Teaching In Socks

backwards week
August 5, 2008, 4:09 pm
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Today commences the beginning of my first full week of solo teaching. The beginning of the week is the easiest. I have only 2 classes and the rest of the day to plan or kill time, whereas Saturday I have about 8 hours of teaching and rarely a spare second. Any mistake I make early in the week will domino to the end of the week unless i take care of itpromptly or find some elaborate way to hide it. Emphasis on the latter being more likely.

For a number of reasons, including the aforementioned,  mywork routine here is drastically different than my previous corporate gig. For starters, my school is in a mall. That’s right, I basically work in retail education. This mall is a bit different than your standard American commercial complex. Let me give you a rudown of the space.

Across the hall is a movie theater. It plays 3 popular japanese films– I can’t wait to see the anime classic “Major: Dramatic Baseball Movie”– and a popular US movie; currently this means the Mummy III. The only other contribution of establishment is making mezzanine smell of popcorn (provided you are into that).

Next door, is a pediatrician’s office. Between that and the movie theater you can imagine the amount of kid foot traffic we get. It’s balloons and candy all day.

On the other side is a small lobby area with about 6 vending machines ( everything from coffee to candy to cigs) and a locksmith’s booth. I think the vending machines do more business than the locksmith, but I could be mistaken. If I am indeed correct, I think it’s only logical the locksmith should look into converting to a vending machine format as well. We all must conform at some point.

Also on my floor, is a hair salon, a bakery, an indian restaurant run by indians  (where i go to speak English and down a curry in a hurry), and a ramen shop. This  surely is someone restaurateur wizard’s idea of an international food court.  Sadly, he is a Fazzoli’s and a Friday’s short. If only there were more space!

Downstairs, there is an optometrist, a 100 Yen shop (Read: dollar store) that coiver everything from garden tools to  bath towels, and a teeny-bopper clothing store named “Bug’s Fruit”. I can’t explain the name of that last one, so don’t ask– thre does appear to be an insect theme to the store from what I can tell, but maybe that’s just a standard Japanese retail style.

The shopping center is connected to a train station and while there are side streets, quaint shops and a Uniqlo down the way, my mall is basically the shopping epicenter. It seems a bit thin, but in retrospect what does a city need besides the smell of popcorn, affordable trinkets, and a university-educated English master?