amae: (happy times)
So I'm around, alive, and doing things.

I've kind of been avoiding posting anything, because my mood has been so up and down lately while I've been getting used to living here. Which is hilarious, because this is my third time in Japan! Where was this odd culture shock when I was first here? At any rate, it's been showing signs of gradually receding so I'm happy. :3

I think a good factor is because now I'm actually teaching. And it's so relieving, you have no idea. Having to sit in the teacher's room with absolutely nothing to do has been so excruciating, especially while my JHS was preparing for Sports Day. I felt so left out of everything, it was really getting to me. Now I actually have a purpose, and it feels good. Hopefully this feeling will last.

I teach at one junior high school and four elementaries, so five schools in total. I thought this would be difficult to juggle, but it's relatively simple since I spend most of my time at my JHS. The elementary schools are on rotation, so end up going to them every other week. The elementary kids are SO CUTE. You have no idea. It feels so great to teach them because they give you such a great reaction no matter what you do. This month has been all about me introducing myself, and it's hilarious the things that they end up getting exciting about. Like, when I mention that Ohio is next to Kentucky, they nearly explode in laughter because the only "Kentucky" they know is KFC, lol. Little things like that gets them so riled up, it's hard not to smile.

JHS...is not so easy to please, admittedly. They're getting to that age where being interested in things isn't so cool anymore, so their reaction is much more muted. But in the end they're still young, so when they find that they have something in common with me, they still get excited. Like this one kid in one of my second year classes, he got SO excited when I mentioned in passing that I like L'arc en Ciel lol. He was like, "What's your favorite song?!" And when I told him I like Hyde the best, he asked, "Okay, so what aspect of Hyde do you like the best?!". I was dignified and told him that I thought Hyde was really cool and I liked his voice because I didn't think it was appropriate to gush about his ABSOLUTE BEAUTY to a 13 year old boy, but...yes.

For all grades, the fact that I draw has helped me immensely with actually getting them to engage in conversation with me. It's no surprise that the elementary school kids get excited, but the JHS kids are just as drawn to it (that pun was totally unintentional l-lol) and that makes things a lot easier for me in the long run. It also helps that I speak Japanese so they're not afraid to talk to me, but the fact that they have something to talk to me about is crucial. One kid looked at my Lelouch picture and told me to draw Zero next, lol. And I got invited to the Art Club! I was hoping something like that would happen, because I wanted to interact with some of the kids outside of class as well.

I'm hoping that with some of these encounters I'll be able to weasel a bit of English out of them here and there, and if not, at least let them have a meaningful time with someone from outside their country. Little things like this can really change your perspective on things, so I hope that's what I'll be doing with them.

Incidentally, given my interests, I was asked (in English) if I was an otaku. OTL I...gracefully bowed out of that question. I'm so glad I removed that SUPAR GAY picture from my sketchbook, or I would be known for being a little more than an otaku pretty quickly hahaha...ha.

So I guess things are going pretty well! Now I need to see if I can get my hands on a cool Halloween costume for my inevitable Halloween class. Maybe I should dress up as an Otokoyaku again, hahaha.

March 2012

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