Back to the grind

23 Jan

I’ve been working at Aboshi JHS for two weeks now, and overall it’s a good experience. There are a number of differences, some for the better and some for the worse. Because it’s a bigger school, it’s not as easy for me to remember the students and their names. They also tend to goof off more, though by no means would I call them bad (as some others have hesitantly described them). They get mischievous and don’t always like to work, but I get no sense that they hate me or anything. Just English.

The school is also a little more formal in routine and regulation. They do not allow me to bring my laptop to work, and while they do provide a laptop for me, it’s pretty outdated and crappy. At least ten percent of the time that goes into making assignments is just waiting for the computer to catch up to what I’m doing.

On the other side, I do have more control and initiative in the lessons in class. I’m not just standing and reading passages, and being quiet the rest of the time. They let me make assignments and work with me to get things done. More teachers also take the opportunity to just chitchat with me, even though I’m not very good at it. And they let me leave early on meeting days so that I don’t have to awkwardly leave in the middle of meetings.

Still, I do miss some things from Okishio. I do miss the simpler nature of the school, and the amount of downtime – I may have complained about it in a sense of not getting to work much, but it did allow me to take care of other things and have more free time at home. I miss the students. I miss my cross-language lessons with Miura-sensei.

Aside from work, another thing I’ve been devoting more time to is learning Japanese. I am beginning to get to the point that I can read new vocab and grammar and it generally sticks better. Some of the teachers are also impressed by my ability to retain pieces of language that I just hear in passing. These are all good signs, though I still feel like I might be woefully unprepared for the level 3 JLPT. I still also have the problem of not giving myself many chances to use real-time, functional Japanese, so as much as I learn I still stall way too long in actual conversation.

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