One thing I forgot to mention about last week was Setsubun which is the Bean-Throwing Festival celebrated on Feb 3rd. Basically, someone wears a demon mask and then you all hurl some soya beans at them to ward away evil spirits.
I had seen these masks in all the supermarkets and convenience stores for about a month, but had no idea what they were until the day. Ryuta and his friend Yui went and got us the beans and masks and we went out on the street and looked like loopers, tossing beans, eating beans, and making a big old mess on the very clean streets.
For some reason, our masks had TV Digital written on them, maybe to symbolise the demonic nature of television and the way it rots our brains or whatever. I dunno.
So, onto this week... I got a package from Kate Molloy with a book and some chocolate, which was awesome. I'm going to go join to my local library this week because apparently the English section in it is pretty decent. I will confirm or deny this next week.
Work went fine as usual, until I got ambushed by the other teacher and the school administrator. They sat me down and questioned me about what ideas I have and what changes I want to make to the curriculum and that kind of thing. I have barely been told anything about the curriculum as it stands, or what kind of standard or goals they have set for the kids. Also I have absolutely no teaching experience, so I was totally caught off guard and I didn't like it. I wormed my way out of it though, went home and did some research, and I'm all set for Tuesday. I'm going to go in and present myself as an ambitious go-getter type, brimming with new ideas and yadda yadda yadda. Hopefully. Really, I just hope I don't get fired.
My private student cancelled his lesson, because he's a flake and has rescheduled every lesson we've had so far. I'm glad he paid me in advance.
I met with a new private student for a trial lesson, which went well. He is a policeman. His English is really good, so I got really nervous trying to think what the fuck am I going to teach this chap, but it turns out he wants to do conversation style lessons. It'll be nice not to have to plan a whole lesson, I can just have an idea of some topics to discuss if the conversation runs dry. He was convinced that westerners don't eat fish, so I told him about chippers, and he seemed fascinated. He sent me an email thanking me for an awesome lesson, which consisted of 5 sentences and 26 exclamation marks.
My friend Kate came over on Friday to give me a haircut seeing as I made a balls of it trying to cut it myself. She's got mad skills.
I braved a snow blizzard to meet her in Shinjuku. We hit up a bookshop with a whole floor of English book. I was tempted to buy a book from the Japanese culture section, entitled "Understanding Japanese Humour". When we went back to Nakano we stopped at my local Disk Union, where I did my best not to look at any records while Kate dropped some serious cash. Sigh.
After haircuts, we grabbed Derry and headed down to the local Denny's for free coffee refills, chain smoking and a gigantic ice cream sundae.
Today, I went to a free teaching seminar in Shinjuku. I figured I could use all the help I can get as far as my teaching skills are concerned, but it was boring as hell. The first two presentations were pretty basic shit that I did in my TEFL course, so I bailed at the lunch break and went off to have some fun with Derry.
Despite the snow blizzard two days ago and all the rain yesterday, today was absolutely beautiful with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine. We seized this opportunity to finally go up to the observation deck on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
I didn't realise this post was going to be so massive. It's after midnight here now so Happy Valentine's Day from Futureland, hope y'all have a good one xx