(Originally written: August 6, 2013)
All of the ALTs piled into the main hall of the Keio Plaza Hotel at 9am this morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed (okay, maybe not so bright eyed OR bushy tailed) and ready for the ALT Panel Discussion on “The Daily Life of an ALT,” when a speaker got up on stage and announced that it was the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, which had happened at this exact moment 68 years ago.
Needless to say, none of us were expecting it. We were all caught off guard – I know that I started to tear up as the speaker talked about the impacts of the bombing on Hiroshima and on Japan. We then had a minute of silence in memory of those who had been affected by the events of August 6, 1945.
What a way to start the day.
Throughout the rest of the day, the speaker’s words were always on my mind. Today, we had the aforementioned Panel Discussion, which was pretty good. I also spent 1.5 hours at a Junior High “Team-Teaching Demonstration and Effective Lesson Planning” workshop, which was very useful. However, not long after, the jet lag started to kick in and I tried so hard to stay awake for my Akita Prefectural Meeting, Resources and Guidelines for Effective Lesson Planning, and Teaching Students with Special Needs. Both the Prefectural Meeting and Special Needs were good, but the Effective Lesson Planning… Not so much.
After that, I made a mad rush back to my room to re-pack my already packed suitcase. Apparently, and I only found this out at my Prefectural Meeting, all of our suitcases have to be pre-loaded onto the bus for the morning, and thus we had to drop our suitcases off in a room downstairs tonight. Of course, this meant that I had to take out everything that I needed for the morning – including toiletries, my suit to wear to fly to Akita, pajamas – and find somewhere else to put it. Yikes. And all of this between 5:15pm and 6:00pm when I met up with the other Canadians for our Embassy Welcome. Ahh! Luckily I got it all done in time and made it to the bus with plenty of time to spare.
I slept for most of the ride to the Embassy. When we arrived, we were early, and so we sat in a theatre with comfy seats for 30 minutes. Zzzz- No, wait, can’t fall asleep, the presentations are starting! But then they went on for an hour, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open again… Zzzz… WAKE UP, SELF.
Finally the speeches stopped and we had a performance of Rakugo – a comedic form of Japanese storytelling – performed by a Canadian in English! That was entertaining and a real treat to see.
(That’s not the actual performance, but Katsura Sunshine is the one who performed for us!)
After, we all ran upstairs where they served pizza and beer – how Canadian, eh? We stuffed “vageterian” and pepperoni pizza into our faces, drank a lot of water, THEN did a kanpai (oops! How non-Japanese of us), and then boarded the bus back to the hotel.
Exhausted, we couldn’t find the energy to go out around Tokyo tonight, but four of us Atlantic JETs did meet in the lobby to take some pictures together!
Tomorrow, Akita is one of the last prefectures to leave the hotel – we don’t have to meet until 10:30am, while some other groups are meeting as early as 7:30am! I plan on having a relaxing breakfast, then trying to find some postcards to send back home, and maybe wandering around Shinjuku to take some pictures and videos. Then, it’s off to Akita! Yay!