I’m a cool person, orientations are annoying, the sky is blue.

11 Oct

In my current pattern of starting with a non sequitur, I’m still sick, BUT a few days ago I decorated my phone!  Decorating things excessively, especially with stickers, is a common practice among Japanese girls and young women (and sometimes others!) and since I’d never had the chance to do something like during my lifetime, I decided to go for it.  I ordered a clear phone case and bought a ton of stickers to make it embarrassingly sparkly and girly, and… well, at least I accomplished the embarrassing!  As I’ve mentioned before, I have a lot of stickers that have come in idol magazines, and so I decided to make my phone case (like everything else in my life) idol themed.  Just to clarify, Yuri is the name of the guy whose face is now on my phone, and JUMP stands for his group, Hey! Say! JUMP.  Essentially, from this, you can deduce just how cool of a kid I am.

Completely unrelatedly, last Thursday, the new Kiryu ALTs were required to go to an ALT seminar in Isesaki, a few train stops west from Kiryu.  Thus far, JET lectures, seminars, and orientations have been far from my favourite part of the JET experience, but since I didn’t really have a choice, I bucked up and hopped on the 8:05 train from Kiryu to Isesaki and got a cab with my fellow new ALTs to Isesaki.  This seminar was apparently not something that all new JETs were required to attend; unlike the previous JET functions that I had been to, there were only about half the new JETs and a few old JETs from Gunma that I recognized there, and there were a few ALTs from private companies, as well.  Since this was a change from the past, I was hoping that this would be slightly more enjoyable than past experiences… but I was wrong.

The morning proved to be mostly boring– luckily, all the presentations were shorter than they were supposed to be, so as a result, we got quite a bit of break time.  The highlight of the morning was a patronizing presenter who spent his time telling us, essentially, that we were young and naive and that we didn’t know how to engage our students.  His message– that we shouldn’t come in with unreal expectations– was valuable, but he managed to present it in the most offensive and patronizing way possible, including asking people what their previous expectations of Japan were and how they were disproved, all the while still spouting stereotypes about Japan.  Cool.

The afternoon was a bit more interesting, with current ALTs giving examples of their lessons and how they engaged their classes and worked with different sorts of kids with different ability levels.  They taught some new games and activities, and then put us in small groups to share one of our lessons or methods with the class.  I hate being asked to do that sort of thing on the spot, but it turned out fine, and I definitely learned some new things. However, as with any large group of new people, there was a lot of posturing and some people who definitely grated on my nerves.  But at least I was paired with a good group and we managed to put together a good presentation.

And hey, since we were out of Kiryu, I managed to have Coco Ichibanya curry for lunch.  And that pretty much makes up for everything.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: