And so begins the last semester of the school year…

Today was opening ceremonies for the second* semester. Imagine a gymnasium that has no seating, no climate control, and no insulation. That’s where the staff stand and the students sit through the hour long opening ceremonies. The smart students bring blankets. I throw formality to the wind and wear three layers: my coat and scarf, blazer or sweater, and shirt. If I’m warned about the ceremony a day in advance, I also wear leggings. Unfortunately, in my indoor shoes, my feet stay cold.

A yen for stronger yen

Imagine my surprise when I saw what the exchange rate has been, recently. According to Bloomberg: The yen touched 120 per dollar for the first time since July 2007, as policy makers’ decisions to expand monetary stimulus and delay a consumption tax increase highlight the risks the economy is deteriorating. Talk about shitty timing.

The First Week: a New ALT’s Journey

Whew! Who knew that the first week of school would go by so quickly and be so tiring? One thing I was impressed by when I first saw my weekly schedule was there were a lot of blank spots in my schedule. In America, I had one planning period (50 minutes) a day which I…

Arriving in Japan, the first days…

So, the text in this post is taken from emails I’ve sent home to family. I figured, “why repeat myself?” Anyway, these are general first impressions, struggles, experiences, etc. I had. I’ve been in Japan a week Sunday, but I’m starting my count after Tokyo Orientation (Wednesday), since I feel I was pretty cloistered in my Tokyo…