Monday, September 08, 2008

First Weekend and Tenmyo Monday

So this weekend was for the most part uneventful. All of the ALTs in Sano/Ashikaga were required to get a physical on Saturday, so no one really did anything on Friday night. We could of tried to get together but its just impossible to coordinate these things when no one has cell phones. So Friday night nothing happened which I was actually ok with because even though I didn't go out it's always good to save the money.

Anyways, come Saturday morning I woke up at about 9:00. I needed to be ready to get picked up by 9:30. I didn't get picked up until about 10:15ish for the physical. After rounding everyone up (getting everyone in cars) we headed to the clinic. Once we got there we all took our turns doing everything they wanted. First we had to pee in a cup, then get our blood pressure, measure weight, height, then we got quick chest x-ray. I had to chug some water so I could actually pee because after my morning pee it usually takes a while for me to go again (to much information I know). Turns out my x-ray revealed I have some gas, because I chugged the water but other than that nothing to interesting to report. According to the nurse my pee was perfect (which I guess means its fine?). I got my weight and height in CM and KGS and I don't even remember what they were so I guess I'll figure it out later hah.

Next we all decided to eat together so we headed to the outlet mall. Once we got there we decided to eat at Denny's. Which is nothing really like Denny's in America. I much prefer American Denny's but it was fine. It's a bit over priced in Japan, but then again everything is. I got a small corn beef hash sandwich for about 6 dollars. After we ate we walked around the outlet mall and saw everything we can't afford. Then we broke the group up and went different a couple ways.

After the mall Graham and I decided to go on a quest for Ocarinas. Graham was a music major and hasn't played anything since we got here so he was going into withdrawl. I looked online and found out that the town right next to us was known for making ocarinas (an instrument I first learned about in a video game). Becky tagged along but didn't end up sticking with us she jumped in another group of friends car and explored with them. After getting to the first music shop Graham jammed out on the bass. It was basically just guitars and basses at the first place. We asked if they had any ocarinas they said no, but they suggested this place called "Harmony Brothers" which was about a 10 minute drive away.

Graham and I hopped in the car and tried our best to make it to this place with the directions we got. They gave us a mini map that they drew with kanji that wasn't legible. They also tried to give us verbal instructions and Graham pretended he knew what they were saying, we both only got bits and pieces of it but put our heads together and eventually made it to "Harmony Brothers" or in Japanese Ha-moe-ni Bu-ra-za-s.

Once we got there we found out its a piano store, but it also sold ocarinas. We asked about the ocarinas and they sold plastic ones for like $10 and clay ones for about 50-70 dollars. The clay ones looked awesome, but Graham and I decided to go with the plastic ones at least to learn on (Plus we're poor). Anyways before we bought them Graham wanted to play some piano. So he then jammed out on piano and played what turned out to be the same song they used for the Halo 3 commercials. Chopin Prelude # 15 also known as Raindrop? Anyways its a really cool song. The woman that worked there kept saying how great it was to hear Graham play. I enjoyed it too. Even though I've never took lessons, I've always been really interested in learning how to play the piano. I think once I get some more money I'll consider taking some lessons.
After that Graham found out he can come back and play but it costs like 10 dollars an hour to play there, still good to know a place he can go and play. Graham went with the clear/silverish ocarina. I choose the orange one because it looked like a carrot. Check it out-

After that he dropped me off. Saturday night there was a couple people who wanted to throw down in Ashikaga, but I didn't really want to go alone from Sano and I choose to just stay in. I drew a couple more pictures of Naruto characters and I'll start giving them as prizes to the students since I'm drawing so much. Sunday I just biked around and explored then came back and hung out since it started raining. So all in all an uneventful weekend, but I'm ok with that. I made some good dinners though this weekend. Delicious:
This weekend I also taught myself how to play Shougi. To put it as basically as I can its the Japanese version of chess. It's a bit more complicated because you can do "drop" moves which make the game much different. I played four games online and lost all of them. It's a fun game though, if I find one I'll buy a shougi board and play with friends. Here's a look at the game board and intial set up:

Today I taught at Tenmyo for the 2nd time. I taught the 2nd and 5th grade. The 5th worked on Phonics and the 2nd on colors. For colors I had colored pieces of construction paper and I'd hold it up and say the color. Then I got the idea to compare it to what the kids were wearing. So for example I would say PINK! Then I would run over to a kid that's wearing pnk and point to it. The kids enjoyed it so before I even said the next color they were looking for someone who was wearing it. At lunch today was NATTO DAY! I avoided it like the plague, luckily they didn't make me eat it. For those who don't know natto is fermented soybeans and its sick. Alot of foreigners dislike it.

I also had some more self introductions and the kids enjoyed it. I got a couply funny questions today too haha. Someone asked me if I had a favorite ride and if I liked the marry-go-rounds. Someone also asked me what's my favorite memory? That's a bit broad isn't it haha? Someone also finally pointed out that my grandfather looks like Santa Clause. I told them he was, but they didn't believe me hahah.

The teacher there gave me a good idea, make copies of my drawings that way I don't have to give away the originals. Since I see so many kids in just 1 week I figured this idea would be good. Kids would get jealous if I only gave it to certain people so its more fair that way. Here's what I've done so far. I like how Sasuke Shikamaru and Jiriya came out but not the rest.

Tomorrow I'm back at Ueno. Should be FUN. On a side note I looked through my comp and noticed my old "Homework" folder. I'm so glad I'll never have to do homework again in my life. I hated homework.


oldschool said...

Sounds like a decent weekend. At least the rain has slowed down. What kind of sound does that instrument make? The thing looks weird.

Mandy said...

So can you actually play that interesting instrument??

I missed ya at Renfest.

Hope things are going great for you!!!

P.S The kids are right, your Naruto drawings are cool.