(Originally written: September 4, 2013)
Today was an early rise. I had to be at school for 7:30am for a last-minute practice with my two speech students, which meant I left my apartment at 7:00am. (This is seriously a new record for me – I’m kind of proud of myself?!) I got to school with time to spare. I practiced with my students, then we all piled into our JTE’s car for the 15 minute drive across town.
The speech contest was very formal. Because it is Japan, we had an opening ceremony that started at 9:20am. Half-way through the ceremony, while sitting in my chair, I suddenly felt dizzy and thrown off-balance. I was confused and wondered if I had eaten enough for breakfast? The feeling persisted; I felt like I was swaying from side to side erratically. I looked around and thought that I saw other people swaying with me, too. Then I realized, “Holy crap, is this an earthquake?!” I waited for someone else to say something, or at least look around, but no one else did. The person giving the speech didn’t even stutter! At the time, a large part of me doubted that it was an earthquake because it was so unnoticeable and it was very quiet; however, I checked the Japan Meteorological Agency’s website when I got back to school this afternoon and read that there had, indeed, been an earthquake off the coast of Tokyo with Shindo 1-shaking felt in my prefecture at the exact time I felt the swaying. Hah! I’m not crazy after all!
The speech contest continued as normal. The contest itself was broken into two categories – Recitation and Original Speech. I had one student in each category. Neither of them placed, but they both gave excellent speeches and I was so proud!
The contest lasted until 12:30 when we then had an hour’s lunch break (just enough time to eat a delicious bento – yumm) and get set up for the ALT Cultural Hour!
All of the ALTs prepared an activity/presentation about their country/culture. The speech students walked around, spending 5 minutes with each ALT and collecting a purikura to complete their culture map. It was a fun way to meet the students!
The winners were announced and I was back at school by 3:30pm. Phew. After another long day, I celebrated not having anything to do tonight by not doing anything. :D Well, I made supper, did a load of laundry, and now I’m catching up on e-mails and the like, but I haven’t even looked at a lesson plan or poster board! I’m such a rebel. Tomorrow is a special day because we are having supervisors in to watch lessons/give demo lessons, so I’m only teaching in two classes instead of four. I figure, whatever needs to get done, I can do tomorrow during my extra time!
Anyway, I’m exhausted now, so it’s bedtime for me. Goodnight!
P.S. Happy one month Japanniversary to me and all of the other Group B’ers! We did it! :)