So today I got a slight lay in as I didn’t actually have to leave till around 9.30 am, sleep is a bit strange as it’s insanely cold here in this house. Being a traditional house there is no central heating, and due to the age and design of the building nothing really closes properly or keeps the heat in, or is insulated well.
The only heat we have comes from little kerosene heaters in each room (not to be left on unattended, or through the night!), and the night before mine ran out so I couldn’t even heat my room before sleeping! I think my phone said 2 degrees in the morning! That said even with heating the room before sleep, it’s about 4 degrees in the morning!
Off to help teach the first class!
Though the night before I had been feeling pretty nervous, I just had to put them aside and get past it as this was a big part of the job I’d come here to do. I knew Connor was taking the class and that I was there to help, but had no idea really what to expect. As it turns out it was all pretty relaxed and in the end it didn’t really feel like work, more of a general chat. I should mention I don’t have any pictures of the class because I’m not sure if I’m allowed to, and taking photos on day one may have seemed a bit odd.
I should explain that I’m not at a school or university, I’m at a class that does private language classes and English conversation practice. So it’s not a big classroom with kids or teens, it’s a smaller group (today was just 4 people!), I think looking at the layout maybe up to 10? The group was probably around their 30’s maybe, and the classes mostly consisted of talking about various topics for the students to practice their English, correcting them when needed, spelling things out on the board etc. I had to keep notes so I could type up a report afterwards, speaking of which Japanese keyboard layouts are really odd, the spacebar and backspace buttons are tiny!!!
There was quite a variety of topics we ended up discussing, from the local area, to about everyone there, about Japan, about England, and of course inevitably about food!
All in all it was a really fun day, the students are all very friendly and really cool to talk to, (one of them even decided I was like James Bond, which was probably the coolest complement I’ve ever had) helping with teaching and corrections to grammar and pronunciation was also quite satisfying (by the way there may be bad spelling in these blogs, but I’m normally doing them really late, and spellcheck doesn’t always work!).
Going back from teacher to student
After the classes I had were finished, Connor headed off back to the house to go and buy more kerosene, I stayed at the classroom to finish up and type up the reports and summary. I then meet Hiroki who was someone I had previously been talking to via email when I arranged coming over, he had also been sorting my class schedules. He had kindly offered to put on a 1 hour Japanese language lesson for me and Oliver, which will be weekly, the first had been scheduled for today.
It’s something that will be very useful, as I did once take a 6 week Japanese course, but after years of not using it, I’ve forgotten most of what I learnt. We covered a lot of basics today, and meeting Hiroki was great, as he’s a really cool guy.
Free roam time!
After my Japanese class I headed back to the house with Oliver as we still had some small preperations to make for someone else who is arriving tomorrow. Before doing anything though he made a really tasty noodle curry soup with fish, which was a really delicious lunch. Once the final room preparation was done I was officially on free time, so off for some exploration before the sun went down!
In needed of shower gel and shampoo I decided to venture toward a small cluster of shops just about 10 minutes away, I found what I assume was the Japanese alternative to Boots and after many minutes starring blankly at bottles I acquired what i assumed to be shower gel and shampoo (I’ll find out later!). Feeling peckish I then headed for what I’m led to believe is the Japanese version of Tescos to pick up some ready meal platter things.
I took a different route on the way back as I spotted a little green Jeep in parking lot, something that’s somewhat an inside joke with my friend, so I had to take a detour and send her a picture. No idea what the locals were thinking as they looked at a mad foreigner who was laughing to himself while taking pictures of a Jeep!
Now I’ve got the evening free I might actually try and get some game dev done, it’s somewhat tricky because sitting on the floor at a low table kills your back after 5 minutes!!