Monday, March 26, 2018

Life Post: Changes and Being Productive

Look at me writing another one of these when it's only been a week. I'm probably more impressed than you are.

This week promises to be a big one as all of our kids classes finish up and we prepare to start new ones next week. Because I've been teaching the same kids classes since I started working, I'm sure this change is going to feel really weird, especially since the kids I'm teaching will be changing.

One of the other teachers is also leaving, and we're gaining two new teachers come next week. That will also be a huge change, I know, and it's definitely sad to see people leave, but I don't want to turn this into an upsetting post.

I've been doing an incredible amount of writing lately. I got back into challenges, and they have me churning out stories at a speed I haven't in ages. That's partially to do with the length. It's easier to churn them out when they're short and not long, chaptered fanfics like I usually write, but it's made me feel incredibly productive.

Recently, I also increased how much time I'm spending studying Japanese, and I'm taking an online class now. (That might sound strange, taking an online Japanese course while living in Japan, though it is a course from a Japanese university, but I feel like it works better for me than going to the free class they hold here, which just isn't good timing for my schedule.)

All of that has left me feeling pretty good recently, so I'm pretty excited about it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Life Post: Eight Months in Japan

I realize that I haven't written one of these posts since July, right after I came to Japan. For the past eight months, I've had a to do list that keeps growing and never gets any shorter. And that's not a metaphor. The terrifyingly long to do list is a thing that actually exists, and I stare at it every day. It's at the point where I don't think it will ever be under control again.

But we don't need to talk about that anymore.

As you can imagine, far too much has happened over the last eight months for me to talk about it much in this one post. I've actually captured moments of various things in videos on my phone, so I'll eventually get around to editing those together for Youtube. (It's on that massive to do list.)

Work is going well. Since Japan's school years begin in April, our kids classes are finishing up, and we're preparing for our new kids classes in a couple of weeks. That means I'll be teaching some classes I haven't taught before, so I've been learning a lot about those classes, including a trip to Okayama for training just yesterday.

I'll also go ahead and mention that I'm officially staying in Japan for longer than the one year that I was initially contracted for, so that's exciting. Here's to exploring even more while I'm here.

Eventually, I'll do more in depth posts on this, but I've been to Osaka several times and also Kyoto and Hiroshima so far. And some trips around Tokushima prefecture where I live. I've loved all of the places. The geography of Japan was one thing I never considered before moving here but that I've fallen completely in love with. I was so "ehh" about mountains before, but now I think they're amazing. I've never seen mountains like those in Japan.

Just yesterday, on the bus to Okayama, I spotted a group of monkeys sitting together by the side of the road and thought, "Well, that's definitely not something I get to experience in America." I appreciate that I'm still having those moments where I get genuinely excited about stuff in Japan.

On the "terrible things about Japan" side: I've become way too obsessed with melon pan, and it might be becoming a problem. How am I ever going to survive in America again when I can't get melon pan? Or, the even better question, why isn't melon pan a thing in the US? I feel like that needs to change.

Anyway, it's past midnight here, and despite the fact that tomorrow is a national holiday (the spring equinox) and I don't have to work, I need to be getting to bed. I'm already a little sleep deprived because the Okayama trip ended up interfering with my sleep schedule. I'll do my best to not let eight months pass between life posts again so that I can keep you better updating on what's happening here in Japan.