little things.

8 June 2011 § Leave a comment

For all the cool things there are to do in Osaka and the surrounding are and in Japan overall, sometimes I’d really just rather share the little things that happen on a daily basis. Like finding a caterpillar on my arm during some training last week. Or having an old man sit down next to me on the train and him telling me about this temple that I need┬áto visit. Or about the strange cute songs that the garbage trucks play as they drive around picking up trash in the morning. Or the way all the photos on my wall curl at the edges on really humid days, and then go back to normal at night. Or how I’m getting really good at falling asleep on the train and waking up at the right stop (it’s sheer luck! I’ve somehow managed to only get lost and be late for work once because of falling asleep on the train, back in March). Or what a thrill it is to receive postcards from England or a little penny-farthing in the mail (I’m so bad at sending postcards or letters!).

Plans continue to slowly develop for summer break. Now considering trying to see as much of Japan as possible, instead of just one place.


arcades and pronunciation.

31 May 2011 § Leave a comment

Among everything else that is wonderful about Japan are the arcades. They are plentiful. If I wanted to play some arcade games in Canada, an arcade would be hard to find. And then when I did find it, I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable there because of the atmosphere (I imagine. I’ve never actually looked for an arcade in Niagara or Southern Ontario). Here, I can be walking home after a bad day at work, suited up, walk into an arcade, and be around the same age (if not younger) and even similarly dressed as most of the people in there. I don’t even really care that much for arcade games.

On another note, I sometimes worry that I am teaching my students poor pronunciation. I have a few words that I tend to pronounce strangely, even according to people (at least one person) from the same region as me, which suggests that it’s not a matter of geography and accents, but of very individual difference. I make a conscious effort to pronounce those words as other people pronounce them, when I am teaching (in conversation I can’t be bothered). Today, I was looking at some notes that another teacher wrote in a student’s book for them and my worry decreased. Someone had written the word “cicada” and as a pronunciation key next to it wrote “sic-ar-da”. An “r”? I’m not saying this is wrong. I understand that this other teacher is from another country, has a different accent than me (so, dear other teacher, if you are reading this, please take no offense!). But sic-ar-da? And I’m worried about how I pronounce “been”? I need to give the students some credit that they’ll learn something from listening to a number of native English speakers and be able to figure out how to pronounce things, despite certain individual peculiarities.

Beginning to think of plans for my two weeks off in August. I’m thinking Hokkaido.


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