|The beginning of Tokyo Orientation|
I then had what was probably the most honest and friendly one to one conversation I had during my entire time in Tokyo. Jesus from Kansas city (we're not in Kansas anymore!) was a really nice guy, and we were both excited to be moving to Japan.
|Concord from the Hokkaido section|
After lunch we at least got to see Simon get up for his speech on life inside and outside the classroom, which was great fun and legitimately good to listen to. While chatting to him earlier we'd talked about going out for a beer as a group, which sounded like an amazing idea to me.
Quite a bit of the orientation was filled up with groups of workshops we could pick and choose between, which was pretty useful most of the time. For the rest of the afternoon I picked out 3 talks and walked off to my first one at 3 in the afternoon. I'm interested in maybe pursuing a career in education, which was a major part of the reason I decided to come over to Japan for this year on the JET Program in the first place. So, The JET Program as a springboard into a career in education seemed like it would be perfect for me.
Now, I can't say that it was really the guy running the seminar's fault but that it was unlucky he happened to be someone who was working in education in Japan as a university professor and almost the entire room was filled with people who wanted to know what they had to do to become a teacher or professor in Japan after the JET Program. So the entire session was probably awesome for them, just entirely useless to me because I'd been thinking of trying to become a teacher of Japanese overseas. So, I put my hand up to ask the last question of the day, which was about which Japanese language proficiency tests would be the most widely recognised overseas to become a Japanese teacher. The entire room (of generally 25-35 year old post-masters/phd graduates) seemingly swivelled to look at the freak who asked such a ridiculous question and the guy up front looked surprised before answering. Apologies for turning up to the seminar I thought was geared specifically towards people like myself, haha.
Next was the elementary school session, where we basically pretended to be the students and played along to a few games designed for children aged roughly 6-12.
I totally kicked arse. Like, dominated some of the games.
My final session was about self introductions, and the room was so packed that a whole bunch of people had to sit on the ground or just stay standing. Here again I found myself trying to not get bored out of my mind while some people taught us how to say hello and good morning but then they finally went through a few examples of introductions they used in classrooms with students. I've got about 9 schools I will go to throughout the year, with each one being for about 2-10 weeks in a row then I'll never go back to the same one. I've since found out that I'm mainly at middle schools for 2-3 months in a row with some tiny stints at primary schools between January and March when the middle schoolers will be busy studying for exams.
|Hokkaido JET nomihoudai|
Simon to the rescue! The Kiwi comes out of nowhere with 3 bottles tucked under each arm which he dumps on the table. Legend.
Unfortunately, I have too much of a good thing and we slowly get kicked out of Concord, but not before I skoll a few beers and find out that we're meeting in the lobby 30 minutes later as a Hokkaido group.
|Beer and Food. Simon on right.|
|Courtney and I, the only 2 Aussies with placements in Hokkaido Prefecture. (Tim doesn't count because he's in Sapporo)|
I eventually stumbled into bed some time between 1 and 3 if memory serves, once more dreading how I would feel the next morning, though certainly having had enjoyed the night's drinking with my new neighbours within the prefecture of Hokkaido.
|Drinks with new Hokkaido JETs!|