maiadoesjapan:

When I first arrived on JET I luckily had a western bed in my apartment but the mattress was unbearably hard. I somehow managed to suffer through it for a year.

Last night my neighbor gave me the bright idea of putting a futon on top of the mattress and sleeping on it. She even lent me an extra futon to try it out. I feel like I’m sleeping on a fluffy cloud and I will never go back. I happily shelled out $150 for a memory foam futon… Happy early birthday to me.

Adult life.

This is exactly the same for me. I have an old spring mattress where you can feel the metal through the thin lining. I had trouble sleeping all through the spring and summer and finally decided to splurge on a good futon and it’s made all the difference. I don’t even know why I waited. I’ve always been a light sleeper so I just chalked it up to that and the heat. Futons can be as cheap at 2000 yen but the really good futons go upwards of 8000 yen. but It’s worth it to spend extra and sleep on something soft rather than a mattress that’s been used for years by other people…

The women in my ceramics group and I made owls the theme for the majority of the work we make and this is what we’re firing up in the kiln this month. 

It’s been raining on and off for a few days but it finally cleared up a bit. The scenery in the countryside can be really beautiful

It’s been raining on and off for a few days but it finally cleared up a bit. The scenery in the countryside can be really beautiful

indianazoe:

True power.

indianazoe:

True power.

This library looks amazing

The most creative rendition of the akabeko I’ve seen yet. 

The most creative rendition of the akabeko I’ve seen yet. 

Because I said I would a while back and forgot. 
I got asked at orientation what kind of skirt is appropriate for work/school and this style is basically what I wear every day. As long as my skirt comes to my knees and isn’t too tight and my shirt is buttoned up to my collarbone, it’s not a problem and no one has hinted that there’s a clothing problem by asking me if I’m cold. A lot of new JETs come over worried about what to wear but as long as you’re covered and neat, there’s nothing to worry about. 

Because I said I would a while back and forgot. 

I got asked at orientation what kind of skirt is appropriate for work/school and this style is basically what I wear every day. As long as my skirt comes to my knees and isn’t too tight and my shirt is buttoned up to my collarbone, it’s not a problem and no one has hinted that there’s a clothing problem by asking me if I’m cold. A lot of new JETs come over worried about what to wear but as long as you’re covered and neat, there’s nothing to worry about. 

Took a day trip to Matsushima, Miyagi prefecture

Took a day trip to Matsushima, Miyagi prefecture

My largest drawer is full of construction paper in every shade. I’ve made so many stops to Daiso over the past year. For any ALTs that work with really young kids, I suggest pinterest for game and crafts ideas. They’re fun to make and the kids really enjoy them. Stock up on that construction paper

My largest drawer is full of construction paper in every shade. I’ve made so many stops to Daiso over the past year. For any ALTs that work with really young kids, I suggest pinterest for game and crafts ideas. They’re fun to make and the kids really enjoy them. Stock up on that construction paper

My first year on JET was spent figuring out how to plan lessons and teach on my own. Now that I have experience hopefully this year will be slightly less stressful. Planning lessons and making materials for all grades at 4 different schools was overwhelming at first. it still kind of is but it doesn’t seem as impossible. 

My 2nd year will be spent trying to take everything I learned and apply it to my teaching, make things go smoother in the classroom. I’ve also decided to apply to online grad school to get an MSc so I have a year to get the paperwork in order and to save up. Being on JET, you sometimes feel like you’re spinning your wheels and when things have felt kind of stagnant or discouraging at work, I’ve felt stuck and frustrated. Having a goal in mind keeps things in perspective and it’s given me something to work towards that’ll go beyond my time as an ALT. 

bookpatrol:

A Look at the New Home of St. Mark’s Bookshop 

After months and months of tumult St. Mark’s Book Shop has landed in its home and it’s a beauty. The space, designed by Clouds Architecture Office, will give St. Mark’s a fighting chance as it navigates the new book landscape.

From the project listing on Architizer:

The perimeter of the space is wrapped with full height shelving, freeing up the interior as a flexible use space. Variously stacked display units provide table display space while doubling as informal loose seating for readings and events. A windowed office space is created by pinching and pulling the shelves in towards the center of the space.

Read more

This looks awesome

Spending the weekend in Iwaki. I like the mountain scenery of the Aizu region of Fukushima but Iwaki is really beautiful. It reminds me a lot of my old hometown in Rockaway, Queens.

Spending the weekend in Iwaki. I like the mountain scenery of the Aizu region of Fukushima but Iwaki is really beautiful. It reminds me a lot of my old hometown in Rockaway, Queens.

Outside Aquamarine Fukushima for the Iwaki Firework Festival. The thunder before the show started seemed like bad sign but it went on as scheduled. I somehow managed to capture this with no filter on my iPhone. I don’t really get a chance to get out to Iwaki since it’s kind of far but I’m glad I made the trip.

Outside Aquamarine Fukushima for the Iwaki Firework Festival. The thunder before the show started seemed like bad sign but it went on as scheduled. I somehow managed to capture this with no filter on my iPhone. I don’t really get a chance to get out to Iwaki since it’s kind of far but I’m glad I made the trip.

Not finished but it’s a start

Not finished but it’s a start

Today’s lunch: katsuo with stir fried greens, supermarket salad, and clearly too many chickpeas

Today’s lunch: katsuo with stir fried greens, supermarket salad, and clearly too many chickpeas