Today, I was assigned to my new middle school- Hayama Junior High. I’m told it’s entirely different from the last one I worked at, but I’m still marveling at the scenery. Ritto Jr. High was awesome, and I look forward to going back- I’ve gotta keep an eye on my rockstars- and it was also a FIVE MINUTE WALK from my house. I’ve traversed bigger parking lots. Hayama is a half-hour bike ride. Its forever and a day away. I’m going to have to rethink my lackadaisical morning schedule.
On the upside, it’s absolutely beautiful. I’ll post pics as soon as I take them- there was no time today. The small-town atmosphere of Ritto’s central district makes NO APPEARANCE at Hayama- it’s nestled in the center of a huge sprawl of rice fields that terminate on all sides in mountains. It’s gorgeous. The school itself has about half the students of Ritto Jr. High, and evidently it’s a lot more academically rigorous. Here, the students get one elective class, in which to hone their studies. I teach one elective of English per grade. It also seems like here I’m expected to be a bit more of a real teacher than last one- I made six lesson plans today, which is six more than I’ve made since I got to
On the upside, Ritto Jr. High was a great warmup- everyone was supportive and team-oriented, and the bad kids were evidently as bad as any kid gets around here. These Japanese teachers have it easy- their “bad kids” wear pink.
Yesterday, before Thai food, I wandered around Moriyama and took pictures. Now, those pictures may be shared (hip tip: if your Hello from Picasa application goes haywire, download the cleanup utility from the website. Sets it all straight again) and I may reveal the fruits of my expedition.