I’ve had some really great lessons lately, something I’m always thankful for. It seems like the kids are getting friendlier by the day. Highlights of the week so far? Being told I was really cute by two first-years (the amount of English they struggled with was even more endearing than the sentiment) and having a rather long conversation about what Japanese celebrities I like with another first-year student today (again, I appreciated the epic battle with English). I know that everyone emphasizes using only English in the classroom, but I’ve gotta say that I think that the Japanese is really helpful. Even though I generally use English, I can help the kids with their questions after they’ve exhausted their rather limited set of vocab to communicate with me. And I think that tends to make them want to talk to me more–because they don’t have to be as afraid that we’ll just hit a dead-end and start blinking at one another after a sentence or two. I switch back to English when I can, and I think it makes at least some of them try harder to communicate with me. I’ve noticed that the students I occasionally help in Japanese are the ones who race to spout their latest English lesson whenever they see me.

Let’s see, what else… Oh, I was interviewed about anime and low birthrates in America and ran into Rosalind at a rather scary English teachers’ conference at my base school today. Anyway, I’m going to try and do a few more GRE practice sets–they tend to make me want to go to sleep ridiculously early though, so we’ll see how far I get.