Thursday, August 12, 2010

I love my neighbors!

So yesterday, me and my supervisor went driving to the station (which took forever in rush hour). He was showing me where it was and where to park and how to get there from the parking lot. I get free parking. Which is awesome. If i had to pay for gas + parking, I'd have decided to go by bus. His first route to the lot was too difficult. Not enough distinguishable landmarks for the many turns. But he found another more direct route which I learned pretty fast. And today during work I even made a very simple map which really impressed him. I labeled my apartment, the BOE, Fukuya, the fire department, McDs, Mipple, and Nishigaki... drew flags for the parking lot and arrows toward the station (in case I forget how to walk there).

They have to insist I take a pretty direct route to Kyoto and change trains to go to the station closest to Ryota where we are meeting. That's nice and all... but I rather change one more time and save myself 1600 yen. I think I'll be fine with my route. I hope.

I actually got my homework done for the conference. I had to create my self intro lesson. I made it a big game. i just need to make my clue cards I guess. I got my gaijin card today too :D Saturday I'm going to get my new cell phone!!!! I'll continue to use my softbank as an alarm clock.

I came home today and began to pack for my trip to the city. I don't really have an ideal bag to pack stuff in... I'll have to steal mine back from Ryota LOL. I tried numerous bags and settled on one finally. While going through my bags I found my mp3 player and remembered it needed to be charged (it died in the car this morning). So I took it downstairs and plugged it to my computer. I remembered then I needed to charge my computer because the battery was low from earlier... so I went to plug in the cord and........... GASP!!! More like AHHH! There was a HUGE spider on the wall. Like... with it's legs and all it was as big as the palm of my hand. I panicked.

I was too afraid to catch it... so I thought I'd go to my friendly next next door neighbor (not a typo) who helped me with trash earlier. I ping pong her door and no answer (I hope it's because she wasn't home LOL). So then I don't know who I should ping pong... my next door neighbor has a baby and I figured if she was home alone, she may not be able to help... so I decided on the people diagonal from me (with the guy who speaks some English). The lady answered the door and I told her hi and she remembered who I was (don't know how anyone can forget that one gaijin who lives in the area). I apologized and told her there was a spider in my apartment. And she's like "ok!" and i told her a big one! And she fetches and net (like a big one you skim a pool or fish with) and a plastic bag.

I show her the spider and she goes "Oh that's small" O.O say whaaaaat? ok... those little spiders as big as my pinky nail in my house back in FL... small. This spider??? NOT.SMALL. I'll give her medium size.... but it wasn't small. Luckily I didn't try to throw books at it like the other previous bug that entered my house (RIP) because it took her awhile to catch it. Yes. CATCH IT. SO SHE CAN RELEASE IT OUTSIDE!!! PFFT! I think it's the death penalty for entering my house. Corporal Punishment! None of this SOS (Save Our Spiders) in this house. If you wanted to kill the mosquitos, then you shoulda kept your 8-legged self outside!!

Luckily! I have a bug bomb that is set to go off at 8 am tomorrow morning :D (not really set... but I'll pop it open before leaving). My neighbor told me to open up my little closets and all the doors. I asked her if it will kill all the bugs and she said yes, and I asked her if it will kill spiders, and she said yes. WOOT! I shall get my revenge on you!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blondie ^.^

So another week has started. Oddly it is going by fast considering I get to see my boyfriend on Friday.

Anyways... Monday I was soooo sleepy. The heat isn't doing much to motivate me to go out on the weekends (thought I kept saying "I WILL WALK OUTSIDE FOR MORE THAN 5 MINUTES). So Sunday I took a late nap til almost 5 pm and couldn't go to sleep easily that night. I'm catching up on new dramas that have already started, specifically Hammer Session and Mioka. Anyways... so Monday I was sleepy (I used the shika~nai grammar!) because I only got 5 hours of sleep or so.

I went to my base JHS that morning introduced myself to the third year class of girls (coincidence... the school isn't all girls, they just got lucky). Then I sat at the desk and read the Twilight book I found in my apartment. I read a lot... I was just too sleepy to focus on studying. Then again I only remember so much of what I read specifically. But that's nothing new. Reading really is my worse way of learning something. (on a side note, one thing I have learned, is my learning style is doing. I have to do it to learn it... ie: I drive while my supervisor tells me directions to get some place... I won't learn as well being a passenger... ok enough rambling on learning styles).

After spending the morning at JHS, the JTE and Japanese prof there insisted on coming to my apartment and helping me with my oven. Story: Saturday I wanted to try to make an oven pizza (note: I've only seen an actual oven a few times... usually at houses where I do homestay... my oven if my microwave with the handy oven button... a handy thaw my meat because I forgot to do it myself button too). Anyways... I was use to making oven pizza before at SH2 (dorm)... preheat, pop it in, cook, eat. So I hit the buttons and preheat the oven... pretty simple. Then it stops after 5 seconds and displays U 10 on the little alarm clock like screen. That means absolutely NOTHING to me. So after trying again, I decide to take the plate out of the microwave (the one that sits on the turner). It worked... so I figured it might burn in the oven or something. So it preheats... and I place the pizza on the metal thing... U 10!!! Oy... so I put the pizza on a dish and put the dish on the metal thing... U 10!!! So I burn myself taking it out.... and I give up. Solution... the microwave turning plate goes back in. I didn't think of this because I had to take it out... thinking it doesn't go in the oven.

ANYWAYS... that totally threw off my meal schedule because I had to eat a pizza for lunch. Afterward, I went to the BoE and mostly read. The day went by so fast I thought I had passed out at some point. I needed some water so I went to Nishigaki (a smaller suupaa) before heading home. On the way out I decided to get a coke out of the vending machine while I was at one. 120 yen. I get my wallet out and DRAT i only have 200 yen... thinking I'm 20 yen short. Remember I was sleepy. I started to walk away when I stopped myself "WAIT"... hahahaha...

Today, I went to my other JHS. Let me just say, despite being further, it should be the more easier to access than my other JHS. But... yet... of course being more simple... I have to mess it up. I drove down to where the ES is and turned around then drove up this hill and turned around (I think a more or less illegal move right in front of the police station LOL). Then I found it. Everyone there is nice but a lot of big huge bugs enter the school. Most were dead. I studied Japanese a lot today.

Afterward I went to the BoE to study more. It started raining and to my surprise it seems a Typhoon is a'comin. But I don't think it should get too bad here... just some wind and rain. I tried to explain to my supervisors about Hurricane Ivan and Katrina LOL. Japanese people tend to freak about typhoons no matter how slight the impact (look through my previous blog about Melor aka Melon).

Tomorrow my supervisor will show me how to get to the station and park so I can go to Kyoto Friday. While he's there, I'm going to have him show me how to fill my gas tank. Looks like I will get my gaijin card Thursday or Friday... so Saturday I am going to get my new cell phone with Ryota. I can get it earlier and i have my useless softbank one... but I just rather wait to get my gaijin card and go with Ryota. I'm in no hurry to get one. Unlike most people (understandable... it seems like most of them have no internet at their place... yay for inaka, no way they were going to cancel the internet just so I can set it back up, lord knows how long that would've taken).

So tomorrow should be decent since I have something do besides twiddling my thumbs all day.

Thursday is another story. I'll figure it out.

Speaking twiddling my thumbs, I have decided to take the JET course. Initially, I was going to just stick with my books, and I still am. But it's only 1 lesson a day (4 pages) and I think it will help enforce what I've learned already and maybe I'll learn something new. If anything... it should be easy. The course doesn't start until November and I'm hoping to be about done with this book I'm using now.

You know, speaking wise, my Japanese isn't too bad. Besides vocab, I can usually get out what I want to say. But listening can be a totally different matter sometimes. Speaking of, one of the teachers was wanting my help with some English words... and in the end I felt like a sucky new ALT... I have seriously never seen those words before in my life. I cannot even spell them or remember them now.

Oh wellz.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Week 2 - 終わり~

So week 2 of work is over. Monday I spent the whole day at the BOE, Tuesday I went to my base JHS for the morning and basically met and talked to my JTE and other teachers. The art teacher who sits across from me had all these blocks (some one square, some longer rectangular shapes) and she showed me how to glue them together and make a coaster. LOL so I have this coaster on my desk now. After eating lunch, I went back to the BOE to twiddle my thumbs.

OK, oddly in my post last week I didn't talk about me getting a car!! So last Friday me and 2 of my supervisors went to get a car about an hour drive away. We pulled into the rental place and there were a few cars sitting there. None of them very appealing but if and old car means cheaper rental price, I'll take it... but I just knew I was going to get the ugly red one. BUT I drove off in the cute little blue car. I didn't drive anywhere that weekend since I had just gotten the car and still a little nervous about driving.

So back to Tuesday. I come into the BOE and they tell me we are changing the car. So I thought maybe the found a better deal on a better car or something. So we go back to the same place..... and guess what is waiting for me? The ugly red car -_- Well I got some free service... I got to drive the blue car for free and didn't have to refill the tank before returning it AND I had free fireworks in my new red car. It'll do I guess.

Wednesday and Thursday I continued to twiddle my thumbs (this is why I haven't been updating).

Today I spent the day at my base JHS. I did a short self intro to 7 of my students that were present (boys were at a baseball game, 3rd yrs at a meeting at a high school, 3 students absent... so I talked to 7 girls). Then I twiddled my thumbs all day at the JHS. I can't wait for summer to end LOL.

I found out that the largest amount of students I have is 49 (and I think that is at the ES). The base school has 29 or so students. All the other have 30 or so. SMALL SCHOOLS!

This weekend I don't have any plans but I'm going to try to walk to the beach. Get a little exercise. Get out of the apartment. This time next week hopefully I will be arriving at Enmachi eki and can spend some time in the city :) And about a week after coming home I get to back again :D YAY FOR BUSINESS TRIPS!!

Anyways... nothing going on. I study Japanese all day. I think I pretty much decided to not enroll in JET's course. I'm just going to use my own book which I hope to be almost finished with by the time JET's course begins. People speak so fast here that basic phrases are shortened... like otsukarasama and arigatougozaimasu and ohayougozaimasu... LOL. I still have that problem of people speaking to me and I don't realize it until all I hear is "OUHOEGAO DESUKA?" (that first part is jibberish by the which is what I hear when I'm not listening).

I'm watching Hachi now on TV :) Cute puppy ^.^

I want an Akita... and I'm gonna name it bobo. Get a kitty and name it lala. We'll be a happy family <3

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Almost FRIDAY!

I'm not sure if I'm should be excited or not. If I was in more of a city area, heck yeah, I'd be happy... but no. I'm in the country side... like, I'm pretty sure it doesn't get more country than this... and nowhere to go, nothing to do, nobody to see. I mean there are only so many things I can hold off to do for the weekend (finish unpacking, organizing, reorganizing, snooping through stuff left here).

Anyways... a summary of the interesting stuff:

I went with a group on the 4:30 am bus to Atlanta airport, it was too early. We sat for 2 hours at the gate. Our plane was late, thus they held our international flight for us =D It was nice. I have found that I shouldn't eat airplane food unless I have to. It just doesn't agree with me :( At one point I stood around the bathroom for an hour... but there was a whole party in the back, hence the hour of standing there. (FYI, I just saw the CUTEST japanese commercial LOL).

Anyways, we arrived safe and sound and not a minute too soon (thank god there wasn't a repeat of last years flight... Me: "YAY WE'RE HERE!" Pilot "There's a lot of traffic we are going to fly around for 10-15 minutes" Me: "NOOOOOOOOO GET ME OFF THIS THING!!!"). The customs/immigration line was SO.F*N.LONG! I've NEVER stood in a line that long. Except at Disney World. I think it was seriously 1 hour. Put it this way, by the time we made it through the airport and on the bus, it had been 2 hours. So we ride the bus to the hotel...

The hotel was nice, but the food was mediocre. Orientation was, no offense to people who worked so hard, boring most of the time. There were some speakers that were able to hold my attention and make me laugh... but you know I swear "Every Situation is Different" is the key phrase to the JET Program... so how can these people tell me specifics about me job? Maybe general information... but we are big enough to read the handbook right? Oh well...

After orientation I headed with the other JETs from my area by shinkansen to our placements. Once I met my supervisors, I hopped in the car, and on my way I went. I said goodbye to civilization as it slowly disappeared behind me. I'm soooo inaka that my softbank doesn't work (which has unfortunately disappeared... hopefully when the alarm goes off tomorrow I'll find it). We stopped to get groceries then finally arrived. It's as big as I imagined. It's too big. Oh well.

I hardly slept last night. It's so hot in this apartment. I took a cold shower the next morning LOL. I was off after 8 with my supervisor to the BoE. I filled out my tax paperwork, gaijin card paperwork, then sat at my desk, then visited the schools. Somehow... I now speak chinese and play tennis =/ The tennis I can explain but I'm not sure about Chinese. I told my boss I studied Spanish in high school and French in middle school. At some point he decided I spoke Chinese too LOL. He asked me about my sports and I told him I use to go to the gym and play racquetball. He says "oh soft tennis". I figured this is racquetball... because there is a word for tennis (tenisu). So at a school he's announcing I play soft tennis... and outside I am shown the girls playing soft tennis... which is tennis -_- ooyyyyy... OK. Well at least I can say some words and chinese and can possibly play some tennis (just for fun). oy...

Then I went back to the supermarket for things I forgot. My male supervisor took me. LUCKILY we ran into a female teacher... because I needed to my female stuff :p and he hid on another aisle and didn't want to touch the female stuff... or acknowledge its presence LOL. It was pretty funny to me.

Anyways... tomorrow is Friday! yay? we'll see... I can at least catch up on sleep.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Blog and the JET Program

To make things easier for everyone, I will continue to use THIS blog as my blog for the JET Program. So nobody has to deal with changing links, I don't have to set up ANOTHER blog and link it to facebook, yada yada yada. So maybe this is just easier for me....

But anyways... I did find out at the end of January this year I had an interview for JET in Atlanta. In February, after a 5 hour drive with my brother to Atlanta, and another drive back, I went through another lesson in patience. Tips for future JETs: during the interview, be yourself, know your application, and SoP. Do not memorize your strength/weakness speech and why you are the perfect candidate. This interview is much different than the one for your current low pay job. Also, with JET, get use to long waits.

In April, I received my acceptance, and recently I received my placement: Kyoto. I did not even request anywhere NEAR Kansai (the Osaka, Kyoto region, where I stayed during my most recent study abroad). I applied for this before I met my boyfriend. I was very surprised and VERY happy to get Kyoto as my placement, since it is the same prefecture as him :)

I am the only JET in my area, the next JET is 45 minutes away. At first I was pretty nervous about being placed out in the middle of nowhere. But then I see a lot of JETs being placed so close together in these bigger towns and little cities... and I just think that I can really learn Japanese faster being in this little town, I can learn more of the culture, spend less money... a lot of good things will come out of this placement and after emailing my predecessor, I'm excited about the activities I can partake in and learning new things.

So my new life starts this yaer. Nervous. Excited. This is will benefit me so greatly... I can see my goals so clearly now :)