The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! So much for my idea that I was going to try and keep this Blog updated more often...

It has been a fairly uneventful autumn, which is good if it's true that no news is good news. I've just been chugging along in my happy little rut, teaching, eating, sleeping ...

I had a bit of knee trouble, that turned out to be osteoarthritis. It comes and goes, I've been told, but the nice thing is that right now, it's mostly gone. I have resumed doing iaido and going to the gym, and so far my knees are pretty happy. I need to go on a diet and drop a few kilograms, and now I have the added incentive of helping my ailing knees.

Work is fine, more or less. The students still have no enthusiasm for learning English, and I'm pretty much okay with that. If I have a problem, it's that the university seems okay with that too. With the population of Japan drastically declining, there are fewer young people, so fewer university students, so fewer asses in seats, which means less tuition money. Universities are (and this is incredibly sad) relaxing their already lax standards, and doing everything they can to keep students enrolled. In the case of my course, it means teaching university students stuff they learned in their Junior High School English classes. Imagine, for a moment, that you were going to university for something not directly related to math, but you had to take a math course anyway, and it turns out that it's on the level of "2x + 5 = 11; What is x?" I can imagine that you would consider it a joke, even if you weren't very good at math and could actually use the review. My students struggle with forming basic sentences, but they still don't think they need what they are learning. Oh well!

I'm on holidays now, have been for almost 2 weeks, and will be for a few more days. This is the upside of teaching: generous holidays. I'll teach for a few more weeks, then give my scholars the final exam. After that, I'll be in the Tokyo office for a couple months. I always look forward to the change of pace that working in the office brings, even if the office environment gets quite boring after a week. In the end, I prefer teaching, but the office is a nice change for a short time.

As for my holidays themselves, I haven't done very much, except relax, read books, surf the web, sleep ... you know, the preferred activities of a true sloth like myself.

I don't really have any New Year's Resolutions, as I know that I don't keep them. But, if I have any hopes for the New Year, they are typical things like, "I hope I can keep going to the gym on a regular basis" and "I hope my knee stays relatively pain-free" and "I hope I can continue to have a job I enjoy". With the economy tanking the way it is, I guess we shouldn't take it for granted.

So, Happy New Year, everyone! Good Luck in 2009!