Saturday, March 29, 2008

A big 'See You!' to my old job

As you may or may not know, I decided to leave my current jobs because of a better job I was offered in a bigger city. I will soon be leaving Mishima, and moving to Shizuoka City. Here, I'll be the lead teacher of a brand new school opening in April, called the JAA Wing English Acadamy. JAA is a big company in Japan which has many different school for teaching many different things. They have Japanese drum schools, music/dance schools, pilot training centres, flight attendant schools - and now an English school!

Now, in memory of my old school and where I have been for the last eight months, I will post pictures of my favourite students and groups!

  Chesaco here, wore lipstick and pink every day.            
 Minami and Atsumi liked to colour - ALOT. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Cherry Trees

Mishima is home to one of the six most beautiful and influential shrines in the history of Japan, and also happens to be where I live.  The shrine is now most famous for having one of the oldest fragrant olive trees in Japan (yeah, they keep track of that) and for the weeping willow-style cherry blossoms that bloom every spring. My sister happened to visit at the perfect time to catch the cherry blossoms. I have visited Mishima Taisha many times, and it was only clear to me why this place was famous after my last visit. The cherry blossoms really bring the shrine to life. 

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ori is here!

So my sister Oriana was able to convince her teacher's college at Queens to send her to Japan on a paid bursary to volunteer at Mac Eikaiwa. Cool! Since I'm changing jobs as of her last working day, her priority jobs are things to prepare for the new teacher to come (aka. the things I'm supposed to be doing but didn't particularly want to do). Other than just hanging out at my work, we have also done a little sightseeing. 

Changing schools

As of next week I will be moving to a new school in a new city. Working at Mac Eikaiwa has been fun, but I was offered something better in a different. I'm going to be moving to Shizuoka City, the capital of my prefecture. Here, I'll be working at a brand new school that will be opening the first of April. This English school is on the first floor of a building that is also a dance studio, so will always be very energetic. I've only been to the new school once, but after I go again with my camera I will post some pictures of it!

Monday, December 17, 2007


So today was my school's Christmas party. It was basically 3 hours of children eating candy. My boss bought SOOO much candy for them that I ended up spending 4 hours decorating the school with it. I had to get 'creative'. Some of my best inventions were the Japanese radish/lolly-pop Christmas tree and the hanging garden of donuts. All in all it was a fun afternoon. Japanese kids (like most kids, I guess) get incredibly shy around people they don't know. All of my usually bouncing-off-the-walls kids were quite subdued. This was a good thing because I don't think I could have handled 30 of my regularly behaving students. The cutest by far was the little girl named Risa who showed up dressed as Chip from Disney's Chip N' Dale. No one is really sure why she did it though....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


So I was walking through the grocery store the other day and thought to myself that I might be taking it for granted. What I mean is that, all of the strange things that I used to be in shock over, have become common place. So, in honour of all the weird things, both good and bad about the Japanese grocery store, I brought my camera with me. I didn't get to take as many pictures as I wanted to, due to the strange looks I got and the eventual "no no no, dame (itself meaning, no)" from the employees, I wasn't able to get all the pictures I wanted. But here is what I've got.

For starters, Japan is much more 'seasonal' with food than we are in Canada. When a season for a fruit or vegetable begins, you will see nothing but that fruit or vegetable until it's time is up. October? GRAPES and PERSIMMON! Now, I didn't even know what I persimmon was until I was in Japan. I had heard of it, but never actually seen one. It kind of tastes like an apple and a cantalope together. I loved them the first week that I had them. I haven't eaten them ever since. In autumn, after all of the leaves have fallen off the trees, they bright orange fruit will remain. They stay on the trees all winter if they are left uneaten. They also eat these in January around New Years. What they do, is they pick the fruit, peel it, dip it in alcohol to clean it, then hang it back up outside. They leave it in the wind and the cold to try. By January, they are ready to be eaten. I will put up more pictures of them when they are in the grocery store. They are covered in a white mold that, apparently tastes best when it doesn't rain a lot while they are hanging. I haven't tried dried persimmon yet, but one of my students says she makes them herself in her garden and they taste great. I guess this will be the year I try them!

Grocery stores here also sell gift fruit. That is, fruit that is ridiculously expensive. It's pretty fruit, as far as fruit can be pretty, and I'm sure it is delicious. The best 'deal' I've seen so far was a box of 10 cherries for about $65. I was disapointed this week because the best I could find was a bunch of grapes for $25.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Shakes

So, in bed the other night, I was suddenly awakend by a strange shaking feeling... I sat up and my window was rattling and the ground was moving - I didn't think I was crazy. It was just after 3am, so I hadn't put it past me that I was just imagining it and went back to bed.

I went to work the next day and asked my students and my boss if they had felt anything. Everyone said that they had not. Now, not one to give up, I decided to look further into things. After searching the internet and trying to find some source for earthquake information, I found a great site:

Without knowing Japanese, you can still look at the map, and see the most recent earthquake to hit Japan! Sometimes it's updated by the minute, if it's a busy quake day. Since I've been here I have felt 3 quakes, but the one at night was the strongest I have felt yet. Here's the proof! My house is a bit to the right of the white X

Happy Thanksgiving!