Beginning to End

With the third trimester of school coming to an end in March, my time on the JET program ending shortly thereafter, and the start of this new blog, I figured this the title felt apt. The image for this post is the handle to a coffee mug I made. All the students in the middle schools here learn how to make mugs, flower vases, and so on as part of their art class. I never had that chance but always wanted to try, so when one of my middle school art teachers took some of us female teachers down to the classroom to make mugs, I joined in. Mine’s not so hot because I tried to make the mouth of the mug thinner and such, but I actually really like how it turned out because it’s not perfect. It’s got it’s own unique feel to it. I decorated the handle with a twist, and the side says “Fall” and is decorated with a pumpkin and leaves in the wind. We got to choose between painting in blue or brown. I chose brown, but, unfortunately, the brown ended up as more of a grey. I’m not sure why. So, I’m a little bummed about that, but overall it’s nice. I’ll use it soon, I think.

School in Japan is coming to a close. The year is broken up into three parts: April – mid-July, September-December, and January-March. That makes the second trimester the longest and the third the shortest. For high school seniors (3rd years), it’s even shorter. Not only do they graduate March 1st instead of around the 13th like the middle school 3rd years, but they also don’t really come to classes for any of February. I’ve had it explained to me that they use the time to prepare for college – getting driver’s licenses, finding places to live if they go to college away from home, and so on. There would be very little time between graduation and the start of college otherwise, so they have a sort of “pre-graduation” month to get a head-start on these tasks. I wish I could see my 3rd years longer because they’re one of the greatest classes I have had thus far.

I don’t have much time left here in Japan, so I’m planning two big trips before going back to America. For Golden Week, I want to go to Australia for about a week or so. I’ll visit the Gold Coast, primarily. I don’t have too many plans so far, but I’ve asked my Australian friends to clue me in to nifty places to see. I don’t want to visit any tourist-y places. Those really bug me. Museums, zoos, nature parks, and so on are more up my alley. We’ll have to see when I get there. I also need to remember to buy a coffee mug for my collection – at least one from every place I visit.

After Australia, I want to go to Seoul, South Korea. I’ve taken a big interest in it within the past year or so, but that hasn’t quite translated (yet) into much actual knowledge. I have scattered pieces of information and am trying to work on learning Korean. (I’ll be posting notes and updates about my studies, hopefully, to help keep me on track. I’m awful at teaching myself things.) Two of my friends from college are thinking about going with me, and another person may pop up for a weekend. It’ll be grand, especially since I plan to go a day or two after my birthday! (That in and of itself will be a sad day because it’s my last one of classes here ever, and from one of my favorite schools, too. But that’s all for another post.) Hopefully I’ll spend about two weeks in Seoul before flying back to the States.

So that’s my update and intro to this new blog. I know I have to recount my disaster of a return trip from last May, so I’ll do that in my next post.

Mata ne! (See you later!)


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