Week 24

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My week 24 can be described by two words, ‘returning home’.

On Monday night, when I went to bed, I suddenly remembered my old friends in Japan. I immediately sent messages to nine people with whom I used to be close when I was in Japan but have not talked to for a while. It was around 8 a.m. in Japan at that time, and they were awake. For the following two hours, I got prompt replies from all of them and we sent messages to each other. I felt happy to talk to them again and realised that I had not properly had time to speak to my friends in Japan. I might have had some feelings that while they and I are close to each other, my real life is now based in the UK. Most elements of my life are dominated by the social norms here, the media here and the same routine work of reading, writing and editing every day.

I really enjoyed messaging with nine of my friends for the first time in 10 months or a year.

On Thursday morning, I flew to Japan and arrived at Narita on Friday morning. The outbound flight was nice, and I was able to work on my research. My colleague picked me up at the airport, and I headed to the office. This trip was for doing some work and shopping for food, snacks and books to take back to the UK. It was really nice to try a new ochazuke restaurant and have some junk food and a sushi dinner with my colleague. I stayed for two nights and left Narita on Sunday morning. My body clock was still on UK time.

On the inbound flight, I slept for the whole of the 10 hour-flight without having any meals but I had some water before landing. Maybe I was too tired!

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Summer Week 5-6

Classes have been going well. The students (who have survived) are very keen to study grammatical points as well as conversational phrases. I have been feeling less stressed about teaching the beginners course because this is the second round of teaching the same contents for me. Also, the students are nice, honest and frank, which has facilitated our interactions.

For the upper beginners course, I have found that there is a huge difference between the students’ skills. Some are obviously at the intermediate level with good literacy skills, some still cannot read symbols. As the week goes on, the differences become clearer. I came to use romanised materials and focus on how they can enjoy pair activities while feeling relaxed.


Week 23

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I had a supervisory meeting to get feedback on my work. My supervisors pointed out a problem with a structure of the chapter and gave me much advice. As a result, I need to divide the literature review into two different chapters and narrow the key theories down to one point in each. My supervisors have recently shown some concern that my focus is still too broad, and I have been also told that, in English academic writing, it is crucial to help readers by making the points as clear as possible. Based on these points, I will revise my research protocol and literature review for the next two weeks.

Next week, I will fly to Japan, stay for two days in Tokyo and come back to the UK. This trip is going be very tiring, but I am very happy to go to Japan for the first time in six months! I have been asked to help with some jobs from my old company in Tokyo, and I would like to help them. And, I will probably have a sushi dinner with my friends.

On Saturday, Luca gave me a bunch of flowers for the first time, along with a box of doughnuts!

My goals for Week 24:

  • Revise the research protocol and the literature review
  • Enjoy teaching
  • Safely travel to Japan and come back

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