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28 February 2010 @ 10:43 pm
I have talent!  
At least, some people think so.

Tonight was the Yae-Nishi Neighborhood Talent Show, winter edition. I was originally supposed to perform an act in the summer talent show when they held it six months ago, but at that time I had caught a cold and wasn't able to sing. This time, I had no such excuse, so softlykarou and I did Scarborough Fair as a duet (with her on guitar) and then I sang Skibbereen alone. softlykarou also did a retelling of Momotarou's story in English and Japanese with the Wednesday night children's class (she read the Japanese, they read the English). Her students translated it into Hiroshima's local dialect, so all the old women in the audience got a kick out of her reading it. The rest of the acts were the standard fair--karaoke, hula dancing, traditional Japanese dancing, shamisen playing, and kagura. Basically, the same as last time. Still fun, though, and I certainly didn't do as badly as I was afraid I would.

On the work front, bad news--it turns out that Suzugamine isn't renewing its contract with Lang, so I won't be there full time starting next school year. I was initially worried it was because of my performance, but I think it's simple economics--the number of applicants to Suzugamine has fallen by almost 60% in the past 10 years (from over 1000 to down to around 400), which doesn't leave quite as much money for things like a foreign English teacher. They're going to ask the Japanese teachers to take on the primary duty for teaching the spoken English classes (which they'll hate--this year was supposed to be team teaching, but they pitched a fit and so I taught most of them alone) and have part-timers come in to help with the classes. This means that the teachers will have to plan all the lessons, explain them to the part time teachers (possibly multiple times per week, if different part-time teachers come), and then do most of the teaching. I don't expect anything good will come of it as regards the students' education, but...well, there's nothing I can do, really.

I talked with Yoshimi-sensei about it, and she told me that the younger teachers all have pretty crappy employment conditions--one year contracts that can be cut if the school doesn't get any enrollment, not many benefits, they have to teach homerooms, and so on. Meanwhile, the older teachers rake in fat paychecks for doing fuck all. No wonder Yoshimi-sensei and Arishima-sensei live with their parents. I imagine they aren't paid enough to live on their own. She and the librarian told me that it might actually be good, because I should go to a school where they're more kind (like Chiyoda, say). Next time I'll probably give her my e-mail address in case she wants to keep practicing English. She told me she kind of looks up to me, because she wants to move to America and teach gymnastics there, but her grandparents and parents want her to stay in Japan, marry a Japanese man and have babies, and keep saying that foreign countries are far too unsafe and she'll get killed if she moves. Then again, I have been asked how many guns I own more than once, so it seems that American media is doing its job. Yippie-kay-yay, motherfucker.
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: None
The Little Plantbexplant on February 28th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
::re your icon, and nothing to do with your post::