Archive for November, 2007

Homeroom teacher? Well, almost…

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

So yesterday, the teacher in charge of the third year (i.e. my boss) comes to my desk and tells me I have to go with him to the principal’s office immediately, which kinda made me feel like I was a kid again. On our way, he tells me he has a request, but that he can’t tell me until we’re in the office. When we walk in, I find the principal, the vice-principal, the head of the office, the head of Schools Affairs and her assistant are already there. Unusually enough, instead of sitting on one of the two sofas facing each other as I usually would, they ask me to sit on a chair at one end of the table, directly across from the principal. I’m thinking to myself:”Boy, what the hell did I do!?”, as the principal starts explaining one of the 3rd year homeroom teachers has to take sick leave at least until the end of the year, and that they would like me to take over until then. By then I’m thinking more like: “Boy, what the hell am I gonna do!?”, but seeing this as an opportunity to learn even more about the way things are done around here, I agree. Ok, I’m not really a full-fledged homeroom teacher, since I would need a Japanese licence to have the legal right to write the school register (students’ personal files), and even if I did, the time it would take me to do so would make it physically impossible, as these are all hand-written. Nonetheless, I have to go to homeroom twice a day, make sure the students are behaving, and of course, my seal has a lot more weight now, as I have to stamp all of my students’ official papers (already had to use it 3 times today). Yep, it’s a whole new ball game…

November

Monday, November 5th, 2007

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Yep, it’s already November. Here in Miyagi Prefecture, it’s time for “kouyou“, which literally means “red leaves”. The activity simply consists in going to the country side and watch autumn’s colorful leaves. The difference is it’s such a popular activity here in Japan, they give reports about the leaves’ coloration as part of the daily weather forecast on TV. Therefore, this month’s theme is the autumn leaves.

November’s header and wall paper.

Sayonara, Ainori…

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

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I guess some of you have seen it coming for a while, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to write my weekly Ainori summaries anymore. I just posted my last Ainori summary (Ainori #375 & #376) since the rough draft was almost done anyway. It’s not that I’ve lost interest, on the contrary, but I simply don’t have the time to concentrate on this on a weekly basis. Work at school and an increase in private lessons are partly responsible, but there are personal reasons, too. Of course, I’m always busy studying kanji and vocabulary to take the Japanese Proficiency Test Level 2, but for the past few weeks, my wife and I have been exercising for at least an hour everyday, something we vowed to continue until we are old and gray. We’ve also been busy preparing for our next trip to Vietnam in December. Last but not least, we finally made the decision to stay in Japan indefinitely, so we started thinking about buying a house, something notoriously difficult and time-consuming for foreigners in Japan.

It’s been a fun ride (no pun intended), and I’d like to thank all the Ainori fans who supported me during the past 2 years by reading my summaries, and posting comments. I really appreciate it. 長い間、大変お世話になりました。m(_ _)m I will still post on MY BLOG intermittently, and I hope some of you will keep coming once in a while. Sayonara, Ainori…