akujunkan: (Default)
I was recently chastised by the boss for coming in to work "late." (Where "late" = "five minutes before the start of my shift.) Apparently employees are now required to come in ten minutes before the shift officially starts...although this begs the question of why they don't just have the shift start from the time they want you there. Telling me my shift starts at 1:00 when I have to be there at 12:50 is not going to fool me.

In other Violation of Labor Law news, we were recently told that employees who work the closing shift will not receive overtime when we stay past the end of the shift (in principle, this works out to anywhere from 40 minutes to one hour after we're officially "off the clock"). The reason? Because, our break periods are not deducted from hour working hours in return. This begs the question about how breaks are handled for the people who clock out before close but still receive the same break periods, or people like me, whose shifts are set up in such a way that we don't receive any breaks. Until I receive a satisfactory answer (hah!) I have resolved to count my transportation allowance toward my overtime, and ride my bike to work the appropriate amount of days to make up the difference.

In more amusing news, the Boss Boss came up to me with a couple of pairs of long johns in his hands. (Incidentally, we sell these second-hand long johns for about $15 a pair.) "AJK-san," he said with a half-embarrassed, half-exasperated expression. "What do Americans use these for?"

"Oh," I said, somewhat taken aback. "Pajamas, or, uh, for when it's cold outside."

So there you have it, folks. Used long johns, retailing at $15 a pair because the boss didn't know what they were for.

On another amusing note, women's nighties are tagged as "fairy one piece"s and sold with the dresses.

Oh, Japan.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
...are you expected to work seven hours off the clock.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
I signed up, on a whim, to participate in a 5k race today. I 'ran' it (if by 'running' one means jogging until I ran out of breath and walking until I got it back again) in under 30 minutes. And I came in 2nd in my age group--without even trying. How cool is that?

And just to make things that much more better, my book was in the mail today. My book. With my name on it and everything.

Awesome.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Today was my last day at one of my two elementary schools. I will miss the kids horribly, but it was very satisfying in the end because I was not enjoying myself during the classes, which reassured me that I made the right decision in turning down the 4th and 5th year position they kept offering me.

I should probably mention Sora. Sora is a first grader with major developmental problems. He certainly has ADD, is rather oblivious to his surroundings, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he suffers from tourettes. The teachers are often pretty exasperated with him, the other kids tend to bully him a little (and he often plays right into their hands). But he's also cheerful and very approachable.

Anyway, the first-grade teacher told the class accompany me back to the staff room today after I'd finished teaching them. I was immediately swarmed by 30 kids. Sora fought his way to the center, latched onto my arm and started talking without paying any regard to whether or not I was speaking to someone else--nothing unusual there. But he was staring at the ground, which was rather unlike him.

And then I realized what he was saying: "Thank you so much for always talking to me. Take care of yourself."

Oh my god, kid, why not take your Board of Education-issue compass and stab me in the heart with it?

Not sad to leave the job, but damn I'm going to miss these kids.

That will be all.

TRIUMPH

Jul. 1st, 2006 04:59 pm
akujunkan: (Default)
I spent all of Friday evening and Saturday morning plunking away at my speech.

I was so worried I wouldn't fill 60 minutes. )

The most exhilerating thing about it was that I rarely used the speech. I was just telling people what I wanted them to know without having to rely on cues or prompts. When I wavered or made false starts on sentences, it wasn't because I'd forgotten what I meant to say (common in uni) but because I'd consciously decided to say something different. Oh man it was cool.

I was a little worried that I was rambling on, but I recieved over half an hour's worth of questions once I'd finished. People were genuinely interested. I explained a bit more about IASMH/gifted and talented education, and did my best with the toughies. (Quick: summerize American race relations in 90 seconds). The audience seemed especially taken with my explanation of northern Indiyaaana dialect (which needs explained to those who've never heard it. ^.^)

So it went very, very well and I'm quite proud of myself.

Also: if only I'd been doing more of this stuff for the past year, I think I would really have liked my job.

That will be all.

Save Me

Jun. 28th, 2006 09:46 pm
akujunkan: (Default)
I am scheduled to give an hour long presentation this Saturday on: My hometown; cultural differences between Japan and America; the American educational system; and my personal favorite, American municipal organization (Bwa, WTF?).

Which seems like it could easily fill and hour until you realize how utterly broad the topics are (What do I talk about first? How do I connect them?) and unqualified I am to talk about some of them (see: Bwa, WTF? above) and how unrepresentative my experience is concerning the rest of them (IASMH, anyone?).

I've currently got 15 minutes' worth written. I really enjoy writing in Japanese, but this is exhausting. I'm making a little headway going at it one topic at a time, but I feel as though my writing is overly repetative and worse yet, flat and rudimentary.

Worst of all, I've got two full days of teaching hell in elementary schools starting tomorrow, as well as an international cooking workshop that I'll likely be hosting until 8:30 or 9:00pm tomorrow evening. I don't know when I'm going to get this thing done.

I'm also bitter because it's been scheduled directly over my Korean class.

And all I want to do is subsume myself in multi-fandom goodness. [livejournal.com profile] bloody_american, I have you to thank for that;)

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
I sucksucksuck at making phone calls in Japanese.

Especially to people I've never met. Especially when calling out of the blue to ask if their band would like to play at the Prefectural International Festival in eleven days. Especially when I'm not sure if I'm being overly polite or obtuse or conversely, not enough of either.

At least they're considering it.

(I procrastinate every time I make these phone calls and it really is something I need to force myself to do - because it's something I'm going to need to do, and do well, if I want to live in Japan as a professional who isn't connected to the ESL industry. But gah, I'm horrid at it.)

That will be all.

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