Life is definitely picking up around here. The days go by so fast for me - it's definitely a bad thing. I found out that I may be taking a French class here. I need the foreign language credit and not taking this class would mean I just accrue another pointless economics elective that I don't need. I am waiting to hear back from the international student coordinator here about how this would all work out. If the textbook is Japanese-French it may be a problem..
I got a job teaching English to a little 6 year-old Japanese/Korean girl. She just started 1st grade a couple of days ago. Her parents put her in a private English school when she was 1 but since she goes to school all the day now, they needed a tutor. It pays $20 an hour and I tutor for 6 hours a week. It's pretty much the ideal job. They drive me home when I am finished and said that they would cook for me soon.
I had my first official lesson with her yesterday. It was sort of awkward with the parents initially. The little girl just brought me upstairs to an office and we started the lesson right away. About five minutes later the father came in with one of her old English teachers on the phone. The teacher was really helpful because I really don't know all that she knows or what level she is at and what we should be doing for lessons. He told me that since her lessons are scheduled for 2-hour time blocks, we should only be really sitting in front of a book for about 50 minutes max. He suggested that we go to parks and just have natural conversation so she can tap into the words she already knows - a "use it or lose it" approach to memory.
We ended up going to a really old-looking Japanese ice cream shop. It was pretty amusing to be led around town by a 6 year-old and to have a 6 year-old place our orders. At one point she told me "I don't understand your hard English. Speak to me as though you were 6." She is pretty funny. Then we decided to keep walking around the area a bit and went to a department store quick to look at the Hello Kitty things. It was cute because she wanted to hold my hand and run along the streets but I got a few odd looks. "What is a foreigner doing with a little Japanese girl?!" The lesson went good but it could have been better. I'm going to look around and try to find some puppets to buy so we can make-up stories and whatnot. Every week we are going to talk about a different country. Tomorrow's topic is America!
Today is a busy day for me. I need to go head to the university and eat, go to the library for at least an hour and review some kanji, I am meeting my new tutor at noon, I have class from 1-4 today, then I am meeting another friend for a Japanese lesson at 4, then I have to run to the grocery store to get something for dinner, re-peg my violin and practice for tomorrow's rehearsal, and think of a lesson plan for tomorrow's tutoring.
Tomorrow I have orchestra for a few hours then tutoring. This weekend is too busy to really go out. Sunday I'm planning on grabbing some ramen somewhere and isolating myself in the library to study Japanese. The library closes at 5 on weekends here so usually everyone tries to be there until closing time or near to.
On a brighter note, I bought my ferry ticket yesterday for Kyoto for Golden Week!