Friday, November 27, 2009

Adventures in Volunteering and Modeling

This week was filled with awesome activities... and some not so awesome activities *cough* tests, quizzes *cough*

Tuesday, I had a test in Spoken Japanese, went to my teaching meeting and received the lesson plan, went to my relationships class, then to Tonoyama Daiichi Elementary school! We taught "I like..."/"I don't like..." using mainly school subjects. Speaking of school subjects, here is a schedule of a class at Tonoyama Daiichi. Subjects include: Reading, Japanese, Social Studies, Calligraphy, Integrated Studies, Math, PE, Music, Math, Science, etc etc


Wednesday, I had permission from my Kawano-sensei to go to an intercultural exchange at a kindergarten rather than going to class. I found asking the teachers and telling me what I am doing and I why I find it important and a great opportunity etc etc works very well. So, I went with a small group to Konoike Kindergarten. Note: This seems a lot like a preschool, meaning kindergarten is in preschools here, and also I'll note here elementary schools are 1st-6th grade.


This is Konoike Kindergarten. Looks like a castle eh? Pretty cool! We played with 5-6 year old kids. When we got there, we went up to the room and the kids were playing just some indoor games (tag, jump rope... wait those don't sound indoor LOL) and I jumped in and introduced myself and played with kids until they left temporarily. Basically here we played head, shoulders, knees, and toes with them and taught them Rock Paper Scissors in English. No matter what language I play this game in, the Japanese kids always win. I'm not sure why they are so good at! Moving on, I had a test that day in Communication. While studying, I was sitting in the lounge by myself when a guy came up to me and started chatting. Then he got to why he wanted to talk... he has a friend at a fashion school who needs someone to model clothes... well been there done that, guess I'll do it again. I gave him my email to pass on.

Thursday I had a quiz in Japanese, started watching a drama called "Kekkon Simulator" (Wedding Simulation) and we did our role plays in relationships. Ours was so-so. The other groups had some great ideas. My group had an idea but when I was trying to work on the script, I was finding it too short, so I started thinking the idea was too simple and slept on it... and wrote up a rough idea and new script which we adopted. This past Monday the group put it together. I guess because it was so hastily put together, it wasn't so good. It worked. At least I'm not the only one who feels the role play didn't act the actions perfectly...

Today, Friday, I woke up early and Skype'd with my family for Thanksgiving! It was nice to see them and talk... even though it was 5:30 am >.< I have decided to buy one of those tiny fleece blankies to wrap up in. Given they are worth the price.

This morning, another quiz in Japanese and continued to watch the drama. I took my work due in Communication to my professor since I was taking another holiday to do an intercultural exchange at an elementary school. Before going, I met up with Takuma and his girlfriend in the lounge near the atrium. We talked for awhile, his girlfriend and I trying to get him to stop smoking. It's a funny conversation. She is very pretty :) I'm going to his house next weekend for a Nabe party. His girlfriend will be there too.

I went to Kasuga Elementary with a decent size group of Japanese and exchange students. It took 4 taxis, free for us, to get to the school.


There is the school. We arrived and the kids were so excited to see us... constantly saying hello... in fact some started yelling "HISASHIBURI" (long time no see) and I was thinking "Hisashiburi???? Have I met you before???" haha. We made name tags and visited two classrooms where students made various booths and taught us about various aspects of Japanese culture such as places, pop culture, sports, etc. Afterward we played dodgeball outside. Not as scary as the dodgeball game from hell that we played at Meirin.


Mai and I sitting at the tiny desks :) Oh elementary school... to be young again!

After volunteering I broke the Amber record from walking to the station from the school. Today I was meeting Junko, the design student, to model clothes in the a photo shoot. I was only a few minutes late thanks to my fast walking. I didn't realize the school was so far away so that messed me up.

The school is in Shinsaibashi and originated in Paris. A very good school, very pretty. The guy who took the photos designed the clothes and the photos are for a competition, if he wins he gets to go to London. A girl did my make up for about 15 minutes before doing my hair. I wore 3 different outfits. Took a lot of photos. Modeling is harder than it seems, but it was enjoyable :) I was paid too, a bit more than I expected... I do not mind them paying for my travel expenses and buying a drink for me... but anymore just makes me feel weird. I understand though from the previous stylist I modeled for in the fashion show that even as students they take their work seriously and it's like a business to them. I hope the guy does good! His clothes were awesome! He is going to mail me pictures as well. I'm excited to see! I kept hearing good compliments during the photo shoot, and I laughed inside when he said "STAY" and took the picture of my pose from every angle.

Tomorrow, I'm going to hang out with Ryota. Looking forward to it :) This week has been pretty good.

Current status: PooPeD!!! as in tired...

Time to layout my schedule for next week to see what to expect! Going back to Tonoyama Daiichi :)