Week 8

I attended a session titled ‘Project Management’, which was very useful! The tutor showed us some models and methods for applying a scientific model of corporate or programme management to an academic environment. Specifically, three factors, cost, time and scope, represented as the ‘Triple Constraint’ triangle model was interesting. It gives you a clear idea of how to balance each factor in your project.

I also found a useful website Program Success, which explains the model in detail

Good project management is all about control, completion and quality definition. The tutor stressed planning the project weekly:

  • set blocks per week
  • set weekly goals
  • keep weekly achievements

My achievements from Week 8:

  • I made a substantial change in my research proposal and submitted it.
  • Teaching went well.
  • I joined two research seminars.

Goals for the next week are to

  • prepare for the 3rd supervision meeting
  • attend three training sessions
  • do more student-led activities in class
  • work on literature review, adding at least 700 words by 3rd March

Spring Week 6

Spring week 6 was about transitive verbs, and I introduced new 12 verbs and corresponding particles, following our textbook. We had a speaking activity for about 15 minutes, but we should have more. My teaching style tends to be a teacher-led when I try to make it informative. I do want to have more time for creative activities and want students to enjoy speaking casually and informally.


Week 7

I had another meeting with my supervisors this week. I have to finally start writing the literature review chapter of my thesis, which will be assessed in September. I am also working on a statement about the research plan. I am about to plunge into ‘writing’!

Luca and I had our first Valentine’s Day together and had dinner at our favourite restaurant. I had vegetarian meal: grilled mushroom for the starter, mushroom ravioli for the main course and cheeses for after the meal. They were very delicious!

On Thursday and Friday, I talked to my parents on Skype. They told me that my uncle has been unwell and his condition was just past the critical stage. My mum said that he wants to sort out his properties and he was wondering whether I would like to take over a small house from him or not. I spent years living at the house when I was very young. I have always had a great attachment to the house, even now. He knows my feelings. However, taking over the house from him means a lot of things, so it is not just a matter of owning it. It includes taking responsibility for the family traditions and customs and looking after the family’s graves in the region. His wife and children have already left the area and live in a different place. This is going to be a big decision to make, as I currently live in the UK and I am planning my future abroad, not in Japan.

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Spring Week 4-5

I am very happy that all Monday class students have attended class for the past two weeks and their motivation has grown! For the Wednesday class, I have carefully paid attention to each student in terms of who is at which level and prepared some extra activities for the advanced students. I knew that some students seriously wanted to study the language for their career. This asked me to reflect on my teaching style. I should provide more explanations on grammar and pronunciation.

A director observed my lesson this week, and I got feedback and much advice. I was also happy that the office has sent me another contract for the next semester. Although balancing my research and teaching requires a lot of hard work, I will try to do it!

My Japanese home cooking: Miso soup with salmon and cabbage, Tatsuta fried salmon with baked potatoes, White stew (creamy chicken stew), and Oriental fried rice.

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Week 6

Week 6 became a starting point to complete writing one chapter by this summer. I started using EndNote on my Macbook. I can’t still fully handle it, but I managed to integrate my new bibliography with an old version of it.

I also started recording my reading diary and the summaries with Evernote. There is nothing complicated in using Evernote. I’ve been feeling comfortable with its effectiveness!

There is something else new. I got a new Tefal iron and ironing board. Ironing out the wrinkles in our work shirts has become a new part of my daily life. I have graduated from sending shirts to the dry cleaning and ironing service!

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