February 28, 2016

JET teacher Laurence's February Blog Post!

Hello again!


It is still very cold in Japan despite some days being surprisingly warm. I am however, proving to be surprisingly good at layering hoodies, blankets and heated blankets when it comes to trying not to get sick and surviving. Many of my students and colleagues have caught influenza or colds, so I’m doing my best to stay healthy. This month has been slow, mostly because of the students leaving for a couple of days to go skiing in Nagano and also preparing for their final exams. I took some time to study Japanese, work on personal projects and go out with my JET friends. I am exploring Tokyo more, little by little, finding good burgers places and coffee shops.


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Coffee culture has actually been booming in Tokyo during the last few years and being a “big fan” of caffeine myself, I know there are still many many interesting places left to discover. This is a nice change of pace from Quebec City where coffee shops either tend to be a franchise from a bigger chain or so little talked about and hard to reach they’re usually not worth the trip. Back home, actually, it isn’t coffee culture that is expanding right now, but tea culture. So while last year, I used to go look for new tea blends and accessories all the time, now I am on the hunt for Tokyo’s cosiest coffee shops…


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… that also happen to serve great coffee, of course.
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Isn’t it interesting that a small cultural difference, like what the trendy hot drink of the hour is, can completely change the things you choose to invest time in? There’s still so many things I want to do before next school year, let’s get started!!

See you next month!

Laurence Dube
JET Assistant Language Teacher

February 26, 2016

JET teacher Teresa's February Blog Post!

どうも〜 テレサです! Hi everyone. It’s Teresa.


How was your Valentine’s Day? Back in America, I would usually receive chocolates and a bouquet of flowers from my partner, but here in Japan, things are opposite.


As you may know, Valentine’s Day in Japan is different in many, many ways. For one, females give chocolates to their partner as well as to their male colleagues! That means there are multiple categories of chocolate-giving. Here are the top 3 famous ones:
Honmei choco (本命チョコ) - given to the one you have feelings for
Giri choco (義理チョコ) - given to your colleagues
Tomo choco (友チョコ) - given to friends

Luckily, my partner still has his American ways, so I received two boxes of green tea chocolate… yumm

Moreover, we went to an onsen for the Valentine’s Day weekend!

For around 8,000 yen, we had a bus drive us up to Kusatsu, the famous town known for its natural hot springs in Gunma, and our lodging for the weekend.

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The cream of the crop, you’re wondering? A buffet dinner and a buffet breakfast. I ate all I could and more because I have 別腹 (betsu bara - another stomach).

The town celebrated Valentine’s too by putting up illuminations and heart-shaped lights. Of course, I took a picture in front of one.


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Cheers!

February 16, 2016

New Seiritsu Student! Welcome Gab!

Hajimemashite! I am Gabriel Beck-Godoy.


I am 16 years old and from Melbourne, Australia.


I always dreamed of doing 2 things: 1 to experience a different culture and lifestyle to which I am used, and 2 to pursue my career of football in a different country. This is what I'm currently doing and having a great time doing so.


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Settling in at the dorm in Higashi-Washinomiya has been tough at times, being away from family and friends as well getting up at 6am every morning to catch a 45 minute train to Akabane for school. The weather change has been difficult, switching from hot Melbourne weather to freezing cold Tokyo weather. But as well, settling in has been very nice as the boys have helped me to feel right at home showing me the ways of the rope. Training is very different for the training loads are much heavier than Australia, and the language barrier has been tough as well.


I am very excited about what the future holds for me here in Japan and look forward to the next few weeks.

February 16, 2016

JET teacher Teresa's January Blog Post!

Greetings!


It is January, and so much colder than I expected it would be in Japan. In fact, it snowed and rained so badly in Tokyo that trains were delayed for hours. Let me do the math:


rain + snow = slush


The derivative of slush is Tokyo train delays.


Besides the incredible wrong math, January is the time to plan your holidays! I personally started a document to list all the locations within Japan as well as around the world that I want to explore. So far, I have Gunma, Fukushima, Fukuoka, and Kumamoto down in my document.


When you are here in Japan, you have so many things to do that you will lose track of things. I remember entering Japan with the wish to never lose a moment. This is one of my New Year’s resolution.


My second New Year’s resolution is to restart my Japanese studies! I am slowly gathering materials and a study group to tackle this task! I am determined to reach my goals.


Did you make New Year’s resolutions too? How will you reach yours?


Cheers!

Teresa Fong
JET Assistant Language Teacher

February 15, 2016

Melissa's January Blog Post

Hello, Melissa here!


January has been a fun but cold month! I found out my Uni result, had a temaki-party at my homestay house, went to some hot springs, went to Yokohama and finally, I also went skiing!


My favourite event of January was going to Shin-okubo with my friends Yuri and Yuuna! Shin-okubo is known as the 'Korean town' of Tokyo and so there were loads of yummy korean food restaurants and KPOP (korean pop music) shops! For lunch we ate bibimbbap [pork with kimchee and a soft boiled egg-Peter] and my friend put so much gochuchang sauce (like chilli) in her food that her face turned bright red. Then we explored the area and looked at some korean make up and skincare!


Finally my homestay mum's friend had reccommended an 'Ikemen cafe' that we should go to! It was the cutest cafe ever with disney pictures drawn on your plate and coffee...and of course there were Ikemen! [Good looking guys. If you get called 'ikemen', be assured it's a big compliment - Peter] Finally we walked to Shinjuku to take some purikura! It was such a fun day and I'm so happy that I can take such lovely memories like these home with me!

February 12, 2016

Emilie's January Blog post

Emilie here!


So many things happened in 2015. Overall it was okay (Haha!) and I hope 2016 will be better!


For New Years I spent my time with my family!
We didn't go to any shrines or do Japanese cultural things but I got to spent time with my family so it was really nice.


My winter break was really fun and relaxing. (I wrote a blog for winter break.)


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In January I went to my friend Melissa's house for her home stay family's birthday party!
There were 2 kids. One is a younger brother who is 3 and the older sister who is 6. The older sister just turned 6. Their dad works at tsukiji. Tsukiji is where the fresh fish market is [It is actually the world's biggest fish market! Pete] and they sell the fish there. So we ate so much sashimi.


Me and Melissa and my another friend from English Club (英会話部) went to Odaiba Joypolis. Joypolis is a amusement park inside of a shopping mall in Odaiba.
It took me about 1 hour to get to the meeting location and from there it was about 30 minute to get to Odaiba. Before we went to the amusement park we ate lunch and the view from the restaurant was priceless.


Joypolis had so many scary rides and I lovveeeeee scary stuff so it was really fun for me!


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February 11, 2016

JET teacher Laurence's January Blog Post!

Hi everyone!


For the New Year break, I went to Bali!


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It was my first time travelling to Indonesia and I have to say I really enjoyed being in a warmer country for a while. A lot of people spoke English fluently, which is really different from my everyday life in Japan. I wish I studied the Indonesian language more before leaving though. It was my first time travelling to a country where I couldn’t speak the local language at all.


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I also took part in a game jam event this month! A game jam is an event in which people try to complete a short game in a limited period of time! My friend and I worked on a short visual novel game…the deadline was tight, but we got it done in time!


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Oh also, January just so happens to be my birth month! I was born on January 21s t!
It did feel a bit weird, celebrating my birthday abroad, away from my family and most of my friends. I am slowly but surely making friends in Japan though, which is good!
Right now in Tokyo, the weather is very cold. It actually snowed a little, which doesn’t happen often in Japan’s capital.


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I am surviving using my aircon, electric blanket, kotatsu and by wearing a lot of layers indoors. If I’m lucky, February might be warm enough to put back buying a heater, until next winter that is.


See you next month!

Laurence Dube
JET Assistant Language Teacher


February 4, 2016

Mel goes on the Seiritsu Ski trip!

Hello! Mel here!


On January 31st us 1st years at Seiritsu all went on a trip to Nagano prefecture to go skiing!


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First we all met near school where our buses came to pick us up! As so many students went on the trip so there were 9 buses in total! The bus journey was about 5 and a half hours which suprised me because Nagano prefecture looks so close to Tokyo on the map!


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When we arrived we ate curry rice and got all are ski gear ready! My ski group was really nice because I was in the intermediate course and so the skiing was not too hard or too easy and quite relaxing! I was also in the same group as some girls from my class so we all got along really well! Our ski instructor also let us have a snowball fight by the side of the ski slope and so much snow went inside my ski boots and scarf so I think that's probably how I caught my cold..


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Overall the ski trip was so much fun and I wish it had been longer than 3 days! It really amazed me how different the scenery was compared to Tokyo and it was nice to escape the big neon buildings for a while and look at the snowy forests!


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about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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