Weekly Logs Dec.30, 2019 – Jan.5, 2020

The week was 19th week of the first semester, and it was for the final examination.

 

Monday;

I uploaded last week’s log onto this blog in the morning. After that I graded answer sheet of listening test for 1st grade students until noon. It was the fourth day of grading because I was doing the second check by myself. I continued the task in the afternoon, but I took a big nap for two hours. I went to the teachers’ room in the evening to meet another teacher. The room was chilly.

 

Tuesday;

It was the last day of 2019. I washed two white shirts by hand in the morning. I took morning nap? for an hour. I calculated scores for composition classes of 2nd grade in the afternoon. Students’ grades are calculated as summation of 50 points from scores of final test and 50 points about a student’s activities and attendances during the semester. Since the final test had not come yet at time of Tuesday, I calculated the latter scores. In the evening I went to the teachers’ room again and returned the textbook that I borrowed on Monday.

 

Wednesday;

It was the new year’s day. I could say that the day was the first holiday since the first semester had started. I sent a lot of emails to my friends to say wishing them a happy new year. Later I found that email was out of date as a communication tool, because the replies didn’t come soon. I spent most of the hours of afternoon on the bed. I wanted to have the day a holiday, but I worked for two hours in the evening in order to analyze the textbook that will be used in the conversation class in the second semester.

 

Thursday:

The final examination for composition classes was held in the morning from 8:30 to 10:30. As soon as I came back my residence I started grading the answer sheet.

 

Friday:

The first round of grading was finished in the morning. There was a test for my small class in the afternoon. But I didn’t have to supervise the test because it was done with another class in the same room and another teacher supervised both. I went to the teachers’ room at 3 p.m. to get the answer sheet. I graded them in the rest of the day.

 

Saturday;

I finished grading the final exam and scoring class performance for the small Japanese class. After that I went to the university restaurant to eat my lunch, and then went to a grocery store to buy vegetable. After one hour of nap, I got up from the bed at 3 p.m. I started the double check of test grading for composition classes. The second check for Thursday class was finished in the day.

 

Sunday;

I finished the second check for Friday class in the morning. I went to the university restaurant at noon, but most of the restaurants were already closed. So I went outside of university and ate a pilaf of beef and green pepper. After a long nap, I summarized results of scores. The last thing that I have to do is to register the grading onto the intranet of the university.

 

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Oh, by the way, I think “Bic” means a bicycle in English, but “Baiku” in Japanese means a motorcycle.

Weekly Logs Dec.23-29, 2019

Monday;

I taught the small class in the morning. Although still one class remained on Wednesday yet, I made it the last class to use that boring textbook. After the class I went to the teachers’ room to make photocopies for the last class of my small class. After the lunch, I evaluated compositions in whole of the afternoon. I couldn’t do it much, because I was tired and went to bed often.

 

Tuesday;

I wanted to teach Japanese honorifics in the last class of the small class in the following day. So I prepared for some PPT slides in the morning. In the afternoon I made another PPT that was for composition class. I wanted the last composition class to be a feedback for homework and summary of the semester.

 

Wednesday;

I continued to make PPT for composition class. From 10 to 11:30 was the last of the small class. I checked audio data in the afternoon because the final exam would be on the following day. Actually I found many mistakes on mp3 files. Fortunately I could correct them one day before. I could finish correction onto Mp3 files by 4p.m. After that I just continued to work for composition class.

 

Thursday:

I had done PPT making in the morning. In the afternoon was the final examination for listening class of the first grade students. Since the test used audiovisual rooms, it was done not in the final exam week but in the last week which was one week earlier. Two classes were tested simultaneously. There were some minor problems during the test, but the test was done almost successfully. I went to another building after the test to teach the Thursday composition class. I asked students if they got another class this week. They said no. So my class was the only class in the last week of the semester. They said that they had to come to class, but teachers released them soon after checking their attendance. I think that those seasoned teachers were doing 18 over 17 times valuable class each time. As a new foreign language teacher in the first year, I am not doing so well.

 

Friday:

I started grading the final exam of listening class in the morning. In the early afternoon, I corrected some of slides for the Friday composition class. I always correct PPT slides based on the results of Thursday class. So it is safety say I did the better teachings for Friday class than for Thursday composition class. Anyway I asked the same question in the composition class in the early evening if they had any classes this week. The answer was the same that there was no class but mine. They said they even did not have to come to class. I told them that I was happy to be with you students in the classroom, so let me do my class.

In the class I made the students write the last composition in this semester. It is a thing that is often done in a Japanese class. Students listen to the first half of the old tale “Kasajizou” and then write the second half of the story without knowing it. Actually I tired the same thing in Thursday class several weeks ago. But at that time the students said they all knew the story. I gave up making them write the second half of the Kasajizou. This time also it was expected that some students knew the story. I told Friday students not to tell the story to others if they knew it. It was just an old tale with happy-ending about New Year. It seems like most of students knew the story or could predicted the ending. I told them I wish them a happy new year at the end of the class. But some students didn’t hear what I was saying because they wanted to go dorm as soon.

 

Saturday and Sunday;

I graded answer sheets of the final exam that was 1st grades’ listening. I couldn’t do it well because I was too tired. It was of 57 students with 100 questions each. If I could concentrate on grading, I could have completed it in just one day. But it is not yet finished. I took two hours of nap in the afternoon. Two final exams are coming in next week.

 

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Weekly Logs Dec.16-22, 2019

It was like sleeping all the time this week.

Monday;

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.

 

Tuesday;

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.

 

Wednesday:

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.

 

Thursday:

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.

 

Friday;

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.

 

Saturday;

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.

 

Sunday;

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.

 

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Weekly Logs Dec.9-15, 2019

Monday;

At the beginning of the small class in the morning, I asked them if they had already checked the class schedule of the second semester. Some said yes but they also said that they did not find my name there. I told them that I would not teach for them in 2nd semester. As a native Japanese teacher, I am expected to teach students of Japanese major. So I said them that it was very rare for a Japanese teacher like me to teach students who were not Japanese major. After the class I went to the teachers’ room and corrected students’ drafts for the monthly newsletter. Since I was waiting for other teachers who had their lunch, I missed my lunch in the teachers’ restaurant. I was making PPT for listening class in the afternoon by 7:30p.m. I evaluated some compositions in the night.

 

Tuesday;

Once I ate my breakfast, I started corrections for drafts of monthly newsletter. I sent OK for the final draft to one of five students. And then I continued to work for PPT of the listening class. It was ended by 6:30p.m. It took 12 hours in total this week to complete PPT slides for 90 minutes class. As soon as I finished it, I started another PPT that was for composition class. I stopped working at 8 p.m.

 

Wednesday;

I taught two classes in the morning hours. Two hours in the afternoon were spent for newsletter thing. I sent OK to two students for their final drafts. I continued to work to make PPT for composition class on Thursday and Friday. At 9 p.m. I stopped working without finishing it.

 

Thursday;

Since the deadline was coming on Friday for the newsletter, I got up at 5:30 a.m. and sent corrections to two students in the morning. I needed to complete PPT in the morning hours, so I worked on it from 8 to noon. I taught in the listening class for the 1st grade in the early afternoon and then in the composition class in the early evening. I regretted that I made students write short essays during the composition class. Writing takes time. So I usually make students write their compositions as homework. But this time I wanted to cover up my ill-preparedness by writing activity during class. It must have been boring but difficult task for the students to write an essay by analyzing a graph (bar charts). After the classes I got back my residence and tried reading and correcting as many as possible by 9 p.m. because I hadn’t finished evaluation of Friday class’s compositions that were homework assignment of two weeks ago.

 

Friday:

In the daytime I just evaluated compositions. I could finish by the class in the early evening.

 

Saturday and Sunday:

Of course I tried working, but I have been so exhausted by hard work. I have not taken any single holiday since the semester started. I wanted to evaluate 40 some compositions, to prepare for my small class, and to start PPT making in this weekend. But I have spent most of the time on the bed. I have taken several times of nap, but my headache remains.

I found that several compositions were written in Desu-masu style. This made me very sad. I have told them so many times to write their compositions in Da-dearu style. They just continue to ignore what I said. How can I make a caution for them? I was taught in the training course for Japanese teaching that a teacher was responsible for anything, everything. So I cannot blame them. Students don’t understand the importance of writing style in Japanese. It was my responsibility to tell them.

It was just like go and back between bed and computer in this weekend.

 

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Weekly Logs Dec.2-8, 2019

Monday;

I am so tired that I cannot continue to work long hours. I actually spend many hours on my bed even in daytime his week. On Monday I taught in the small class and made photocopies of handout in the morning. The rest of the day was just making PPT for listening class. I took a nap for an hour. These days I cannot have time to study English, though, I read English a half hour before going to bed on Monday.

 

Tuesday;

I made PPT for listening class all day. I took a nap in the afternoon. If I didn’t take a nap, I could have not continued to work.

 

Wednesday:

I taught two classes in the morning. I took a long rest on the bed until 3p.m. It took two hours for me to evaluate 5 students’ compositions. I started another PPT making for composition class at 5 p.m. I stopped working at 8.

 

Thursday;

Whole of morning hours were spent for making PPT for composition class. It was from 7 to noon. I taught two classes in the afternoon. After I came back to my residence, I graded quiz that I gave to the small class on Wednesday. It took two hours. It seemed that it was difficult for them to write Japanese Kanji correctly.

 

Friday:

I evaluated fluency of dialogues in the small class in the morning. They didn’t seem to have practiced well. Although I had to evaluate many compositions by the class in the early evening, I gave up. I was on my bed for two hours between morning class and composition class. I tried to evaluate more compositions after the class until 9:30p.m. I got five drafts for the monthly newsletter in the night.

 

Saturday:

The time for correction is shortened, while the number of the drafts increases this month for the monthly newsletter. I have to proofread 5 articles by next Saturday. I usually check four times to complete drafting. Time is limited, so I wanted to finish 5 drafts in one day. The reality was that I could finish only 3.

 

Sunday:

I proofread two drafts that I could not finish yesterday. Some students sent me the second drafts already. Drafts’ go-and-back between students and me continues. In the meantime I had to start PPT making for the classes in the coming week. But I didn’t feel I had energy to continue to work.

This week’s log is shorter than usual. I don’t have time to write in detail. And actually I feel like my memory is blurred.

 

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Weekly Logs Nov.25-Dec.1, 2019

Monday;

I taught in the small class. And then I went to the teachers’ room to make photocopies of reading material. It took a several hours that were more than I expected. So I could not eat the lunch of the teacher restaurant. I ate my lunch in the student restaurant. I went back my residence and tried working, but I couldn’t. I was too tired to work. It was 5 p.m. when I got up my bed. I started making PPT for Wed/Thu listening classes. I cooked my supper at 8, had supper at 9, and went to bed at 10.

 

Tuesday;

In the morning I prepared for the small class of Wednesday until 9 a.m. Since then I continued to make PPT for listening classes. This week PTT making for listening class took 8 hours in total. Since it was 12 hours last week, I could shorten the hours to make it. I took a nap at 3 p.m. for an hour. Got up at 4 and then started PPT making for the composition classes. I wanted to make less PPT slides than usual by using photocopies of reading material in the class. But it couldn’t be short.

 

Wednesday;

I taught two classes in the morning. One was the listening class and the other was small class. Both were for 1st grade. I realized that a native Japanese teacher was not necessary for that listening class. I mean, in the class, I just play the audio and say “The answer is A.”, and play the audio again and say “The answer is B”, and so on. I felt like I was just a kind of machine to play listening materials. After the lunch I spent the whole of afternoon to make PPT for Thu/Fri composition classes.

 

Thursday;

I tried finishing PPT making for composition class by noon. This week it was 14 hours to make PPT for 90 minutes class for composition. I hate or worry about a shortage of PPT slides. If PPT doesn’t last by the end of the class, it would be sheer evidence that I was ill-prepared. So I want to have enough slides of PPT. Anyway, I spent so many hours for PPT that I could not finish the evaluation of students’ composition by class hours.

 

Friday;

Fortunately I had already finished the evaluation of compositions of Friday class. So I tried evaluating the rest of Thursday class, but I was so tired that I could not do any job in the morning. Composition class was in the early evening. I realized in the class that one of the best students looked so tired and sleepy. I was anxious if the student was okay or not. Got back in my residence I continued the evaluation of compositions of last week. I went to bed at 10 p.m. Since I was so tired, I thought I could fall asleep soon. But I could not sleep until 1 a.m.

 

Saturday;

I woke up at 6 a.m. as usual. Since it was weekend, I wanted to sleep more, but I could not sleep again. Although I got up, I didn’t feel good. What I could do in the morning was just making two evaluation sheets for compositions that I got from two classes this week. I took a lunch in the university restaurant and then went outside of university to go to a grocery store. I bought a lot of vegetable for a week. I took a nap afternoon and started composition evaluation. One of compositions was so broken in grammar that it took more than one hour for me to write explanation and correction with red ink. I worked for four hours, cooked my supper, thought about work schedule while I was waiting for cooling down of the supper (I don’t like too-hot meal), ate them at 9, and went to bed at 10.

 

Sunday;

I have to teach the small class three times in “Odds number week”. The coming week is the fifteenth week. I thought I had to prepare well for that class. I made three teaching plans for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes. I finished the preparation by 11a.m. And then I started to make a handout for the composition class. Actually the students do not take notes of my lecture. I told them to do so but they don’t seem to do at all. They just see my lecture like TV show. When they write their compositions as a homework assignment, they have already forgotten what they heard from me in the class. I think that one solution would be to give them a handout having a lot of blanks to be filled with. I will make the students fill the blanks during the class so that it will be a kind note-taking. I am not sure if it will work or not, but I want to give it a try. I finished drafting of the handout at 3, wrote this log one hour, and evaluated students’ composition from 4 to 7 p.m. That was the end of my weekend.

 

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Weekly Logs Nov.18-24, 2019

Monday;

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.

 

Tuesday;

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.

 

Wednesday;

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.

 

Thursday;

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.

 

Friday;

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;

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.

 

Sunday;

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.

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