Les Divagations d'une Jeunesse Imaginative











{April 23, 2012}   Je continue….

So,this first week in proper Japan. Spent an awful lot of money. 

 

Anyway, so spent my first night on a futon. That week and a half went past really fast actually. Spent quite a lot of time the first few days we went into the office just hanging around. We all felt a bit useless to be honest. Still, had lovely chats with Brayton (who was supervising training or something) and got some valuable tips. That I can’t remember. Oh well!

Then all of a sudden, we got an announcement. One of us was to head to Saitama on assignment! Ooh the suspense. It was between myself and Ardiane, as everyone else was placed; Shane in Sapporo, Kevin and Michael in the Hiroshima branch, Rebecca in the office and Jaimie and Chelsea too had gotten placements.

The next day we found out ’twas myself! I was off to Saitama to 3 elementary schools! Terrifying but exciting! Rest of the week went in a blur, met with my new branch head and got packed off, and was off on a train up to Saitama! I must interject here and say I moved by myself. Everyone else got someone to help them move in. I went up by myself – my IC (helper person) was due to meet me the next day as opposed to on my arrival. Got my keys by myself and everything. I only had to ring Noda-San once to translate!

So here I am in Saitama the next day, meeting up with my IC and off to see my Board of Education and schools! Saito-sensei was very nice, introduced me along with my IC to all my schools, and helped explain my prawn allergy. I’m in Japan, I know, having an allergy to any sort of fish here is dangerous! Thankfully it’s not an anaphylactic allergy.

So met with my schools. Not ashamed to say I felt fairly small and useless, not being able to speak Japanese as well as I’d like and therefore unable to understand completely or indeed answer the principals. But my IC was very nice and translated for me. Once we had met the schools (and survived my IC’s driving – she admitted herself she’s not the best at driving!) she took me to buy a bike. A necessity, I can assure you. So the bike was bought (and has subsequently been named Mindy.) and then, as my IC had another person to visit that day, I was left to find my own way home.
Eeep! I then discovered I seem to have an internal GPS system as I asked directions twice and both times they were “continue down this road!” so that’s good to know! I have since gotten lost and found my way back with no map help whatsoever twice. Very proud of myself for finding my way back.

So. First two days in school. Sat around like an eejit, as there were no English classes in my main school til Friday. So that meant two out of my three days in my main school, T, we’re gone. First day teaching was in KH, on Wednesday. Three 4th grade classes (9yos) and one 3rd grade class. Went well, actually! Had a bit of a shaky start, but that was mainly due to my own nervousness. Got into the swing of things though, and had lots of fun! All the teachers said the kids had great fun, so I guess I’m doing something right!

Then found out several interesting things. One. Kids spend 20mins out of every day cleaning the school. This is weird. Two. Kids in Japanese schools are scarily able to take orders. And three, I really like teaching English to kids.

Second day teaching was in KN, three 3rd grade teachers. Great fun here again. Kids think I’m adorable. So do the teachers. Must say though, KN is my least favourite staff room. Favourite kids though. All of them are so enthusiastic and totally into everything.

Third day teaching I kick it up a notch, and introduce myself to every kid in every class. I had second graders in one of the periods (T is the one school where I see every year. Also this was my first full day teaching, as I had six periods) and I am now “Pikachu-sensei” to those kids. T is my favourite staff room by far.

Well, I’ll pick this up again soon!

Ja!

Manathen

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YOU GUYS I’M IN JAPAN this is weird. 

Details? Details. Ok. 

Flight was looong. Stopped over in Copenhagan, got noodles for lunch and basically arced around the airport for the time we were there. Had to ask a guard if we could leave the gate area – guard was really nice (but I think he was laughing at us a bit). Then we hurried to the gate to wait to be called. While waiting we grabbed one of the Japanese newspapers lying around and remembered how little we actually knew of reading Japanese! It was great. We also saw this amazing old Japanese lady who was speaking in such a way that WE COULD UNDERSTAND HER. Much utterings of “She was awesome” were had.

Ardiane was also glad she didn’t have her large luggage at this point – her boyf had managed to break it at Dublin airport. Much lols.

Then we got on the plane. It was good, movies consisted of The Descendants, My Week with Marilyn, and a few other things. There was a really awesome feature of you could check out what was in front and below the plane (there were cameras) and there was a moving map so you could follow the plane along. I had it on the moving map for most of the flight. Also, whoever said airplane food is crap is a liar. We got pork and garlic potatoes and cheese and cracker and a kind of sweet vanilla caramel pudding thing. It was amazing. I wasn’t sure about drinks, so I called an attendant over (bald, glasses, absolutely lovely man). 

“How much is orange juice?”

Attendant laughs a bit.

“This is Scandinavian Airlines. Drinks are free with your meal.”

And he then brought me some orange juice and smiled, going on his merry way. Man was amazing. I also drank the most green tea on that flight. It got to the point where he would come around with the green teapot and pour the green tea for me without asking. Almost. He would give a slight “are you sure?” nod to me before doing so.

Then we all settled down for a sleep. Well, the others did. Eejit here couldn’t sleep so while the two boys slept like babies, and Ardiane drifted in and out of sleep, here was I listening to my music, unable to sleep. I think I got two hours. Anyway! Felt like we were over Russia for an era, it took so long to leave the airspace. Saw lots of snowy mountains though. Nice scenery. 

So!

 

We arrive in Japan. Met by a lovely man called John who delivered us to the bus. We haven’t seen John since. Got on the bus to travel to our hotel. Bus driver stopped the bus and apologized to us because he needed petrol. We were totally cool with that. We were also four out of six people who were on this bus. Twere a bit weird. 

 

So we arrive at the hotel, and were greeted by Ford (who looked nothing like I thought he would) and Ryan (Who looked almost exactly like I thought he would). Ryan creeped me out a little bit my belatedly wishing me happy birthday. Turns out his sister as the same birthday as me. Weird. Ran through a load of documentation (met Mike – more on him later) and Brayton (and on him). Went for a drug test, met Simon and Brian (And again) and Brian told me that my precision with the folding of my bag containing my drugs test will make me very popular with the kids (I assume he meant in an arty sort of way, because I wasn’t immediately dragged off in a police car). 

While we were hanging around up here, we meet Cathy. Lovely Australian girl, who turns out ALSO has the same birthday as me. Weird. So that’s Shane, Ryan’s sister, and Cathy who all have the same birthday as me. O.o

Cathy proceeds to hang around with us for most of the training. so we finish all that and head back to the airport for a look around, and to see what luggage prices were like.

Turns out airport luggage is hell expensive, so we came back and got our room key (myself and Ardiane were roomies) Room was huge, a double bed each. It was great.

So then! We ironed some stuff for training the following morning and got into bed. Training starts tomorrow!

Ok, not going to go through all of training. Sod that, I’m not reliving the insanity that was that training. I shall give you an overview, however. Mike Kanert is the guy I mentioned earlier. He specializes in Junior High School (ages 12-15) schooling. He is also into theatre. This little fact, coupled with the obvious rehearsing he did, makes him seem a little false. Soulless, actually. Mike is someone none of us are sure about. Except Shane. Who greatly dislikes Mike. Mike took us for most of the training, since we were unassigned to a particular schooling group. Mike was also the MC. Then there was Brayton, the elementary school (primary school) guy. Brayton seemed a little awkward at first, but my god, the man is amazing in a classroom session. got a class of about 40 over 20yo (most are over 24) to get up and act like kids for a whole 50mins and love it. Doing simple nougats and crosses games and things. We like Brayton. 

And then, there was Cedric. Cedric was infamous by the end of training. Cedric and Mike played this kind of good cop bad cop thing. Mike was the good cop. Cedric was the bad cop. Cedric, got a line of ten people who were slightly late coming back in from a lunch break to stand up at the top of a room of 247 people and apologize to us for being late. Needless to say, I was never late for a class after that. Cedric would also call people up and make them pretend to start off a class (again, all this in front of 247 people). Jesus, when Learning Consolidation time came around, we were all praying it wouldn’t be us. PRAYING. Because he would openly criticize you too.

But we copped on to him fairly quickly. He was only trying to frighten us into behaving. It worked, for most of us. A couple were late nearly every day. Le sigh. But by the end people were volunteering to be brought up. It was highly entertaining.

I had a lovely chat with Cedric as well, because I had a couple of questions for him. He probed a bit and found out I had been working in mum’s school and he asked if he could see some of the videos her teachers used. I was all, sure! No problem Cedric!

I will have photos of these people later.

So then, training ended, And everyone went out for a night in Narita. (Note, for a week, Japan had been Toyoko Inn in Narita (lovely place, highly recommend) and the 7/11 (a convenience shop) down the road). So we went out in Narita, Ryan bought us all drinks, had a great time dancing around. Then headed back. Oh, I forgot to mention Mike! Mike was the fifth Intern. He was from Australia and we had hung around with him then for the rest of training. 

So yeah. We all met up in the lobby, went over MORE paperwork, got our company phones and then waited for the bus that would take us back to the airport so we could get on the SkyLiner to Tokyo. While getting on the Skyliner, Ardiane’s hand luggage bag broke. This made the journey from Tokyo to Iidabashi (where the offices and our second hotel were) very difficult. Poor Shane and Ryan had to take turns carrying Ardiane’s big bag so that she could manage the little one. 

But then! We arrived at our second hotel (Koraku Garden Hotel – not as nice as Toyoko Inn but we had our own rooms this time) and followed Ryan to the office for a bit. Shane noticed some shredding on the ground and offered to hoover. He then hoovered a little area of the office. Ryan was very impressed. I think. Then Ryan took us into Akihabara to get Ardiane some new luggage. We found a Donkihote, and the place is a) massive and b) set up like a pound shop. But man, the stuff in there  – the prices are NOWHERE NEAR pound shop prices. There was stuff in there for around 50 euro ish! Madness.

Anyway, I’ll pick this up later, have to go find out about my new apartment, and what the story is with Shane moving into the one I have now. 

The mystery will be cleared up next time!

Ja,

Manathen

 



{March 14, 2012}   Je vais au Japon!

Oh my god, Japan is so close! Getting fairly nervous now, tbh. Main suitcase is pretty much packed!(well, except for socks. Need to get those). Just hand luggage left. It’s kicking in how much I’m going to miss people. 😦

Still. The portraits of myself and G finally arrived via my godfather’s wonderful wife. They look so pretty! She also brought me pics for inside my locket, which is only gorgeous, thank you my love! So that’s another very important job done.

Well, I should go get breakfast.

Talk to ye at the airport!!

Manathen



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Yes. I know it’s been ages. This isn’t even gonna be that long. I am very annoyed with myself in regards to my grades. did fairly badly in the results. I mean, I got two a’s, a c, but failed the other two. Sucks ASS. Very irritated. Co-op’s going well though, everyone’s lovely etc.

REALLY missing G. I mean, it’s ridiculous. I am counting down every day until I get to see him again. N’s wondering if I’m jumping in too deep. I honestly have no idea. I’m not complaining, not by a long shot. I’m perfectly happy with how much I need him, which is a lot. 🙂 Love him so much. Want to be with him now!!! Ah, seeing him on Fri. All will be well. 🙂

Well, sorry again for not updating, but hey. Life gets in the way sometimes.

Ja,

Manathen



{April 30, 2010}   Demoiselles Détournés

Oh lordy. 🙂
Been fairly quiet since my last post. Had a load of A&M Soc events. The Anime sleepover night went very well, lotsa fun was had!! We rented out the SU for the night, and Myself and G ended up sleeping in the server room. fun times.

Scavenger hunt was a flop, unfortunately, but the Gothic and Lolita picnic was lotsa fun! We had a charity bakesale during it, and we made over €150. Awesome!
We showed the last two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and End of Evangelion. Was in bits for End of Eva. It really got to me. Embarrassing though. Hehehe.

Played Halo last weekend too! Shock! Scary stuff though. :S Did better than I thought I would, despite dying six times, twice due to jumping into the middle of enemies instead of taking cover. *le sigh* Typical.
Was fun though. Want to do it again at some point. G said I did better than he expected, but I dunno. I hope his expectations were fairly low, seeing as I’d never played an fps before. 🙂

Exams coming up. Projects due and whatnot. Want all of it to go away, want to just curl up with G and forget the outside world exists. Bleh.

SO’G has invited me to join a blog for girls of the geeky type. I’m liking the french version of one of our title suggestions very very much. Hehe. Hence this blog’s title. Look forward to it. Also, Co-op draws ever closer. Should start looking for a house in Dublin. Anyone reading this got any suggestions? XD

Ah wells.

Signing off for now,

Manathen.

(Theme song for this post – MJ – Stranger in Moscow)



Oh my gods, we won at BICS. For those of you who don’t know, BICS is the Board of Irish College Societies, and they held the All Ireland Society Awards on Wednesday night and we (UL Anime&Manga Soc) won Best New Society! We can’t believe it! Kudos to Sophie for doing all the preparations for this, btw! And kudos to the committee and the members too *realizes this sounds like the acceptance speech and stops*.

We were up against NUIG, DCU and DIT for the Large Colleges category. There was some really tough competition, with NUIG’s Sceptics Soc, DCU’s Journalism, and DIT’s Art and Design.

They were held in Athlone, and the winners are chosen based on an application, portfolio and interview system. the interviews and the ball were held in the Hodson Bay Hotel, and the awards ceremony was laid out “rather like the Oscars”, in that the category was announced, the nominees were announced, and then the presenters were announced. We had a lot of fun, linked up with a load of other societies (Like NUIM’s Tea Society – Lovely bunch of girls – and ITT’s StVdeP Society).

So yeah. Bit of a mishap with MSoc being constantly late, and pissing us and our bus driver off, but overall the night was a massive success!!

Missed G immensely throughout it though. Really felt his absence, like. Am I becoming too much of a sap?

Signing out,

Manathen

(P.S. Highly recommend the Radisson Blu Hotel – very, very swanky.)



{April 15, 2010}   Il est enfin arrivé!!!

Ok. My very belated Easter week post. Sorry!

Easter was interesting. Was working the Sat and Sun before Easter Sun. Gods, but IL&S Hotel is a pain in the ass to work for. I know I should be happy I have a job, but gods. They decided, on Sunday, that they would completely overwork the kitchen by having an event on at the same time as Sunday Lunch, and then there was the added idiocy of there not being enough cutlery for all three food and beverage departments.

Missed G insanely that week. Sad face. However, met up with E and LoH on Sun. Saw Kickass. Go see it if you haven’t, it is epic.
Met up with N and A then on wednesday, had coffee and discussed politics. Fun was had by all. Well, except J, who was bored out of her mind, but meh. 🙂

BAck up to Lim on Thurs, despite a few errors in my judgement and buses being stupid. Got there though!!
Curled up with G. 🙂 Happy times.

Up early then Fri morn, to get to the bus station, G to go home to Tralee, and Myself to Galway to meet up with K.
Oh, what a weekend! Absolutely awesome to see K after two years of not seeing her. Felt like no time had passed at all after about five minutes. She did a portrait of me for my birthday. It was amazing. There’s a link to it here: http://elvensgrace.deviantart.com/art/Portrait-of-a-Friend-159911591
I gave her the hostel stay and two of my purple rabbit paintings. 🙂
We spent a lovely weekend shopping and hanging out up there, saw How to Train Your Dragon.I want a Toothless plushie. He is awesome. Got accessories for my DS only to find out it needs a new battery. Joy. Also, bought Pokémon Pearl. In French. :S Ah well. It’ll improve my French immensely.
We were the only girls in the hostel room that night. 2 girls in a room of 8 people. Meeep!
But the weekend went well. 🙂

Expect another post in a minute,

Manathen!



{April 13, 2010}   Je suis desolée!!

Will post about Easter soon, promise. 🙂 Bit all over the place at the moment.



Right. Clubs and Socs ball last Thursday. Was good, enjoyable night out. Lost out to DJ Soc for best New/Improved Soc. Was gutted. Cried a bit. But overall, had fun. Loads of photos were taken, might post them up when I take them off my camera.

But wow, the weekend following. Took 12 members up to the Irish film Institute Anime weekend in Dublin this weekend past. Bus trip was fine, everyone showed up on time, etc. Was looking forward to a cheer-up weekend, after losing, so happily got on the bus (Was upside-down for most of it – it’s how I travel on buses. Also spent most of the second half of the journey trying to avoid being tickled by G – evil sod)

Met DF – Friend of G’s up there. Nice guy, blended in well with the rest of the soc, hehe. Then we got on a bus to Castleknock, to the Travelodge out there.

Right. Got off the bus ON A DUAL CARRIAGEWAY. Crossing the road meant crossing four lanes of traffic. Lovely. Managed that anyway, (ruining my new WHITE shoes – what a bad decision those were *sad face*), and got to the Travelodge.

Ok. here’s where I start to get irritated. First off, they tell me, although we have booked three rooms, they only have actual keys for – wait for it – one. ONE room. Second, they got the room order wrong – three three people rooms instead of two four people rooms and one double. Unbelievable. THEN we discovered (after they gave us two cots to turn the room order into the right one) that the cots were stained, the showers were leaking (H&S anyone?) and breakfast was extortionate in price. Other than that, had a good night, chatting and talking. DF ended up on the floor after all that for some reason. Silly boy. Snuggled up with G. Cue warm fuzzy feelings.

Saturday, checked outta Travelodge (thank gods – NEVER going back. G’s sending a complaint email as I type). Went into the IFI for a day of win. Evangelion 1.11, 5cm per second, and Evangelion 2.0. Cried at every single one, but they were all very very good – esp 2.0. LM turned up to 5cm – along with JN and TM – lovely to see all of them again. Dinner at Yamamori’s – Japanese restaurant that is made of win and epicness. Joined there by DR – another of G’s friend who goes to Trinity. Lovely meal – had monkfish teriyaki – oh my god, it was SO good. Unbelievably so. G had Yamamori Ramen. Couldn’t eat that – it had prawns. 😦
Afterwards, checked into Jacob’s Inn – lovely hostel. Totally recommend, if you’re in Dublin. Lovely place, staff, conditions, right across from Busáras. Win. Also, free toast and tea breakfast. Double win.

Right. Another little glitch happened here. We had planned to go to a member of DCU’s A&M Soc’s house to make Melon bread. The entire committee was supposed to go. Ended up four of us going. P, G, myself and DF went. :S Had a good time there – (The dude’s house was amazing. Like, wow. The technology he had going there – WOW.). We failed at melon bread though – stupid things wouldn’t cook properly, and the four of us that went were ready to drop by the time we left. G was irritated, as was I with the whole situation, but what could we do? *shrugs*

Sunday was also epic, movie-wise. Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Gundam Unicorn (fell asleep for a bit during this). Skipped Blood the Last Vampire (Have it) to have coffee with A’OD(soon to be ‘S’) and CS. Very interesting convo there – apparently I’m a candidate for godmother to kiddies, as well as their arguments over pets (ligers and wolves were mentioned – enough said). Was lovely to see them though. *squeals* Went back for Summer Wars. Fabulous film. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Cried at only two films this time – GWLTT and Summer Wars – and got teased for it, but meh. It’s the music, dammit!!!

Went for a quick take-out subway dinner, and hopped back on the bus. All pretty quiet on the bus (ended up upside down for a bit). But there were fuckwits on it who decided to smoke on the bus (smoking on buses is ILLEGAL). I’m also allergic to cigarette smoke, if I’m in an enclosed space, it affects me much more quickly than anyone else, my nose closes up and I start having breathing problems as well and eye problems. Thankfully it didn’t progress to the eye stage (thank gods). But still. Couldn’t breathe properly for at least ten minutes. Recovered, bus journey went on. Got tickled again by G. Got revenge by discovering his ticklish side. *cackles*
Arrived in Limerick, went back and spent the night at G’s.

Overall, a good weekend, despite the hiccups. Favourite films? Eva 2.0 followed by Summer Wars.
Go to it, if you haven’t before.

Signing out,
Manathen



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