Sports Day.

Sports Day is tomorrow! My first day going to school on a Saturday. A lot of other ALTs go for things like Culture Festival (which my school doesn’t have) and the like, but this is my first Sports Day (体育会) so I am really excited. My school told me we were having it last minute, so I already made plans in the afternoon, but I am still able to make it in the morning. A student teacher and I are doing the three legged race, and we practiced some yesterday. I’m sure we will be fine since we are young and (somewhat) coordinated.

I didn’t have many classes this week because every chance we got, we practiced and set up for tomorrow. Today, for example, we didn’t have class and instead the students practiced their dance, relays, and jump roping. Afterwards, we cleaned the field, put up tents, and I helped plant some grass with the girls. I get a lot of chances to hang out with the students when we are outside working, so it’s a lot of fun. All the students, even the boys, took my sunglasses off of me and tried them on. They are pink and sparkly, so they got a kick out of seeing what they looked like with them on.

In other news, I have kyudo again today. On Tuesday, they let us hit the targets from a close distance, but I cut myself because I hold the bow too tightly and the arrow isn’t in the right place. I was really freaking out because my cut wasn’t healing and I was worried about reinjuring it tonight, but when I looked at the schedule, we aren’t going to be shooting again until next week.

That should give my hand time to heal, but I am really hoping my sensei can teach me how to do it properly so that I don’t have the same problem again. I have been practicing my 手の内 (te no uchi – a term for how to grip the bow with your left hand) on poles and brooms and anything I can. I went on a research rampage yesterday between classes and looked up how to improve my grip. A teacher passed me and saw kyudo pictures on my computer screen and said, ”You sure are studious!”

It’s finally Friday but I feel like my weekend will fly by with kyudo tonight, Sports Day tomorrow.

Lately I haven’t been reading as much, nor have I worked on editing my novel. I feel bad but I know it’s because I have been busy with other things. I am about 5 books behind on my 50 books in 2014 challenge, and it is looking grim for me. I am almost halfway through Neverwhere and I bought a lot of short books in Japanese from Book-Off when I went to Nagasaki over Golden Week. Since they are tiny, maybe I can finish a few of those and catch up.

I really do need to work on editing my book, but it’s at a point where I need beta readers to move on. Reading my own writing gets tiring after a while and I start to lose focus on what I should change. I do think it gets better with every pass, and it’s doing well on Authonomy at the moment. I really want to query this year, so hopefully once I get the hang of kyudo, I get my internet back, and school dies down some more, I will have more energy to do it. I know I have the free time, I just don’t have the motivation. 

I registered for my first graduate school class of my Master’s program through Troy and I start on May 26th. I am so excited to be studying again. The nice thing is that I can work here in Japan and get my textbooks on my kindle and do discussions online. I think I would have loved to be a traditional graduate student, but this suits me well at this point in my life. I like doing a lot of things at once. I think it helps me relax more when I know I have other things to do. Kyudo helps me focus on an immediate goal while graduate school helps me look towards the future. My writing also gives me a way to understand myself and I know once my book is finished and published I will want to start writing another.

As my Nana says, ”The day I retire will be the day I die.”

This apple might be on the other side of the ocean, but it didn’t fall far from the tree.