Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Hi! How are you?
I'm fine thank you, and you?
I am fine as well, thank you for asking.

Apparently this is the dialogue that all Japanese children memorize very early on in life, and if you ask anyone how they're doing, this'll be the response.
This has been the first day of orientation that has actually felt productive. I spent the morning in seminars that introduced us to lesson planning and team teaching. I just can't get over the fact that this would be so much easier if I had been to teacher's college first-- about half of the JETs here at the orientation have already done teacher's college and most of them have had a few years of experience. Ah well, you learn something new every day, and this year I'll get paid to learn how to teach. Not bad!
Last night I went to an iskiah (sp?) --a pub-- for drinks and food with my fellow Kobe teachers. There are 12 of us at this orientation and there was 18 at the orientation last week, and in total, new and old JETs, there are 65 of us in the Kobe area. Not bad! It was a fun evening, I got to know a bunch of the girls that will be in the area and I had a fun-looking drink-- they have pictures of everything on the menu which is fantastic-- so my drink was orange on the bottom half and blue on the top half-- it ended up just being green when I stirred it. Tasted a little funny too, but not bad.

I think that I'm almost over my jet-lag, although I'm still really worn out at the moment. I had a lot of energy this morning though, which was awesome. The time difference thing is just strange to think about-- I talked to Brian this afternoon after lunch and for him it was almost midnight. He was still on his holiday monday and I was half finished my Tuesday! I can understand the concept of BC vs ON time, or ON vs Eng time, but thirteen hours is really just confusing! It gets dark pretty early here, or at least earlier than in Ontario. It seemed to me yesterday that dusk was creeping in already at 6pm, though I could be wrong. I haven't spent much time outside.
I met with my Board of Education supervisor this afternoon and he seems to be a kind enough man. The most exciting thing that I learned is that I get 20 days of paid vacation during the school year and 5 days during summer break-- which means that already in my first month of my contract I can take five days off! that's a whole week! However, they said that I can use some of it next summer at the end of my contract, so that inbetween July 21 and August 3 next summer I can take a few days off to pack up my stuff or spend a few last days sightseeing before heading back to Canada. 25 days of paid vacation-- how fantastic!
I'm currently skipping out on one of the seminars that I'm supposed to be at, but it is so nice to sit in my hotel room and relax and enjoy the quiet. Maybe I should take a little nap now.

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