I have been negligent in updating my blog this week because, frankly, I’ve been pooped. As an Assistant Language Teacher I’m a little ashamed to admit to this, but I have come down with a sudden fit of industriousness and have been devoting inordinate amounts of time to laminating flash cards and “animal names” playing cards, translating Avril Lavigne and Barenaked Ladies songs into Japanese, making posters, beautifying the “English Corner” bulletin board, and manufacturing prizes for diligent and ambitious students. I’ve never been guilty before of this sort of behaviour in the field of English teaching. In order to cleanse my soul from labour of this kind, I’ve taken to going on long walks along the Ikokuma Forestry Road after nightfall.
This is what the moonlit woods look like on camera, but to the naked eye they are a beautiful white stillness tinted blue by the night and broken by snow covered cedars and gurgling black brooks.
Today I was invited by one of my elementary schools to go cross country skiing , and I realized that I really ought to get a pair of my own cross country skis to enhance my night-time wanderings.
After lunch we traded in our skis for inner tubes and sleds. The outing took place at the 下北少年自然の家 (Shimokita Nature House for Youths). Unfortunately this place is being shut down this year due to prefectural cutbacks. The local schools have used it for retreats, field trips, raft building, winter sports and a myriad other things on a regular basis, and now it will be gone. It did cross my mind to ask the caretakers what was to become of the facility’s equipment when the place is demolished, in the hopes of maybe picking up a pair of skis cheap or for free. But in the end I couldn’t bring myself to bring up the subject with people who may very well be facing unemployment in a few short months.
Back at the junior high school my Sunflower Class wrote me some nice letters—perhaps as restitution for taping multiple drawings of 「ぶたルーク」(“Pig Luke” ) on the window of their classroom door all week.
While waiting for them to finish, I killed some time writing a letter of my own. I guess it fits in with the “Famous Canadians” theme I’ve been working on at the school.