Thursday, August 19, 2010

It ain't easy. (簡単ちゃうな。)

Ah, it's fun battling the wiles of a finicky wireless system supplied by an ever-changing source of internet.

And if it's not ever-changing, then I have no idea what its problem is, really. Because jumping from 1.0 Mbps to 36 and back again in a matter of seconds for no discernible reason other than capriciousness... that's just not cool.

Is all wireless in Japan this way? Any thoughts? Anyone?

...Why do I even bother.

Well, bit of news number one, the Japan weight loss system has yet to kick in, unfortunately.

This could be because I am driving everywhere. Curses.

I might walk if it wasn't so godawful hot and muggy.

I may be a desert child, but good lord at least we don't have all of this humidity nonsense. That's just not right.

Bit of news number two, everyone here seems to use 関西弁 (Kansai-ben, Kansai dialect), and reacts normally when I use it. Which is freakin' awesome, because I love me some Kansai-ben. Also, it sort of confirms my theory that dialect-speakers don't really know that they're speaking dialect for the most part... Some people in Kyoto noticed my Kansai-ben and commented upon it, but here, it's sort of just taken for granted. I mean, I don't think they'd be shocked and appalled if I started speaking 標準語 (hyoujungo, standard Japanese...though I might), but it's definitely assumed that I (a) understand Kansai and (b) speak it.

And I love it.

Trust me, you too will learn this when you spend the better part of five years learning a language; you want people to assume you speak it and then challenge you, not assume ignorance and throw broken English at you.

And hey, though everything so far I've seen has been insisting that Mie is in the 東海 (Toukai) region, the fact that the natives seem to disagree is pretty damn cool.

Because we all know that Kansai is better, am I right?

(, even though Kansai technically isn't a region, and is in fact used to refer to what is generally known as 近畿 [Kinki] with a few variations... um.)

But I'm sure you all really want to know about work, am I right?

Suuure you do.

Anyway. I have now taught three (count 'em, three) lessons, two of which were one-on-one (the "man-on-man" classification my school uses just doesn't seem to apply, does it) and one of which was a class of six five year olds.

...Let's just say that Edo's feelings on small children have not changed a wink and move on. The trauma is still too fresh.

Two days ago, my first lesson was with a fourteen year old girl who is quite good for her age. She is prone to the giggles, as most girls that age are I feel, but it was a good lesson, as we got through my entire plan without a hitch and she seemed receptive to pretty much everything. She even reported to the staff that she had fun, so hey, score one for the new teacher! That was the only lesson I taught that day; I spent the rest watching and taking notes. And also eating.

No wonder I'm still a fatty.

Yesterday, I was only supposed to have the one lesson with an eighteen year old high school student, but my boss sprung a young kids' lesson on me... kind of a sink or swim instance, I feel.

....suffice it to say I think I sank. Into the Marianas Trench.

Boss thought it was ok though. Just that I have to work a bit harder on overcoming my weakness with children.

...personally, I think that they're not human until about thirteen or so, and as such caged appropriately. But oh well. Presumably, I'll grow to love them all in a few months. That remains to be seen.

I'm not one to be defeated, though, so I will continue to 頑張る (ganbaru, try my best/work hard) until my dying breath.

...whichc may come sooner than originally scheduled.

An ALT friend has apparently been acitng out Ultraman... perhaps I should do something similar. Except, with Pokemon, of course. We all have to stay true to our childhood routes, after all!


In contrast, my planned lesson later went great: we talked about sports and colleges, and how people who go to Doshisha always get good jobs, and how feeder high schools are totally unfair. It was quite fun, and that student also reported that my lesson was very enjoyable. Score two for the new teacher!

.... let's pretend that my failure of a kids class did not negate every last score I could have possibly made, eh?

Anyway. Aside from that, I went and opened my savings account at the post office yesterday, with only a little bit of confusion on the parts of myself and the attendant. We got through it all right, though, and she even filled in my postal code on the application form since I had forgotten it.

And thus, today, I am off to attempt to get my cell phone! Huzzah!

This is Edo, signing off and hoping that the people in the Matsusaka AU are just as nice as the people in the Kyoto-eki AU.

EDIT- One hour in the store later, and I still don't have a phone. Why? Because the guy at the health insurance office mis-printed the reading of my name on my insurance card. The lady at the post office didn't notice. And of course, the lady at the AU shop didn't notice until we had just about finished, and I had been sitting waiting for fifteen minutes waiting for everything to finish up.

Now I have to get to the health insurance office, get them to change my card, and get back to the AU shop to get my phone before the second of September, lest I go through that all again.

I had to try very hard not to break down sobbing in front of this woman. I was not going to give her the satisfaction.

This was all after spending a good ten minutes trying to decide whether I could get a phone before my gaijin card came through, and then deciding that I had to use my credit card for the first month, which I did not want to do but settled for just to get my damn phone. Just to keep it all in perspective.

And now I have to beg one of my bosses to take me back to the government office to get the damn health insurance checked out.

It has not been a very good first week.

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