Week 12

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The clock has changed to summer time! Week 12 became a very important point in the first year of my research in all respects.

My achievements from Week 12:

  • finished writing my first stab
  • made lovely friends through the training sessions
  • completed 10-week teaching job!

Goals for the next week:

  • take a day off
  • finish sending a supervision form before our Venice trip

I did my first stab at writing a chapter and sent it to my supervisors. The 3,000-word summary covers two main aspects: the healthcare system and linguistic system. As the very first stab, it seems ok and I was able to picture a list of chapters for my thesis.

I made new friends this week! We met in a training session, and they spoke to me after we finished it. I was happy to be spoken to as I had previously been alone in all sessions. After having a conversation with them, I realised that most of the students work independently and feel isolated. We are all the same. Two British guys told me that they lived in Japan and came back here to do research last year. That made it easier for me to make more conversation with them.

Spring semester has ended this week. I am feeling much less stressed.

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Spring Week 10

The 10-week language course ended this week! Our goal of the last class was to review dialogues from the past five weeks, numbers and shopping dialogues and to write sentences about yourself. All students who attended the last class wrote about themselves including their names, hobbies and homes. I felt great pleasure in seeing their progress over 10 weeks and their joy in the classes!

I got so many surprise gifts from them: chocolate, four cakes, tea, Sake, two cards and a letter written in Japanese! One student was not able to join the class because of a cold but he came to class just to say thank you to me.

I also got feedback sheets from them. Most of their comments were very positive, but I found out that they actually wanted to study grammar more and have more homework. Also, a student suggested me to encourage more conversational practice and be willing to make a mistake. My teaching style might be a bit passive because I didn’t want to give them incorrect explanations. But, yes, I will have to be more positive about interacting with them.

The feedback sheets and letters from them will be my lifelong treasures. The students created the fun atmosphere and joyful environment for us. I got a lot of pleasure from teaching the language to them.


Week 11

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Week 11 was very busy with attending seminars and writing summaries. Usually, allocating seminars and my teaching job are put in my schedule first, and I put my work into a space between them. But I knew that I could not work on my research for more than five hours a day, as it uses up a lot of my concentration. I would like to have a rest between each task, though every minute is so precious when I am rushing to meet a deadline.

I had a good opportunity to meet some PhD students who asked me to go for coffee and with whom I was able to chat on topics apart from research discussions!

A group of Japanese researchers visited my university to present their research. My supervisor invited me to join the event, and luckily I was invited for dinner with them. They have researched disability studies at a well-known institution. They voiced their experiences and showed their creativity for research. I was impressed with their warm attitudes towards others. I am going to see one of the researchers next week again privately.

On Friday (St Patrick’s Day), Luca and I went to a French cafe for dinner. He had mussels and I had salmon. After that, we went to a pub to have Guinness with his work colleagues! They were so nice, polite and friendly. I was just impressed with how nice his colleagues are!


Spring Week 8-9

Since week 6, I have been introducing new verbs to describe daily actions. This week was about a conjugation, and we also wrote a sentence for the first time. We repeated writing drills of words and phrases until week 8. Most of the students had no problem writing sentences, as they are already familiar with some types of conversational sentences. I was a bit moved by their written self-introductions. This is exactly the goal of the Beginners 1 course. I am going to add some corrections, and we will write the same introductions again next week and wrap up our 10-week course.


Week 10

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On Tuesday night, we went to a musical theatre to see Mamma Mia! That was truly wonderful and the best musical I have ever seen. We also enjoyed wine and sushi dinner, which was a lovely relaxing time in the middle of the week.

Apart from that, I worked on writing summaries of my reading and attended two training seminars. Luca is busy with work and has been unwell. He went to the nearest GP clinic a couple of times this week. I hope he gets well soon.

Lots of reading materials are coming up non-stop. My Endnote skills are also not good enough yet to record and manage the reading list. I tend to waste time dealing with that kind of unfamiliar work.

My achievement from Week 10:

  • took two sessions: understanding copyrights and English writing

Goals for the next week are to

  • finish writing three documents
  • attend four training sessions