone speaks standard Japanese here. It's strange.
In Japan! Yay! Nothing further to report.
|Monday, March 19th, 2007|
|Packing up my computer
This is probably my last post on U.S. soil for a while. Four and a half hours before liftoff. Anyone seen my watch?
|Wednesday, March 14th, 2007|
|Hilarious, Interac. Fricking HILARIOUS.
My placement changed. Again. I had already confirmed the last one, and so had they, but apparently it wasn't confirmed enough because I just got a call saying that Toyama fell through and now I'm in Niigata, the prefecture northeast of Toyama. Northeast. The direction directly away from Kansai. I really hope I'm in the southern half of the prefecture - the northern half is Tohoku, which is far away from everything.
Edit: Also, from my phone conversations it sounds like they've made a definite placement (i.e. specific town and schools) but the person I was in contact didn't know, and the people who did know didn't see fit to tell me, or the person in the company who I'm in contact with.
Edit, その二：I called the person at Interac who I thought was the person responsible for my placement, but I'm beginning to think is more of a spokesperson for the placement department. She said she can't get in touch with anyone at the department which knows where I'm placed, but she left a message and they'll probably get back to her tomorrow.
Also, I've been looking up transportation fares for Toyama, and now Niigata city, the biggest city in Niigata prefecture. The trip from Niigata to Osaka is about 15,000 yen ($150-ish) more expensive than a trip from Toyama to Osaka. That's one-way.
Edit, その三：The person got back to me with more detailed placement info: I'll be in Tookamachi, which is at the southern end of Niigata. The trip to Kansai is still pretty expensive, but not as hideously expensive as it would be from Niigata city.
Also, I now know what schools I'll be teaching! I'll be at three different high schools, commuting between them by bike and possibly rail.
|Friday, March 9th, 2007|
They say I'm going to be in Toyama (roughly equidistant from Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo), and my date for departure is set for the 19th. It's getting rather late in the game for them to change it (knock on wood), so hopefully this means I'll end up in Toyama. The date of departure is fairly certain, since the ticket is paid for (thank you, parents' frequent flyer miles!) and if they change that then I'll just have to go over there and get 戦国時代 on their 兎馬.
|Thursday, March 1st, 2007|
|Sure, they say they'll call...
I am no longer placed in Yokohama. Apparently, there were fewer placements there than Interac had thought, so now my location and departure date is up in the air until they get back to me. Still waiting. Any day now.
Also: anonymous person who commented on my last post and wanted me to vist them in Tokyo: who are you? You left no identifying information, and I am burning with curiousity as to who you are. BURNING, I tells ya.
|Wednesday, February 21st, 2007|
I will be teaching somewhere in or near Yokohama. I don't know exactly where or exactly what level, and my date of departure is still uncertain, but I know I'll be in Yokohama (the same as Wakey! Yay!).
I was hoping for a placement in Kansai, but apparently all the Kansai positions filled up really quickly, even the rural ones. But there is a bunraku theater in Tokyo, and with the overnight bus I'll be able to get to Kansai on a semi-regular basis if I want to.
I will hopefully remember to update as I get more information.
|Monday, January 15th, 2007|
I haven't updated in a while. I'll give a whirlwind account of the past few months, then get to the reason I posted.
June, 2006: graduated.
June-September, 2006: lived in Ithaca, NY, worked at Cornell University.
September-present: live in Lynnwood, WA, with Wakey and John, doing part time work when I can get it.
Today: received job offer from Interac.
The last item, as you may have guessed, is the reason I post. Interac is a company that contracts with local boards of education to place assistant language teachers in elementary and middle school classrooms.
Yes, I'm going back to the land of the rising cost of living! I have a job there teaching! 万歳！やった！ I'll be leaving in March, and I solemnly promise that once I am in Japan this journal will begin to resemble something that's occasionally active! Wheeee!
|Sunday, June 11th, 2006|
My parents and I have all come down with the same cold. Which normally wouldn't really be worth commenting on, if we weren't also travelling from Minnesota to New York.
Got a kleenex?
|Saturday, June 10th, 2006|
Commencement's over. Now, the starving begins.
Also, you know what's a really great way to add class to a graduation ceremony? The Imperial March. Which, unfortunately our band didn't play. But that didn't stop us from humming it.
|Wednesday, April 19th, 2006|
I just finished my comps talk in Japanese. My comps talk in English will take place on Monday at 4:30 somewhere in the LDC. Since I know many of you aren't in the area and won't be able to come, I will post a summary here so that I can mar your friends list with unwanted, unneeded information.