Saturday, January 31, 2009

Time to Shine

The Mid Year Seminar is a collaborative conference between Aomori-Ken assistant language teachers and their corresponding Japanese Teachers of English. Guest speakers, workshops, snack food, and bored doodling comprises most of the festivities. Though, on Friday, November 21st, yours truly had time to shine.

Each year, one ALT must showcase their teaching in a class demonstration. Rather than chose a 2nd or 3rd year high school ALT, I was involuntarily given the nod. This equates to over 60 educators watching me teach a 50-minute lesson to one of the 1-nensei (first year/10th grade) classes. But, instead of projecting negativity at the ensuing pressure I used the platform as an opportunity. One to showcase all things Crave!

Cravak Sensei
Reviewing the word wall results.


Group Work

Students attempt not to fall asleep while engaging in a travel-themed conversation game.


Making the Rounds

Pretending to add to their discussion, I place myself on display.


Big Brother

Students are under the watchful gaze of half-interested observers.


Post Discussion

Eventually I had to shutup to allow others to speak.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


While America continues to rock the anti-soliticing movement, Japan embraces it. Apparently, the education world we are in the middle of book ordering season. I gotta a tell ya, what a treat. This equates to a flurry of Japanese businessmen and one woman hurriedly scampering around the world politely and persistently wasting everyone`s time with their sales pitch. This one guy bows so much he's gonna get punched in the groin. No doubt.

Basically here's the rundown.

1.) The office door slowly slides open

2.) A suited-up nervous man stands in the doorway

3.) He mutters some incoherent ancient polite phrase

4.) He takes a few steps forward, then turns around, comes back, looks around (this pitter pattering can go on for nearly 30 minutes)

5.) He locates his target and dips into his bag of books

6.) He stands to the side of the desk waiting for the right opportunity to strike

7.) When all is clear he'll say 'Gomenosai / Sumimasen (I'm sorry / Excuse me)' and the most pathetic salesmenship begins

8.) The business card. This takes a minimum of five minutes. For even though the teacher doesn't have time to hear this bullshit they will out of respect closely examine the salesmen's card.

9.) Then they talk in Japanese or some other language I don't understand. These guys seriously look like they have to use the bathroom as they squiggle about and frantically bow while explaining their text materials. Instead of a night on the town, candies, or even a happy ending they simply provide a thunderous supply of sample texts. How productively boring!

10.) Then pretending they're Michael Jackson they moonwalk away from the desk while bowing. Now that is a talent.

11.) They continue the epic moonwalk to the office door, give a polite bow, mutter some jargon and they vanish...until they show up 4 minutes later to attack another teacher.

12.) Ridiculous!

The table next to me is completely covered in sample books. My supervisor even just said, 'I'm a text collector.' I'm thinking we need to have a bonfire soon.

Soliticing = convenience....and if it is wazurawashii (annoying) simply laugh at it!


The following pictures were taken on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 at 7:35am while enduring my arduous 500 foot journey to work. Enjoy?

this is a building...I sleep here


on my way

getting close

March of the Students

arrived: my place of employment

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

Howdy! As I spent the last three weeks invading South East Asia, the regularity of the posts have gone extinct. Though while most of my time will be spent producing a DVD of my trip, look for future entries within the next couple of weeks. Take care, and god bless!

- Crave