Saturday, January 24, 2009

the now and later

now: it's super cold this weekend, well, for us anyway. we are snuggling in, watching the pokemon movie and eating coconut doughnuts with cups of green tea to wash them down.
school is moving along. this is sebastian's last semester as a preschooler. in april, he will be sempei, the oldest level at the school and a true kindergarten-er. the shi-shi mai visited their school so they've been doing a lot of paintings and crafts based on that. next month is setsubun, a day where you are to throw beans at the demons in order to protect your house for the upcoming season. sebastian's been going around singing songs about oni and kami, demons and spirits.
as for my time at work, i have been using some new songs with good results and accomplishing a lot of little victories. i am drafting a curriculum for the upcoming school year and am surprisingly excited about it. i feel more comfortable at my school and ready to make the most out of it.
my graduate classes start again on monday so that will take away some of my japanese studies. jason and i have been having after-kids'-bedtime study sessions since the beginning of the new year. we occasionally cancel them to watch the office or 30 rock instead but those shows are absolutely worth it. we've also been slowly going through the seasons of northern exposure, my annual winter viewing pleasure. we are now the same age as joel and maggie which has caused quite a bit of reflection this year.
we also have been the happy recipients of many packages lately. our montessori supplies came in and we've been incorporating them into our daily routine. i also got some much needed clothes which are making my life easier during these snowy days. mail-order is a big way of life on this island and in a way, i really like it. you have to be certain of your purchases and good at planning ahead. and of course, there is that pleasure of getting something in the mail that never vanishes. we finally got our first issue of the kyoto journal yesterday which is all about tea, a good thing to read about while sipping some.
later: we'll be going to nagasaki at the end of the month for a language teacher's meeting. i am really into professional development now. i think it has something to do with my increasing commitment to the education field along with my advancing age. it also looks like we'll be sticking around for another year. the benefits of this job outweigh the disadvantages. a big rent-free house, nice students, a decent salary and health coverage, and a good amount of time off. i have another vacation looming at the end of march. two plus weeks paid vacation then of course golden week will be on its heels. after that summer vacation, when we hope to go to nara. in november, i'm heading to the big teacher's conference and then in december and january, perhaps florida. nice, warm sunny florida where my toes won't be frozen.
and after that? i'll be finished with my degree and ready to find a better job in a city that is connected to other places by a more convenient means than ferry. jason wants to try for a higher level of japanese proficiency test so he'll need a teacher and he's not going to find one here.
but after a few years, i am thinking of heading to india for 9 months to get my ami montessori certification. i still want to open a montessori school in kyoto/nara but i haven't been able to figure out how we can afford for me not to work constantly in order to undertake the intensive training that is necessary. but we could save enough to live in india for the amount of time needed to get the certificate. montessori has been wide-spread in india since the beginning. i am considering volunteering as an english teacher some vacation to get a sense as to if this is possible for us as a family.
that's about it from us for now. i hope you are all well. take care.

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