Dreams.

Today was awesome.

Despite the sudden change in weather (I’m talking, suddenly it’s 9 degrees c with winds of 15mph and and hail one minute, rain the next, sun the next) and a FULL class load today, I had a great day at school.

I showed up and my first class was pretty standard. But then I got to help two classes with a game and a test and it was really fun to be able to interact with them more. They had to get my approval on the sentences they made for this one game and it was fun watching them run around in a frenzy to try to get me to circle their papers. Then for their test, I had a list of their names in kanji and asked them to teach me their pronunciations because I want to learn their names. It’s been 4 months and it’s SLOWLY happening. I have over 1500 kids, though, so can you blame me?

Then I had a good lunch and received dessert (REALLY FANCY CUSTARD) from one of my teachers and I felt all giddy. Then I helped two of my students prepare for the speech contest that’s on Saturday, which I’m actually a judge for haha.. Not sure how fair that is, but hey. I have been helping them for months and it’s getting down to the wire but they are getting so much better, so I’m proud of them.

After lunch I had one last class in which I helped the second year students write short speeches about their dreams. Two weeks ago, my JTE asked me to write my own dream speech and she recorded me saying it, and she’s going to show it to them pretty soon. (By the way – my dream speech was on me wanting to write a book.) But she brought examples of speeches from one class last year (who are all third grade students now) and I read through them at all the “I want to be an astronaut, (engineer, soccer player, English teacher, interpreter, etc.) and I was so moved. Sometimes my kids can be crazy and annoying but they have such amazing dreams. I want to put up a poster of all their dreams in my house so I can remind myself why I love education in the first place. Especially for the days when it’s hard and I feel like giving up.

There were even students in my class who told me they want to be an English teacher, and I was SO happy to hear that. I got the chance to speak with all of them individually and it was just a good experience overall.

Then, as I went home, I went to the little veggie/fruit shop near my house. It was my first time, but I needed bananas for breakfast and green onions for dinner. The guy in there was really nice, so I’m definitely going back. Then I went to 7/11, where they are having a campaign for a group I like called Kis-My-Ft2. What you do is you pay 500 yen ($5) and pull a card from a box and then you can see what prize you won. Most of the prizes are like pens, charms for your bag, bracelets, and some of the higher ones include posters and whatnot. I just fooled around and thought, why not, and I actually got the best prize: a carry-on bag. It’s pretty big and has wheels, and I can definitely take it as my carry on when I go to Hong Kong! It was just so funny because there’s only ONE of the best prize, and I got it. The woman behind the counter freaked out and had to get up on a chair to reach it, saying I was really lucky. She asked, “Are you going to be ok getting this home?” ^^;

So I got home and got warm and made me some dinner. I made ramen with green onions, corn, ham, sausages, and bean sprouts. It was so good. I really needed something warm in my stomach. I refuse to turn on my heater because I want to save money. I just slip under my kotatsu when I get too cold. So far it isn’t bad, and it’s only supposed to get a few degrees colder than this, but I’m already dreaming of spring. I mean at least in America I can go inside and get warm. But here, not even my school has heaters. And my students open the windows during class. I’m positive it is a tactic to freeze me to death so they don’t have to study.

I only wrote 1000 words today, so I didn’t hit the NaNo goal of 31.6k, but I’m slowing down in order to save my sanity and finish my novel how I want to. I am starting to doubt whether or not I will need the full 50k to finish, as I am at 31k and am almost to the climax. Total, I am 400 words away from 90k. That blows my mind. So I’m taking it nice and slow and so far my quality hasn’t suffered too much.

I will sleep much better tonight, I hope. Last night, I don’t know why, maybe the weather was keeping me up, but I just couldn’t sleep. I hope everyone stays warm. Getting up in the mornings is the worst part of my day, but I have third years tomorrow (my favorite) so I won’t have too much trouble dragging myself out of bed.

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