Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tests and Farewells

I walked to school again today. Still afraid to even try starting up Wasabi-kun.

Today's task, out of the mountain of work the English Department has, was once again twofold: create test questions for a different kind of entrance exam and come up with an English script for MC of the farewell party for our two exchange students that evening.

First the script. Our MC for the evening was none other than The 'Gida, one of the Japanese teachers at Starfish High. He isn't a big fan of English, but he said he'd do it, as long as we gave him a prepared script early enough in the day for him to practice.

I sat down at Hiroshi's computer and cranked one out in about ten minutes.

Jack, who was in to help today, was amazed at the speed with which I type, and the fact that I am an index finger typer. Who needs to learn the placement for each finger on the keyboard when the hunt-and-peck method works REALLY well for you? I've refused to do it since second grade, when we had computer programs that were supposed to train us in the "correct" method of typing. I'd hunt and peck, and get a great score. I can still sit down in front of a keyboard and just crank out stuff. I love it!

So with the script done, I went to work on the next task: the test problems. "Same type of problems as yesterday, just make sure they're new ones." Again, not a big deal. I downloaded some software to help with making one of the problems that we wanted to try on the test. I can't say anything more about it, because it's top secret, but it is something that could be fun and a good test of English ability at the same time. Then I went through and designed the rest of the problems that they needed. One more test down. Again, I was able to prove my usefulness in the workplace. This is a good thing, because I just really haven't felt the need to get out of bed in the morning lately. Losing one's sense of purpose...let's just say it doesn't help when you already aren't feeling that happy with life. So this was a helpful boost to a bruised and battered ego.

That afternoon, Jack and I went out shopping for snacks and drinks for the evening's party. Chips, cookies, and other assorted snacks. Pop, tea, and juice. It all came in at just around $65. The main thing was to keep it under $100 and be able to feed at least 40 people.

We accomplished our goal pretty well, I would say.

I spent the rest of the afternoon updating this blog (still a long way to go...gotta fill in those gaps). Then, when 6 PM rolled around, it was time for the Farewell Party to begin.

The two exchange students at Starfish High have been here since April. One was from Australia, one from New Zealand. One stayed with three different families, one with four. They're both leaving on Saturday to return home. So, we wanted to throw them a party to say goodbye and also to tell the various host families thank you for all their help, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears.

The 'Gida pulled off a pretty good English MC job. I was thoroughly impressed.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the snacks. (YES!!!)

One of our students, who was also a host sister to one of the exchange students, made a very moving speech at the end. It was a little hard to understand, but I could sympathize, because she was crying really hard.

The two exchange students made some nice speeches. The first one was a little long, but he said the right things and showed that he had matured quite a bit during his stay. The second one wasn't as long, but he said what needed to be said and wrapped things up quite well. Then, the third year students sang a farewell song to the two exchange students. It's a cliched song to sing, because it gets sung at almost any graduation ceremony you attend in Japan, but I'll be danged if those students didn't pull at the heartstrings anyway. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

Good party, good times, good way to say goodbye.

I managed to bum a ride home from Eisaku, after which I watched a little TV, did a little more work on this blog, and then hit the sack. Listening to the wind blow outside, I couldn't help but wonder...

Is this snow ever going to let up?


Blogger Megan said...

Parties are always good!

Where are your romantic crab lady stories?

Friday, January 13, 2006 5:38:00 AM  
Blogger Havok said...

You'll get 'em, soon I hope. I have a lot of stuff to put in yet. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:43:00 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

0that means there ARE romantic crab lady stories! Sweet!

Saturday, January 14, 2006 1:17:00 AM  

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