Friday, December 18, 2009

About Adele...

My name is Adele.

I teach kids.

I am an Australian but alas I don't like cricket or Vegemite. I also fail to recognise John Farnham as someone to be idolised.

I am a big reader. I review young adult literature for fun at Persnickety Snark.

I am trying my hand at writing. I don't think I am horrible but I am not all that great either. It's a work in progress but being ensconced in the actually process is exciting enough!

I speak no other language other than English. I don't think year one level French really counts...does it?

Until December 2009, I did not own a passport and as such had not been overseas. Are you scared for me? (I know my mother is.)

The Japan Hit List

This list will swell as I read about or am told of different places I must go in Japan. Feel free to make suggestions!

I will post on each of the places I see and mark them as done.

  • Cherry Blossom Festival (April)
  • Hamamatsu Festival (May)
  • Hamamatsu Castle (right)
  • The Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art
  • Hattasan Son-eiji Temple

Today is the start of everything...

I resigned from my Australian school today.... it didn't go well. But to be truthful, they knew it was coming but for some reason it still came to them as a surprise.

This means I can be open about my intentions for 2010. I am going to be teaching in an English pre-school in the Japanese city of Shizuoka. I have only just applied for my passport (the picture ain't pretty), I still don't own a suitcase and I don't know one syllable of Japanese. I am a complete travel newbie and it's my debut onto the international realm of possibilities.

The excitement hasn't exactly hit me yet as there is so much to do here at home. Packing the house, cancelling all my accounts, getting a small package of light teaching resources together, repeatedly telling my father the details, getting information to and fro Japan and concerns about my own coping capabilities in a foreign country.

Where am I going?
Shikuoka which is in the centre of Japan on the Pacific Coast. Temperature is very like Adelaide's except it rains more, no snow. It's known for it's green tea production, responsible for half of that coming from Japan. Population is approximately 700,000.

Why Japan?
Why not? Japan has always interested me but was never the number one on my 'must do' list. Two of my co-workers, the lovely H. and R., have taught in Japan through the schools I am teaching for so there's a certain level of comfort. I am getting lots of advice and H is already hooking me up (via Facebook) with some of her friends still in Shizuoka. I wouldn't be brave enough had H not continued to tell me stories about her time at the school and in Japan.

Why I am going?
Well two months ago I was a 28 year old with no passport. Question answered. The last two years have stressful professionally and had begun to take it's toll on my health and sanity. After surgery this month, I figure why not? I want to see the world.

I will be teaching a class of fifteen five year olds. They will be getting taught the fantastic tradition of ABCs and mathematics in English. I am unbelievably excited as I have been teaching upper primary/lower secondary (10-13 year olds) for the past few years and I look forward to teaching little ones like in my first year teaching.

How long?
I leave in January 2010 and will be there for the year. If I like it, I may stay longer.

What about your blogging?
I will still be reviewing YA (Young Adult) literature over at Persnickety Snark but obviously publishers will no longer send me review copies. I will be relying on authors sending me ARCs, any English YA in the local library, and the kindness of strangers. It won't be as busy but it will still be happening.

In terms of this blog I have no boundaries. I will be posting my preparation for Japan, my trips, teaching ideas (and failures), cultural revelations and everything in between.

What about your writing?
I am sitting on my NaNo novel so that I can edit it with fresh eyes.

As for novel deux, I am planning something at the moment and will use my time in Japan to write and be inspired. I am already so much more organised than I was for NaNo and knowing that publishers would already like to read it is exciting.

Email - p.snark AT gmail DOT com
Twitter - SnarkyWench