Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 26) Sarah Palin

If you're in America and are going to vote in November, please take the time to watch this vid and really consider who you're voting for.


A Scotsman Who Can't Watch A Movie Without Shouting At ...

a few wee moments of silliness...

this one really made me laugh out loud!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Sumo - Tokyo Day 7 - Asashoryu v Tochinonada 9-20-08

This is a good example of my Sumo coverage on my YouTube channel.

I tape certain matches off my TV, watching the English play-by-play, and provide my own commentary on the wrestlers and the action.

I've really come to love Sumo over my years here, and will certainly miss it when I leave.


Rick Rolled - live in Japan

In case you don't know what "rick rolling" is, here is a link to an article on the phenomenon at Wikipedia:


Just 30 seconds of me being silly.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Teach English: EFL/ESL Part 1/6

Richard, the former JET who started his own business promoting English education in Japan, has just posted an hour long seminar he presented on teaching elementary kids on YouTube.

He posted it in six 10-minute segments, and this is part one.

It's worth checking out if you're interested in ESL teaching.


PS - the other five parts can be found on YT by clicking on the YT logo on this vid.

Saying goodbye to Sports Day

I'm finished with Sports Day.

I went to three this year. The first one was at my main Jr High- Taisha on Friday the 5th.

Then the next day, Saturday the 6th, I went to Taisha High School and got to see my friend, Ang, and a bunch of my former students.

Finally, this past week on Thursday the 11th I had Sports Day at my 2nd Jr High - Hamayama.

It's been an exhausting two weeks, but it's so, so, so much fun that I'll really miss it come this time next year.

Blue was the color to be this year, as the Blue Team won at both my Jr High schools.

I've had a rare experience as an ALT, having been at the same school for 5 years now, and getting to participate in 5 consecutive Sports Days at Taisha JH.

I had a great time this year and I took tons of pictures and many minutes of video.

The above clip was me sitting down in the background, intending to film a little wrap-up tag for something I'll edit together later, and the emotion of this being my last year at TJH just came over me and I got a little choked up.

For the students, especially the 9th graders, this is THE big event of their year, with only bunka sai (culture festival) left ahead of them before it's all about studying for the rest of the year.

Thanks for watching.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

life update

Hello All -

Just a text post to let you know what's happening with me these days.

I'm not sure how many "readers" I have left at this blog, since most of my time is now spent on my YouTube channel.
The wind got knocked out of my sails a bit for updating this blog, but I still care about it, and hope to be back more often.

As always, September is a busy time for me. Now that I have two Jr High schools, I have two Sports Days - both of which just took place. They are incredibly fun events, but really exhausting, so I'm very happy that this weekend is a 3-day weekend in Japan, and I have Monday off.

Of course, I don't have any money to do anything, but that's fine, since I just want to rest anyways.
It's weird working at a job where I've been recognzied for doing a good job, yet I haven't gotten a raise in 4 years. I knew this about teaching on JET when I took the job, but it's tough. Also, my tax situtation has changed, and while it's too complicated to explain here, basically I know make about $250 less every month, so my salary has actually gone down. :(

Makes is hard to travel and enjoy my final year here, but I'll manage.

Of course, I really don't have any friends to go off and do things with anyway, so it's always the struggle of "Do I want to go to such-and-such a place by myself."
I have a few friends in Shimane that when I see them, we have fun hanging out, but not the type of friends that just call up to do stuff on the weekends.
Part of the problem of staying 5 years is you outlast the other JETs you arrived with. Of course, I could make new friends, but it's a little tougher for me I think since I'm older, but I don't want this to sound like a pity party. If I wanted to be more connected to the other JETs here, I probably could be with a little effort on my part. But I guess I've gotten used to living alone and being alone, and for the most part it doesn't bother me all that much. I'm not gonna lie and say I'm not lonely, since as a single guy for 4 years now, I am, but my life is my life and I enjoy it for what it is.

A great thing has happened since I've become invloved in the Japan vlogging community - I now get invited to attend functions in other parts of Japan, and just invited to hang out with other Japan vloggers when I'm in their city. It's a really nice community made up of some fine folks, and I hope to take them up on their offers of hospitality before I leave Japan.

The main thing keeping me super busy in the next few weeks will be practicing with my students for upcoming English speech contests.
I have two 9th grade girls at each of my 2 JHs comepting in the Lafcadio Hearn contest that takes place on Sept 28th.
So that means practicing with 2 of them at one school from 4:15 to 5pm and then driving to the other school for practice from 5:15 to 6pm.

This means that I'll miss watching Sumo some days, but I still intend to vlog about watching and I'll be able to see all the matches at the weekends.

This year I had two fantastic sports days at both my schools. It was hot and sunny most days, and I have quite the farmer's tan right now, but I really had a great time. It's such a relaxed way to come back to school after summer vacation - I get to wear shorts to school everyday and we don't have any classes - that it'll be hard to get back into the regular routine this week.

I also went to the Sports Day at my local high school, and saw a bunch of former students who are now HS students. I took so many pictures at all 3 events, and this year, I really shot a ton of video clips. What I'll do with all this footage and pictures, I don't know, but it's nice to have as a reminder of the fun we had.

I'm watching a ton of American TV from iTunes right now - i just subscribed to the new seasons of "Prison Break" and "Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles." And I look forward to the start of "Lost" and "Heroes" and other favorite shows that will begin again soon.
I'm still making my way thru the HBO show "The Wire," and I'm simply amazed at how good a show it is. I'm in the middle of season three right now.

I haven't been to the movies in a while (see above item about having no money), but I hope to go tomorrow since payday was Friday. I'll probably see Hancock, as there isn't much else out here right now.
I go to the movies by myself, and this has never bothered me, as I've been doing that since I was 16.

Anyway - I think that's about enough for now. I hope all is well with you.

See ya,

Friday, September 12, 2008