Wednesday, September 20, 2006

holy crap, i might like this job

well, it's getting to be winter, i guess, since the thermometers have dropped below 80 for a few days in a row. time to pull out the blankets! that's what my friendly neighborhood superstore would have me believe. after two months of greasy sweat (looks as good as it sounds), it's difficult to imagine wanting to be anywhere but lounging in an icebath (maybe there ARE some advantages to having your kidneys stolen). like christmas decorations in october, the stores would like you to prepare for the next season NOW. most japanese homes have a kotatsu or heated table under which you warm your legs. romantically, i imagined this to be an eloquent, well-crafted wooden table. not so! mine is homely black plastic, but if it works, that's good enough for me. then there is a thick, quilted blanket/tablecloth that you drape over the table to keep the heat in (ah! but because everything is cunningly designed in japan, the table top lifts up so the blanket is sandwiched between the top and the legs). check it out. i think it seems dangerous to drape fabric over a heater which is resting on a straw mat, but then, color me inexperienced.

in other news, today was an incredible day. i was actually on a high from having a great class. one of my teachers doesn't teach as much as stand in a corner and say, "ready, go," so today i was prepared to have full control. the students actually listened to me, and because they are an advanced class, they could follow my instructions pretty well. they did the work i asked, we had a good discussion about the differences between high schools in japan and the states, and i even learned a lot!
in the freshman class, we're studying medical conditions. as luck would have it, the word students struggled with all day was a particularly challenging medical term; hence you could find me enunciating DI-A-RRHE-A loudly and repeatedly over and over for all the beginning classes. i mean, come on, how can you not giggle when you're doing that?


  1. vera@coffee joes fanSeptember 27, 2006

    Lauren, I do so enjoy your writing! Fall is in the air and leaves around town. I have been canning pears and apples and drying some. How are the fruit & vegies over there abundant and varied? How long do you plan on staying and teaching? Is it all you thought it would be and more? Keep up the good info sharing. Vera

  2. hi vera! the canning and drying sounds wonderful...a lot of work, but that's the kind of work i like! there are some great fruits and veggies here, but they're incredibly expensive. salad isn't a real big thing in japan. i have no idea how long i'll be over here. it changes from day to day. i have to decide by february if i'm going to stay another year. like most jobs, it has its ups and downs. thanks for the note!