Catching up part 1
I finally have a little time. Emphasis on little. There are just a lot of things to do all at once: Getting settled into my apartment, getting adjusted to my schools, getting to know my city, building the curriculum, and keeping up with my social life. That last one surprises me, as I didn’t expect to have one quite yet. I’ve relegated it to strictly weekends at this point, and even then I dedicate a big chunk of the weekend to getting things in order.
First order of business back here at the blog is to summarize in very short form all that’s happened since I left off. If anyone replies with a request for elaboration on any one point I’ll do so as a separate post. I find that unlikely though.
The last week in Tokyo was fun and mostly low key. Highlights include dinner and karaoke with Erina, a going away party for Nick and Ben, hanging out with Taiki at Nick’s place, meeting up with Yumemi for lunch and getting photos of the uber clock in Shimbashi. At some point I’ll post those.
On the way to Osaka I struggled with my bags but managed just fine. The shinkansen was one of the ones that makes all Shinkansen stops (I want to say Kodama but I always confuse them.) My travel was a little slow but relaxing. Got into Osaka with enough time to check in and get out to Osaka castle to see it as the sun set.
The following morning (Monday the 29th I believe) I started training. The training itself is not much to report on. Day one was paperwork and details about the company. Policy and the like. Day two was about teaching and Japanese etiquette / culture. Day three was demo lessons.
I was surprised at the level of ability and experience most of my coworkers have. Generally ALTS coming from outside of Japan have limited teaching experience and Japanese ability. Not that I’m some Japanese fluent teaching bastion of perfection by any means. I simply expected most people to be as fresh faced and inexperienced as I was, my former coworkers were, some of the other ALTs I am in contact with are and how most ALTs generally are on their first contract. That’s just how it usually is. However, most of my fellow trainees spoke some Japanese and lived in the Japan before, many as home stays. Half were not even first time ALTs. They were brought in from within Japan, ALTs formerly from other companies starting new contracts with Interac. Part of being in Kansai I guess. Highly competitive and all that.
I was pleasantly surprised that I liked and got on with most all of my fellow trainees. Each night I went out with a different set of them for dinner and drinks. Good times with all, and I’m keeping in touch with them. Most of them live not too far off.
That will have to be all for now. Next post I’ll write up coming to Kato, settling in and starting at the schools. By that point I should be caught up.