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Amparo Bertram

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01:25 pm: Another week, another changed schedule
Last week started with a leisurely Monday. Thanks to my overloaded Thursday schedule, the rest of the week is quite easy. My first class wasn't until third period.

Since the bells didn't ring in the faculty room, I kept a careful eye on the clock. Just when I was thinking I had five minutes before leaving for class, a teacher rushed up to my desk and said a call had come from Building #3 asking me to hurry to the classroom.

Me: ...But there are still five minutes before class starts...

Teacher: We're on a shortened schedule!

Me: ...

Yes, my shiny new April schedule, which I had just gotten about a week earlier, was already out of date. They had changed the entire week of classes to be on a shortened schedule, which cuts five minutes from each class period.

Oh, well, at least I was only about five minutes late...

On Wednesday I had my first workshop class. This is a non-graded class that is intended to give the students extra English study time in a topic of their choice. In previous years, I made the topic speech and fairytales. This year it was a generic "American Culture." Only two students signed up for my class, so they will get a lot of individual attention...

I started the class by going through a brainstorming list of many different aspects of "culture" and had them pick the ones that interested them the most, which turned out to be music and TV. My plan is to start out by showing them an American TV series, a little bit at a time, and explaining various cultural points that are illustrated. In order to do this, I will need to use the classroom DVD player, which is in a locked cabinet.

I asked two different team teachers how I could get access to the cabinet to show DVDs. Neither one of them had even known there was a DVD player in the classroom. They both promised they'd look into it, but I haven't heard back about it yet. I'll have to follow up on it before class tomorrow...

In any case, I needed to get a DVD to show. The students requested a drama, so I went to a video store and looked through their American drama series section. Excluding comedies, which the students didn't want, my choices were down to ER (medical jargon For The Lose!), Sex and the City (which I haven't seen, but didn't sound appropriate), and Supernatural. I picked up the first disc of Supernatural, since I've heard friends talk about it, and that's what I'll try showing this week. I'll provide the students with a typed-up script of the dialogue in advance and go over idioms, then play it with the English captions on, a few minutes at a time. We'll see how it goes.

...If I can gain access to the DVD player, of course...

Last Friday we didn't have classes. Instead, in the morning we had an official "opening the middle school" ceremony in the Citizen's Hall next door, and in the afternoon was the welcome ceremony for the incoming first-year students to introduce them to all the clubs. The middle schoolers were marched into the building one homeroom at a time, and they all had been instructed to call out "good morning" to the teachers manning the welcome tables (giving out programs to parents/guests). Then the high school students came. With all the new students, including everyone in the high school as well as a year of middle school, the auditorium was packed. If they have any all-school ceremonies next year, with TWO years of middle schoolers, they will need to find a new location to seat everyone.

The ceremony started up with an orchestra playing a rousing rendition of..."Pomp and Circumstance." This made me all unsettled, because in my mind it equates to graduation, not an opening ceremony. There's no such association with the song here, though, and no one else seemed to find it a strange choice.

The English club had me come on stage with them to help promote the club. I only had two lines (the whole club only got three minutes). We've had a number of girls (no boys) come by the club meeting room to see what the English club is like, but no word yet on whether any will officially join.

Starting today, bells will now ring in the faculty room. Yay for no more shortened schedule surprises!

That has pretty much been the extent of my week. This week should be a regular schedule, after which Golden Week starts.

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[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:April 25th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)
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Culture through TV and music sound like winners to me. Good luck on getting the DVD to use.

Shortened schedule aside, it sounds like a pretty smooth start to a new year in a brand new building...so many changes at once.

Here's wishing you a great year!
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