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Amparo Bertram

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08:30 pm: Peter Pan for a day
I have switched to my summer wardrobe, which contains a lot more dresses and skirts. (No WAY am I wearing anything in winter that bares my legs unless I absolutely can't avoid it.) Since I'm obsessed with matching stocking colors, I have a small yet strategically chosen selection of colored hose to match my dresses. I think I may be the only person in the school who wears colored hose...at any rate, it has been commented upon several times. Today some students (non-English majors) spotted me in the hall and (after bravely daring to say "Hello" to the foreigner) said they thought I looked like Peter Pan. One of my own classes said I looked like Alice (from Alice in Wonderland).

We handed back exams to the seniors. This also entailed explaining my grading method. I grade by putting a check mark next to correct sentences and writing the number of points to be subtracted next to any mistakes, with straight lines slashing through any spots left blank (having learned the hard way that some students will try to write an answer in after-the-fact and claim it was a grading error). This has to be explained because Japanese teachers put slashes that look like check marks through wrong answers. So the students see my check marks and are puzzled because I didn't take off any points.

When I was in Niigata, I used to circle errors, as had always been done to me when I was in high school. This caused HUGE amounts of confusion among my students, because Japanese teachers circle correct answers. They circle ALL the correct answers. Good students will wind up with papers covered in red circles. (If I were to have received such a paper as a high school student, I think I would have had a heart attack.) As an extra bit of trivia, partial-credit answers get marked with a triangle. I have since stopped circling errors, but I still can't bring myself to circle correct responses. So the students have to be told "if there are no marks, that means it's correct" whenever one of my sections comes up.

As promised, the school official showed up to escort me to the immigration office in Otsu. We took the train, which meant we started by walking to the station. I felt like I was walking at a reasonable pace, considering I was carrying the sack of onions, potatoes, and cucumbers that the superintendent had left for me, but I still must have been going too fast for the poor guy. He mentioned twice that "we have plenty of time, we can go slowly..." We wound up getting to the station in time to catch the train before the train he had planned for us to catch.

He commented that I seemed accustomed to taking the train, what with my ICOCA debit pass and everything. He said he only takes the train about three or four times a year (since he has a car). Since I could very well make the trip on my own, he added that he must be coming along as my "bodyguard." <g> Anyway, it'll take about a month for the paperwork to be processed, at which point I'll have to go back and finish everything.

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[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:June 21st, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)

Sounds familiar.

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This also entailed explaining my grading method.

In the U.S., it seems as though each teacher has his/her own way of marking, too. I use check marks for correct answers, and my students think it means they are wrong. Other teachers must use the check mark for wrong answers. Do you use red? A lot of teachers here seem to use green or hot pink or purple, just any color other than red that they don't expect their students to use, I think. Red seems to be a no-no, though.

I felt like I was walking at a reasonable pace,

I've always found it impossible to keep up with you for any distance. Yet, it looks effortless for you. It must be a gift.

considering I was carrying the sack of onions, potatoes, and cucumbers that the superintendent had left for me

Ooooh, I'm sorry you couldn't stop to drop them off at your home first. That must have been inconvenient to carry around.

Since I could very well make the trip on my own, he added that he must be coming along as my "bodyguard."

They must have no idea how capable you are of getting around. I'm amazed at it, too, by the way. I keep thinking that if I were there alone, I'd just stay at home, considering how easily I get lost.

So do you have to renew the visa every year? Or is that just because your contract is only for a year at a time? I guess that makes sense.

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 22nd, 2005 01:12 am (UTC)

Re: Sounds familiar.

(Link)
Do you use red?

I bought a box of 12 colors and alternate depending on my mood...or to match what I'm wearing that day... (Yes, I'm that obsessed with colors.)

That must have been inconvenient to carry around.

Luckily it was a small sack this time.

I keep thinking that if I were there alone, I'd just stay at home, considering how easily I get lost.

I get lost quite often, actually. That's just the way things are here. If I ever go somewhere new, I always carry a map in my purse if I have one.

So do you have to renew the visa every year? Or is that just because your contract is only for a year at a time?

Yep, that's the way it works.
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:June 22nd, 2005 07:40 am (UTC)

Re: Sounds familiar.

(Link)
It's become a bit of a fad, using other colors to mark papers. Red is too 'psychologically intimidating' and using red to mark wrong answers gives children 'insecurity complexes', so teachers are supposed to avoid it so that they don't upset the children and their parents. Snort.

Thankfully, none of the teachers I've dealt with have bought into this. One teacher has a frowning face stamp with the words 'What happened?' and stamps every correct paper in red with it. First time I saw it, I had to confirm it with a child. It's hilarious.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:June 22nd, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)

Re: Sounds familiar.

(Link)
One teacher has a frowning face stamp with the words 'What happened?' and stamps every correct paper in red with it

That sounds so cool. I'll bet the kids get a kick out of it!
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