sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Apr. 12th, 2011 09:53 pm)
Partly cloudy, 11C (7C)

There seems to be various butthurt surrounding me. Contract/schedule/whatnot is still in flux/not totally determined/could be headed for serious revision ; and classes have already started. Let's see how this goes...

In other news, I forgot to mention the fragment of dream I had wherein I dropped my cellphone and it kind of split/shattered apart and some strange goo oozed through the keypad and rendered it useless. I was gutted... good thing it was a dream.

Here's to hoping for better dreams tonight, and a good tomorrow...

P.S. don't even try to spew that shit about Japanese "preparedness" at me. Schmucks.

Also happy sesquicentennial of the Civil War, o muddled-up country of mine.

P.P.S. Meh, my un and pw for registering officially for graduate school aren't working. Meh.
Partly sunny, 9C (2C)

I woke up a little before 4AM from some crazy-ass unpleasant dream about a post-apocalyptic, steam-punk outlaw pirate and his most unsavoury sexual preferences involving the raping of children and exhibitionist murder and wine made from their bile. That is just gross. Gross, I tell you.

And [needless to say] I couldn't get back to sleep.

So at 05h30 I just gave up. It's been an alright morning and I've got some time before I should leave--can't get to the office too early...

Another earthquake yesterday, this time I was at one of my schools (recently rennovated, good riders!) just finishing a planning meeting there. My coworker there seems really emotional. But maybe it'll be okay.

Hmmm... what else, what else..? Oh! I think I've just about got my head back on straight. That boi is not going to call, I don't think, and that's probably for the best. I don't need bois! I don't want bois! Okay, maybe I do want them ; but I don't need them, and this is the point.

I should just focus on work and study. Hm-hm //vigorous nodding Especially since I just paid for Module 1 (ouch!)... And the new school year is starting Any Minute Now and because of poor planning/management I'm going to be utterly SWAMPED with organizing/coordinating/administrating for the next four weeks at least.

But I'm still going to the [new]teachers' beginning-of-the-year drinking party at probably all of my schools... ppl matter, relationships are important, etc. Gah... I just wish I didn't have to do it so many times over--and on the same paycheck that I paid tuition with. This month is going to be tight...

In other news, the state of my body is pissing me off, again, but I'm not starting round three for another 2.5 weeks/after my next glorification of womanhood/thereabouts. Grrr... Body!hate. I really hope the next round goes smashingly. Positively smashingly. I think I might cry if it doesn't and I get trapped going through two presets, a poorly-timed planned interruption, and a supply-train/life malfunction like the last time and don't shed at least 20kilos for my trouble. 20kilos isn't going to happen in one round, though... But I'd like it to be close to that..! :-D At least enough to get rid of what I've regained from my LSW plus.... hmm... 10kilos. I'll call that a win.

Anyway, it's prolly time to go.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Feb. 5th, 2011 02:05 pm)
Sunny, 9C (11C)

I located the one synagogue I know of in Tokyo last night. I woke up depressed.



I have officially been offered a place on the Birmingham program! :-D

Take that, TAU!

But, god help me, I don't know how I'm going to pay for it...

toriaizu, I think I should just accept it now and then worry about actually starting in April or October when the time comes for me to pay....

(Accolades are indeed welcome, as I could use the cheering up just a bit : I wish I could go celebrate, but I'm too poor and friendless. >[ )


I have decided that in two weeks' time I shall attend the live musical event presented by the Okinawan band I love, Kariyushi! Until that time (um, actually, until a few days in advance since I'm reserving for it), I will invite along anyone and everyone who will listen!

It shall be wondrous fun and celebration! And it'll be after I get paid so I'll feel rich even though I won't be! But it'll be good for me judging by this morning!

Don't you wish you were coming?!

Yes! I totally changed all the punctuation to exclamation marks! Now it's even more exciting!

==/ EDIT==
Some clouds, 11C (11C)

For the next few moments it is October 43rd or Kislev 5th.

I really only have two points I'd like to share tonight (I'm denying the other three or four right now, so they won't feature).

1. This is the state of "academic research"?
So, I've recently joined a real-live professional association and that means I get their real-live professional journals. One paper is called "Learning to be a Teacher : blahblahblah". Now, I've known since that what-his-face nobel laureat in economics wrote that book about how being poor sucks and is oppressive that academic writing is about stating the painfully obvious in even more painful detail and often with fancy words which are [ideally] bigger than the point they're used to make (extra points for un-obvious obfuscation!). I give you this excerpt :

This longitudinal study examined how two teacher trainees [d00ds A and B] developed their classroom interactional practices in terms of assessments [typically feedback] and directives [instructions] and constructed their identities as teachers over a period of 19 months.

Emerging from the microanalysis of the data, observable changes were manifested by the two elementary school English teacher trainees in deployment of assessments during classroom activities. Initially, Shota [d00d A] aligned with the assessments given by the ALT [Assistant Language Teacher, the foreigner] and JHTs [Japanese Homeroom Teachers, the authoritays] by joining in with applause and producing embodied assessments in the form of head nods, but without participating in any verbalization of the assessments. Makoto [d00d B] also echoed assessments deployed by the ALT and JHTs through his alignment with the applause they initiated, and also echoed their verbal assessments but only in the same form. By Time 2, a year later, Shota verbalized assessments when interacting individually with students, when translating the JHTs productions from Japanese to English, and when taking charge of whole-class activities. Makoto manifested change through deployment of a greater variety of assessments, and occasionally bt deploying some assessments sequentially earlier than the ALT or JHT. Finally, over the period of 19 months covering the data collection analyzed here, both Shota and Makoto deployed assessments in a greater variety of sequential environments, many self-initiated or sequentially prior to the other teachers, while their follow-up assessments were always upgrades.

As the trainees' interactional practices evolved, there was a change in their social orientations as teachers. Initailly, the trainees articipated peripherally and orientated mainly to themselves as assistants. However, as they were socialized into classroom culture and changed their interactional practices, they frequently displayed characteristics that are conventionally associated with teachers....


This paper was 23 pages long and included a list of 48 references. Under"Data" the authors explain that they went through 30 hours of film (although they only actually went through and analyzed 120 minutes for each of the two teachers, but there was 30 hours of film taken to be at their disposal...) of veeeeery beginner-level classes (in one, the target, apparently, is counting to seven--I will, however, concede that this was a 4th-grade class (9- and 10-year-olds) and being a Yokohama public school probably nobody goes to eikaiwa).

Under "Method", we have one of my favorite moments in the whole piece :

Initially, the data in this study were transcribed, then a number of general observations were framed about the interaction through analysis of both the transcribed and recorded data, following which an interactional phenomenon of interest was identified through reanalysis of the data.

(my italics)

Interpretation : they were looking for something to practice their conversation analysis application on that could possibly get both authors another publication.

Under "Analysis", we learn that "Emerging from the analytical practice of unmotivated looking, analysis revealed developments of the trainees' classroom interactional practices over time in two areas: (a) provision of assessments to students, and (b) initiative in giving directives."

"Looking"? Really? And "unmotivated"-ly, at that...

I suspect it may be unprofessional or at lease discourteous to write out my full reaction, but, basically, if I understand this research properly, they're saying two d00ds who were training to be teachers were stand-offish and not really fulfilling their roles at first but with experience came to behave more as they are supposed to by gaining some sense of the environment and therefore confidence to act in it. >_o Um... o_< This is news? Ppl get used to things through exposure and becoming acclimated increases their effectiveness is new information? And acting in a certain role often generates the same responses as those in the role?

Although, for stating the obvious, they [the doctorate-holding authors] do do a really good job of backing it up with actual transcriptions of specific instances of obvious and gloriously extrapolating profound obviousness. Which is at once graceful and horrific.

From now on, I will read mainly conclusions. And certainly conclusions first.

This whole endeavor I'm attempting may be challenging on levels I had previously failed to predict.... To those already experienced in any field which involves the reading of "academic research", please accept this as a humble apology for my n3wbness. The stuff I read for my BA thesis wasn't so... clearcut. I'll try to get over it quickly.

2. More on literacy!
I totally bought a book tonight on Amazon for kindle pc and started reading it. This could well be the beginning of something very beautiful, folks...!
Some clouds, 23C (25C)
T - 14 days

OhMyGosh, I'm so tired. Usually, at the end of the week, as I lock up the school, I get a second wind. Not this week. I just feel worn down, chewed up and spit out. I feel like I've grown very weak and lazy. I need, need, need to be very productive tomorrow. I'll let myself rest tonight, but I need to get shit done tomorrow.

I still have no address. I don't even know what city I'll be living in. I'm two weeks out and nothing is decided. I don't have my address. I don't have my new contract. I don't trust the company. I'm in a bad situation and I can't get myself out.

I feel more and more strongly that this MA in TESOL is something I really need to do if I want to win myself some footing to stand on, to maybe build on. God help me, the road there, though, is so full of potholes and I've already tripped into one... Getting out depends on my new contract. Money, it's always money. Am I really living so far beyond my means? I find it difficult to fathom, but maybe I am... insert other angsty whining about money/-flow issues.

I was able to go to synagogue, again this week, but the new rabbi and his family got stuck in the US for some ridiculous visa bullshit--apparently foreigners now need American visas to change flights on US soil. What a joke.

But this week I gained what could be an insight to my character, or rather, an aspect of my character that needs correcting--which is a boon for me, because while I know I'm really far from anything resembling right or perfect it's very difficult to identify specific things to target and work on. But this week, my coworker asked me to do something that I usually do anyway, and couched it in a phrase such as, "if you have free time..." I did it, but I felt a strong urge to talk back and I felt offended and interfered with. Then I realized that there are kindof a lot of those sorts of reactions. I really feel like I own my time and I am displeased when someone else implies or suggests that some of it might not be. So I'm trying to determine what is the source. What is the character flaw that it springs from? Is it arrogance? Selfishness? Immaturity? Not caring enough for others? I'm still not entirely sure what it is, but I'm working on it.


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