I just wanted to take a shower in the morning, and all of a sudden I got a blackout. Tap water also stopped. So I brushed my teeth with drinking water from bottle. I was lucky because I had already taken my breakfast before the blackout. At eight in the morning was my small Japanese class. I usually don’t use PPT for this class. So I could do my class without electricity. I went back my residence before ten. There was a task that I did not need any electricity. That was evaluation and correction of compositions of Friday class. Electricity came back around noon. After the lunch I turned my computer on and proofread a draft of monthly newsletter of Japanese. It took two hours to correct the third draft of a student. I sent it by email and started making PPT for Wednesday and Thursday’s listening class. It took five hours. I cooked my supper at eight and went to bed at 10 p.m.
My small class is basically for reading. Six students are not of Japanese department. They passed the university’s entrance examination by taking Japanese test for foreign language test. The course “University Japanese” is a required subject for them. A textbook is designated by the university. But I found that textbook was so boring, I decided to use other teaching materials once in five classes. The problem is what to use for such supplementary teaching. I thought of two choices; one was to use more interesting reading material, and the other was to do communicative activities using a much easier textbook. My dilemma was that I wanted to improve their communication skills of Japanese, but it was not likely for them to have a chance to use Japanese for communication in real situation. Probably it would be wise to concentrate on reading without wasting time for communication skills. So I used a different reading material that was more interesting than designated textbook last time. However, I had got other problems. The level of that article was still higher for some of six students. Therefore, I changed from reading to communicative activities using easier textbook for the next day class on Wednesday,
I don’t have any class on Tuesday, so I can spend all my time to prepare for classes. I made PPT for communicative activities for that small class in the morning. It took two hours. And then I went to the teachers’ room at ten a.m. to print for quiz which was also for that small class. Once I came back from teacher’s room, I made PPT for listening class that I could not completed on Monday. It took 7 hours. That meant it took 12 hours in total to make PPT for 90 minutes class. I couldn’t make a minute-by-minute time scheduling for 90 minutes because I didn’t have time to practice. I worked two hours more to evaluate compositions of Friday class before going to bed.
The deadline was on Thursday. I mean, the drafts of articles for the monthly newsletter had to be submitted by the following day. This month I was asked by four students to proofread their drafts. One of those students had overlooked my email for more than one week, and sent the second draft to me Tuesday night. I had to proofread it immediately. I started proofreading at 6 a.m. and sent it back at 7 a.m. And then taking a shower quickly, I went to class at 8 that was listening class. I spent the afternoon doing newsletter drafting by 2 p.m., took nap for an hour, and PPT making for composition class from 3 to 8p.m. I didn’t have enough time to finish it. At around 9 p.m. I sent an email to the last student to tell her completion of drafting. It was good to finish one day advanced to deadline. After that, two students gave me thank-you emails, but two students did not.
I tried to finish making PPT for composition class from 7 a.m. until noon. Although it was apparently short for 90 minutes, I gave up because I had to teach in listening class in early afternoon. Composition class was in early evening. The students should have noticed that I was ill-prepared because my teaching was so slow and PPT slides were just repetition that had already shown to them before. After coming back at 5:30, I prepared for my small class and evaluate compositions of Friday class by 8 p.m.
I taught in small class in the morning. They are not good at speaking. So every time, I make them record my voice on their mobile phone while I am reading out a dialogue on the textbook. And then I make them speak that dialogue in the next class. This time I graded fluency of their dialogues. Back in my residence I evaluated the rest of Friday class compositions. I wanted to finish it by the class in the early evening, but I gave up finishing it. I could not return part of composition in the class. Instead, I added some slides to PPT that was used in Thursday class. They were slides to make student practice “Da-Dearu style” of writing. This worked in the class. Composition evaluation of the former week still continued. I spent three hours for it after the class. It was obvious that I spent many hours for Friday class composition. One of reasons was that I have to proofread newsletter draft last Saturday. Another reason was that everybody in Friday class submitted composition that was 28. On the other hand, only two third students of Thursday class submitted composition that was only 20. So simply, I have to evaluate more compositions for Friday class. I angry with Thursday class’s poor attendance. But it’s true that less composition helps me a little.
Saturday was, again, another working day. I spent a whole of morning hours to evaluate last week’s composition. I went to a grocery store as usual and found that vegetable’s prices had gone up much, although they were still cheaper than vegetables in Japan. Once I finished evaluation of last week’s composition, I started evaluation of this week’s composition. This time I made the students write a memo that could be a preparation for job interview. Since several weeks before, I told them to find a Japanese company that seemed to be attractive. And I told them to write two things last week; 1. Why a student chose the company, and 2. How the student can contribute to the company using his/her skills. Saturday afternoon was not enough to evaluate all of the students’ composition, but I checked some of them. I am sorry to say, but I am sure that a human resource personnel would not like to hire most of them. Because what they wrote was too simple without any concrete ideas. They didn’t check even what the company was doing. I’d say no one is going to hire them. I stopped working at 8, had a supper at 9, and then wrote part of this log. Although I went to bed at 10:30, I couldn’t fall asleep at 11p.m., 12a.m., 1a.m., and was still awaken at 2a.m.
Yes, it is today. I felt a headache in the morning. Especially the between eyes was so aching that I could not look at the computer screen. I didn’t start working in the morning. I took shower and went outside to cut my hair. Coming back from haircut, I wrote a long email and sent it around 11a.m. I tried to evaluate composition of this week in the afternoon, but I couldn’t do that. I took a nap. I got up from the bed at 5p.m. and then prepared for Monday’s small class. I cooked my supper and…, uh, this week’s logs have already been too long. Better to stop writing. What I need is just to take a rest.