Now I’m back at JHS! The morning routine is still the same, wake up, fold up the bed, eat breakfast, get ready, etc, etc. However, today was a little different because it was trash day, which truly is a blog post by itself. I think I’m supposed to sort my garbage into 17-21 different categories. The best part of the garbage collection is that you write you name and area (think neighborhood, so Sellwood, Pearl, Alameda) on the bag. Apparently, if you don't sort your trash correctly, it will come back to you. I have a tremendous fear of my trashing suddenly appearing on my doorstep one day after work, but I think that since I’m a foreigner, they take it easy on me.
Today, I was at school A, the smallest JHS with 46 students, and about 12 minutes away by car. I only visit this school once a month, and then every other month I visit twice. The luxury of a small JHS is the small class sizes, which is a nice break from constantly shouting during ES classes! Work started at 8:30am and my first class was at 8:35am with the 3rd graders (or 9thst period, I had 2nd period free, which was spent going over the other 2 classes later in the day. You’ll find out in a few days that at the other JHS I don't get to see a lesson plan, I merely show up and do whatever they ask (usually on the spot). 3rdst graders (or 7th graders), and we practiced have a conversation about asking for directions. The lesson was extra special because 4 Board of Education members and the principal and vice principal came towards the end and evaluated the class for about 10 minutes. They were evaluating all of the teachers at the school today, so it wasn’t like we were in trouble. In the Japanese school system, every 3 years teachers get transferred to a different school, I still haven’t found out why, but I just know they do. The JTE at school A is on her 3rd graders). I must say that I enjoy this JHS the most because the Japanese Teacher of English works very hard to incorporate me into the lesson plans. In JHS if you remember, I’m very much an Assistant English Teacher. So after 1 period was spend with the 1 year, meaning that in March when the school year ends, she will be transferred. Where she goes is partially based on what they saw in class today.
After 3rd period, I had 4th period free before lunch. I first must apologize, but I didn’t get a picture of lunch today, but it consisted of: milk, a Satsuma orange, white miso soup, pork something (I passed), a mixture of veggies, and a bowl of rice. I wouldn’t say that today’s lunch was my favorite. Once lunch was complete it was recess and then cleaning time. In my general observation, I would say this JHS is much more relaxed than the other JHS, mainly because there are so few students. It’s definitely a nice break from Elementary School.
Now that I’m writing about my day, it really was a special/exceptional day because for 5th period (since I didn’t have a class), I got to help the 3rd graders make green tea udon noodles with 6 high school girls from a close high school. It was some sort of an exchange because earlier in the year, the 3rd graders made green tea from scratch and gave it to them. Then today was their gift in return and I just happened to be present! It was a fun process to watch and it was extremely easy to do. The end result was tasty udon, although it really didn’t taste like green tea, even though it looked like it.
Mixing the ingredients with....chopsticks!
Kneading the dough
Look how "green" it looks, yum!
Pasta maker/cutter device
Udon noodles ready for the boiling water
Cooking the noodles (in white is the HS girl, in purple is JHS)
Rinsing and cooling the noodles
Almost ready to eat!
After the udon adventure, I had one more class during 6th period with the 2nd graders (or 8th graders). In this class we worked on having a telephone conversation, and it just happened to work out that I needed to play 2 roles, Mrs. Jacobs and Amanda. Let’s just say that I tried to explain the humor in it, since whenever someone calls the home phone and I answer the first thing I usually get is “Amanda, you sound so much like your mother!” I would say it was mildly accepted. When 6th period was over, I had about 45 minutes to do whatever before my full workday was over.
Once the school/workday is over, I’m free to do whatever I want. Usually, I brave the 20-minute drive into Kani City to the gym I belong to. I can’t lie, it is a hassle to get there mainly because it is really close, but with traffic and poorly timed lights, it makes the drive feel long. So after work is usually dedicated to the gym, maybe a quick trip to the grocery store, dinner, usually a TV show that I missed on the Internet, and a book.
There you have it, day 2. Look out for day 3: coming to Amanda's blog soon!