Weekly Logs Dec.16-22, 2019

It was like sleeping all the time this week.


I taught the small class in the morning, went to the teacher’s room for printing quiz and handouts for that small class on Wednesday, and got back my residence at 11. I slept for a while. I went to the teacher’s restaurant at noon to have my lunch and bought peers and small citrus at fruits shop in the restaurant building. The small citrus was “Kinkan” in Japanese, although I don’t know how to pronounce it in this country. It has good flavor of citrus and is sweet. There are seeds inside but no need to peel off. I like to eat them. In the afternoon, I tried to make PPT for Wednesday listening class, but most of the time I was just sleeping on my bed. I could not continue to work even for one hour because I was so tired.



I was just making PPT all day long, but while doing so, I went to bed quite often to take a rest. I spent 8 hours on Monday and 12 hours on Tuesday to complete the PPT. It means 19 hours this week, but sleeping hours must be subtracted. So it was about 12 hours. After that, I prepared for the small class that was just after the listening class on the following day.



There were two classes in the morning. I taught Japanese honorifics in the second class. Although the class basically uses a designated textbook, articles in it are terribly boring and uninteresting. So I use other teaching materials once in five classes. Since it was almost the end of the semester, I wanted to teach what was so important in Japanese communication. It is Honorifics, which is often said to be too difficult to learn. Yes, I agree, but I think there are some ways to learn them. There are two types; one is raising a person of the topic, the other is lowering down a speaker him/herself. For both types, wording can be done by three ways; the first is verb conjugation, the second is adding prefixes, and the third is replacing some basic verbs with honorific verbs. The reason why I wanted to teach honorifics to my small class was that it would surely be helpful when my students meet Japanese clients, guests, or whoever in the future. And I don’t think it is good if a foreign language class is only for reading. This week I taught “raising a person” type honorifics. I will teach “lowering down him/herself” type next week.

I talked to the chief of Japanese department after the lunch. I asked many questions about how to supervise the final examinations.

Talking an hour, I got back my residence at 2, and went to bed. I fell asleep like straight-down (?). When I woke up, it was already getting dark.



Fatigue had accumulated. I had decided to have a kind of speech contest in this week’s composition class so that I could minimize my preparation for PPT and evaluation of homework. But for just in case the contest ends early in the class, I tried preparing PPT that could cover up 10 minutes or so. It was about a type of adverbs of Japanese, which requires a certain expression in the end of sentence. I wanted to finish this PPT making in the morning, but I was so tired and had headache. I didn’t feel good when I tried moving the cursor and clicking something on computer screen by mouse. It was feeling like my nerve breaks down. Making just a few slides took more than two hours.

I taught two classes in the afternoon. Listening class went well on time. Composition class was so-so. 12 pairs made their speeches. One pair talked about Sakura (cherry flowers) in Japan. I commented that I had become 50 already and every April I saw Sakura flowers, I thought whether or not I could see Sakura flowers in next year. If I could survive one year I would be able to see it, if not, unable to see that beautiful flowers in spring. A Japanese thought like that. Anyway, almost no time was left for explanation of adverbs after the speech contest. I didn’t do that and let the students go dorm five minutes earlier to the end. After the class I went back my residence and prepared for the small class until cooking for supper.



I taught in the small class in the morning and another composition class in the early evening. I forgot what I did between the two classes. Probably I had been on my bed. I was too tired to work. I could not use PPT for adverb things on Thursday compositions class. On the other hand, I could make a lecture about it in Fridays composition class because there were still 15 minutes when speeches ended. Students seemed to be tired and wanting to go dorm soon, but I was sure that what I was showing was very much helpful for them. I had a dinner with another native Japanese teacher. Two bottles of beer were not bad, but I ate too much.



I ate too much on Friday night. So I didn’t feel hungry. I didn’t eat a breakfast. It was like my stomach was also tired as bad as my brain. I graded quizzes of the small class and evaluated summary composition that were last week’s homework assignment of two composition classes. I took nap many hours but could not get rid of fatigue. I didn’t go outside all day.



I continued evaluation of compositions. But I slept a lot in day time. I went to the university restaurant for lunch and to a grocery store to buy vegetables for the week. I forgot to buy tomato. Price has gone up a lot for the vegetables because of the season. I could not finish the evaluation for two classes. But I was not in a hurry. Since I no longer have to prepare for the listening class, I had more time to spend for my small class and composition classes. Anyway what I found on compositions were a ton of errors that I had already explained many times to students. Good students learn and do not repeat the same errors. But bad students don’t learn and repeat the same errors again and again. It seems like there are barriers around their recognition. I told them to use post-position”-o” with a transitive verb. But no matter how many times I did say the same thing, this is not recognized by some students. I realized that repetition doesn’t work at all. What I am saying is just bouncing back by the strong barriers. Perhaps that strong barrier is useful to protect their self establishments in one way, but in other way it hinders their learning. I think I need to understand why this happens and to think of a way to make a “hole on the barrier” so that what I am saying can reach to their recognition.