The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 7 September 2006

Speeches, lessons and bicycles

School started last Friday and I've been mad busy. At the moment the students and teachers are busy with preparing for the school cultural festival which is to happen this Friday and Saturday - yes, it means I have to work on Saturday too, but we get half-days on Monday and Tuesday to make up for it. I had to present a speech for the opening ceremony last Friday at the main school and its branch school, and I thought I'd make it easier by saying the Japanese translation of the English speech. Many teachers and students now mistakenly think I am fluent in Japanese :P Ah well, I'm sure they'll realise sooner or later with all the "Sumimasen, wakarimasen" that I know stuff-all.

So far, the lessons I've been giving have been my self-introduction which includes a 'run + write' activity and a betting game (much better than just me standing up the front blabbing away in English that no one understands). It's very interesting how each classrooms have very different dynamics. I have a very difficult class (rowdy noisy boys in a non-academic class who shows little respect for my JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) and me) yet in the very same school there is a class with very intelligent students who could understand most of what I say. I teach each class with a JTE, and there are five at this school.

Anyway, it's really started to cool down, and it has been raining non-stop today. On Sunday we made the two hour journey into Kanazawa (capital city of this prefecture) to buy a bike for me, and it was a success! (For those that don't know, we intended to bring both our bikes here. However, after getting our bike shop back in Perth to pack the bikes, we found on the very day of our departure that alas, we would have less than 5 kg of our baggage allowance if we were to bring both bikes. Hence, it was decided that with Rob's bike was coming, and mine was staying.) We rode the 10km to school and back today, and it took only 25-30 minutes (we were anticipating 1 hour to account for the hills!). And yes, we rode back in the pouring rain. It did feel good to be riding again though..

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