Well, that didn’t work

Another aborted attempt at blogging regularly. After that post on Sunday, I just couldn’t pull myself to write again.

I wonder about my thinking process. When I am in the bus or train, my random thoughts always have this little “I should blog this” part — this also happens sometimes when I am taking a break at uni. But when I return back home, I can’t pull myself together to write. I either break down into lump, procastinate (gaming/redditting), or shamble through my unfinished work.

This week was brutal. I had to finish my Kakenhi application, and at the same time prepare my weekly class. At least this year I had some extra help to prepare my kakenhi. Got some older professors to comment on my project, and got some accepted projects from other colleagues as samples. But I’m still not confident. Thinking about it, my previous applications were all classified as “Grade C” (lower 50%). I don’t think they were THAT bad, so I guess I’m eating some handicap by writing them in English. Unfortunately, that just can’t be helped.

The other thing was the Joho class. Computer literacy. I remember when I first heard about this subject, I was really looking forward to teaching it. But teaching it is proving to be more grueling than I expected. Part of it is that I have two big walls between my knowledge and the students: Japanese and English. No matter how I look at it, my Japanese still sucks, specially if I have to speak for any length of time (such as in a classroom). Also, for this class Windows use is mandatory (windows 7), which means that I don’t know many of its tricks, and that the environment where I prepare the class is different from the environment where the students have the class. Case in point, last class I had huge problems with encoding making my notes looking like gibberish at the student’s computers, and I had no good way to diagnose the problem in Windows.

Which leads to the other part that this class is difficult for me: Large classrooms. In my graduate school classes, I have a much smaller group of students, so when something unexpected happens, I can just walk the student having trouble with it. In this class, I have forty students. This means that trying to solve the problem of one student means leaving 39 unattended.

I’m sure I’ll find a way to deal with this, but it has not been easy.

To deal a bit with my Japanese language problems, Ayako has been borrowing simple books in Japanese from the city library. I’ve read a few illustrated novels, some children’s books (even my little prince), and now I got the Japanese version of “Truckers”, by Terry Pratchett. To be honest, I still can’t finish most books before I have to return them to the library, but I keep grinding, since this is how I learned English in the first place.

I just noticed I wrote a lot. I still feel like I have more to talk about (like when I re-found my old blog, and my forum nostalgia), but I will try to leave this for another blog post. Let’s see if this strategy works. :-)

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