I think the longer I stay here the busier it seems I will get. In every aspect – the longer I stay at this job the more responsibilities I take on – the more the teachers get to know and trust me, the more work they ask me to do. The amount of lesson planning and marking I have to do is increasing. I currently have a big pile of marking to do on my desk – and multiple upcoming lessons to prepare for. Also the more the students get to know me, the more they ask for my help – I currently stay after school most days of the week to help students for competitions, university interviews and English language tests. I really don’t mind, as working one-on-one with the students is one of my favourite parts of the job – I teach classes of 40 students – so it’s nice to get to know some of them on a more personal level.
Studying Japanese takes up a lot of time too. On Thursday evenings I have one-to-one lessons at the Mito International Centre, which I must revise and prepare for. My main motivation is that I don’t want to let down my teacher, the lessons are free and he is a very sweet old man – 81 to be precise. As of two weeks ago, I am also now doing the JET programme language course – which means that I have to sit a test once a month, for the next 5 consecutive months, this is something that I must also study for. Although these two methods of learning are complimentary to one-another, the material covered is quite different, so it means I need to put aside a lot of extra study time to keep up with it all. I would ask my teacher to just go over the material from the language course, but there is a reason I won’t do this. The JET language beginner’s course is in Romanji (English alphabet). The text book I use with my teacher is completely in Japanese – (hiragana, katakana and kanji) – it seems like taking a step backwards not to learn Japanese in Japanese alphabets – seeing as I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to read them.
The longer I stay here, the more people I meet, the more friends I make, the more time and energy I commit to my social life. My weeks are starting to fill up quickly, and it feels like I rarely have a day to myself. The evenings I have free are usually spent on Skype, Facebook and Whatsapp – keeping up with friends and family from home. I want to keep up this blog – but it’s hard to find the time. I also want to dedicate time to reading, knitting and watching Ally Mcbeal, but it’s becoming increasingly harder to juggle all these things.
However, this list of things I do to fill my time with is in no way a complaint. These are all things that are wonderful. Being bored is one of the worst things in life, and it is something which I was overly familiar with before I got here. Being unemployed, unproductive and lazy is a terrible way to spend your youth. Being busy gives you very little time to feel sorry for yourself. And for the first time in my life, I’ve slipped into a lifestyle where I feel that I can just finally get on with it.