Friday, July 21, 2006

Hokkaido's aWeek aWay

Yay. BUT...

things I have to do before we leave:

write my farewell speech (check)
clean out my desk
get my farewell speech translated in to Japanese (check)
clean out my classroom (check)
make a costco order for the trip (check)
clean out my locker (today)
go to Toyama to get my visa changed over (pending)
clean out my car (check)
say my farewell speech (check)
clean out my refrigerator (so that I can give it back to Nyuzen High School and get a new one from Kurobe city) (check)
watch my baseball boys play in the prefectural tournament (check -we won 22-6!!)
clean the rest of the appliances I have to return to Nyuzen High School (check)
attend a farewell party (toga) that will be crazy (check -yes it was crazy)

This will get me to Sunday! Then I have to shop for groceries with the girls, pack me and then pack the Beetle!

Monday, we're all going to work (my last day and Amy's too) and then we catch the Ferry from Niigata to Tomakomai that night!

edit: note none of the cleaning tasks have been completed yet....surprise, surprise, surprise

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Farewell Speach -the process

I've been here 4 years. My ability to produce coherent sentences in Japanese is laughable to say the least.

This is how I was able to say my farewell speech to my students in Japanese:

First: Write the speech in English.
Second: Have a Japanese English Teacher translate it into Japanese (more importantly, using Japanese letters (hiragana) and Japanese characters (kanji).
Next: Re-write the speech in romaji (english letters).
Finally: practice pronunciation and intonation

Today I said my farewell speech in front of 600 students and teachers. It doesn't seem that long ago that I said my introductory speech! But it was. 3 years ago to be exact.

I practiced and practiced last night and this morning and was surprised at my lack of emotion as I said the words, but the minute I walked into the gym and saw all my students standing there - I lost it. I paused and sniffled and definitely produced tears while I was on the stage. I don't know if my students understood what I was trying to say exactly, but I hope they realized how important they have been to my time here in Japan.

I've got a couple of days left at Nyuzen High School before I move to my next job, teaching at elementary schools. What a change that will be!!

This photo was this morning after the speech. Some of my favorite senior boys invited me outside for a last pic together at Nyuzen High School.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I'm stuck at work.
The teachers are all in a staff meeting and it's my job to hold down the fort (staffroom) until they get back -just in case any students need to drop off assignments or something.

You may be asking yourself, "But, isn't it summer vacation?"

Yes, yes it is. But that doesn't mean there isn't any home work!

Kids are still here almost everday, taking extra classes, practicing for their club's pretty much business as usual during summer vacation.

Oh, it's 4:45, staff meeting's over! I can go home!

See ya!