Monday, February 04, 2008

Random pics and updates and a fifth year

Ayumi, Sayoko, Keiko & Yuki
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

The pic above is from the same day as the video below - my 5 Facts video I made since I was tagged on YouTube.
These are the 4 girls that helped me make the video, so once again thanks to Ayumi, Sayoko, Keiko and Yuki for giving up some of their free time after lunch on two days to help me make a fun video.

The picture below is from a recent concert I went to in Izumo. It was a cool "arts festival" with many different types of performances, including a great taiko performance by Jr High kids, as well as chorus singing and brass bands.

Tomorrow (today actually) is the Super Bowl in America. Japanese TV carries the game live here on Monday morning with the time difference, and I always take that day off from work to watch.
My team - The San Diego Chargers - got close this year, but lost in the penultimate game to the predicted champs - The New England Patriots. I don't really care who wins, but it'd be nice to see the Patriots complete their perfect, undefeated season with one last win.

It snowed heavily for the first time this winter season on Friday, and by chance I had to drive up into the mountains to visit my smallest elementary school, Usagi Sho. I was a little nervous about driving up there, but it was fine, and I had a good time participating in the "mamemaki" ceremony to celebrate "Setsubun" - the offical first day of Spring. More on that when I post the videos I shot that day.

So this Friday, the 8th, is the deadline for telling my employers if I want to stay in Japan for one more year (from July 2008 to July 2009) or not. I'll tell you, my dedicated readers, before I tell them...

Yes - I'm going to stay a fifth and final year as a JET ALT.

I can't say that my 4th year was the best I've had here, but I hope to make some changes and set some goals for myself to make sure my 5th year is a more worthwhile use of my time.

Things at work always change in April, since that's when the new Japanese school year begins and staff changes mean current teachers leave and new teachers arrive. This can be good or bad, depending on who leaves and who stays. So I'm hoping that some good change will take place in April and I can make my final, full-academic year here a memorable one.

Today I watched volleyball in the morning and then went off to watch my Jr High soccer teams from both Hamayama Chu and Taisha Chu. By the time I got out to Hikawa at around 1:15, it was raining lightly. It was also about 5.C (42.F) outside, so it was cold and wet and muddy, since Japanese schools have an aversion to grass.

But luckily I was prepared with proper gloves, umbrella and coat and I was able to tough it out. i got to see both my teams win. The soccer boys did much better than my volleyball girls - teams from both my JHs lost in their morning matches.

With the writers strike halting most American TV shows, it was great to see the first episode of season 4 of LOST via iTunes this week. I'm a big fan of the show and can't wait to see how they're going to keep it interesting this season.

I started private Japanese lessons this week with a local tutor that many of the other area ALTs also use. She's a nice lady who speaks great English and I hope to be able to really get back into studying Japanese.

OK - that's about it for my ramblings today.

Hope you have a good week. :)


Arts Festival concert - 8.jpg

No comments: