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Start of boring details.

Today, so far, has been interesting. Yesterday was moreso. So let's go in order.

After my little rant on LJ I had a lesson with N-sensei, who is wonderful and actually gets the idea of “team teaching.” This is a miracle. Even some of the teachers I don’t have a problem with seem to believe that team teaching involves making the AET do all the preparation and lead the class while they mark work in the back. Yes, this happens. Joy.

But anyway, N-sensei is great and wonderful and brilliant and joins in. Afterwards we both had 6th period free so we sat down a talked. She knows about F-sensei (also known as supervisor at visiting school) and encourages me to vent. So I vented. And vented. For about thirty minutes. By the end I was feeling lots better and considerably calmer. I like N-sensei. She’s great.

After school I had all of an hour to get myself together before heading out to teach little Aoi and Shiori. Dinner was some chicken soup I’d made a while back and frozen. I just threw in some veggies while I was reheating it and presto! Chicken and vegetable soup. Yummy – especially with soy sauce. I think I’m a soy sauce addict; I use it whenever appropriate and add it instead of salt to lots of sauces and things.

Back on the subject; Taught Aoi and Shiori about Malaysia. Actually, it was more like I showed them the pictures on my computer and gave them brief explanations in English, followed by an even briefer explanation in Japanese. Then we played ‘Go Fish.’ Those two have really come out of their shells with me now, and we’ve finally progressed to making faces and using dramatic voices during the game – especially when we have to give cards away. This is all part of my secret plan to teach them the use of basic intonation and gestures while they think they are having fun and using easy English. Bwahahahaha!

After that (and the obligatory eating of cake at the end of the lesson with the whole family barring father) it was off to A. International Association and the discussion of British Imperial rule, it’s pros, it’s cons, the after-effects and then… somehow… on to self-sufficiency. I was there with S, as usual, and most of the discussion we agreed on the basic facts, but as usual she said something I was pretty certain was wrong. The trouble is, she says such things with so much confidence that it’s hard to contradict her. Case in point; I know Australia doesn’t have a President, I know its Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II, but when she said that good old Oz had a President and I contradicted her she got in a strop. Then she said that the Queen is the Head of State of all the countries in the Commonwealth… I’m certain that’s wrong too. I know she’s the monarch of 16 of the member states, but 33 are republics and 5 have their own monarchies. By that point I didn’t dare say anything though, so I kept shtum and the Japanese members of our little group got a whole lot of erroneous information. I need to be more assertive about things like this, but the one time I actually put that into practice, she complained that I was contradicting her all the time – which I wasn’t. Most of the time, maybe, but she was talking about the law, which I studied and she didn’t so you’d think she’d accept that I’m more likely to be right. Anyway, she was in a mood with me for a week because I had dared to tell her she might be wrong about a few things, and I really don’t want that to happen again. She’s a really good friend and most of the time we get on really well – she just happens to hate being wrong, won’t accept other people’s opinions, and is given to minor temper tantrums. I can cope with this. Really.

Anyway, that was yesterday. Today has been less of a strain on my patience re. my friends, but the classes I was teaching were… the quiet ones. The shy ones who might know the answer but refuse to put up their hand to answer it. On the plus side I’ve been very industrious and made three worksheets for this particular lesson. Directions always seem to take the most explanation and need the most examples, so over and above the usual worksheet I’ve made two more with extra activities to give the students more practice. I’m feeling very accomplished!

After school I’ll be doing the whole “brisk walking is good for you” exercise thing with A. and then it’s off to calligraphy and the practicing of kanji. And I really need to study for my Japanese lesson tomorrow – I have a major exam coming up in December and I’m not even half-way through the kanji for it, let alone the grammar section. Yikes!

End boring details.

On the worrisome side, the constriction in my chest has not faded and I'm still finding it difficult to take a full breath without fighting for it. May go to see a doctor (with supervisor in tow) if it doesn't let up soon.

August 2007


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