Thursday, August 7, 2008

Catherine-Long time no see

Hello all,

I'm sorry that I am a terrible blogger. I just tend to forget that this is here which is why it's fortunate that Patrick and Sara are such good bloggers. I could tell you all about the various things I've been doing since my last post but as it's been several months I won't. Instead I will talk about all the recent events.
For our job we work at one school for one year. The catch is that we start work at the beginning of second term rather than first term. Recently, meaning the end of July, we all ended our last term at our old schools and prepared to head to our new ones. For me this meant cleaning out my desk, saying goodbye to all the teachers and students at Josei during various events. To say a proper farewell to the students I gave a speech in English and in Japanese telling the students how much I loved working at Josei and how much I would miss them all. I cried two lines into it but I had come prepared with tissues. After my speech a student of mine gave me one in return. He had written in both English and Japanese and though the English was not perfect I was very impressed and moved by what he had to say. I was also given a bouquet of flowers. It was very nice.
At the end of the day, after my farewell to the students, I went to a nomikai with all the teachers from Josei. There I gave another speech that was much shorter and ended with the line, "Please drink a lot." I am happy to say that they had no trouble complying. This nomikai was a chance for me to say goodbye and thankyou to the people I had worked with for a year. I really loved being and Josei for a lot of reasons but the staff that sat around drinking and talking with me was a big part of it. I miss them already.
The next major event for me was actually a series of events, namely Board of Education seminars spread out over the course of this past week. These seminars included the four new AET's: Rylan, Alicia, Kim, and Dan. These four were all SICE students and had been to Morioka before for four months on a homestay program that included two and half days a week teaching English but I still felt a little like a senpai. We spent time going over teaching methods for both middle school and elementary and talked about living and working in Morioka. We had a contract ceremony to start the year off right, visited our new schools to introduce ourselves, and attended workshops with other teachers about teaching English.
Tomorrow is the first official day at school for all the AETs but Rylan. He is in the Tamayama area and will be visiting all five of his schools tomorrow. I am looking forward to starting at my new school, Kuroishino Jr. High, and I hope that it will be another great year.
As I think back over the past year at Josei and in Japan I feel like I have learned a lot about Japan and Japanese culture but I also think that I will always be surprised. I know that I have learned a lot about being an English teacher because I had three amazing role models to learn from and I'm glad but I also think that I will still make a lot of mistakes. Teaching may be a process of learning everyday how you can mess up and then never doing that again.
Well that's enough.

Until the next time I remember or am reminded,


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