Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Bike -- (text update: Ian's new job)

So, it's been awhile since we had a good ol' fashioned written post. Some of you may be wondering what my new job is like. Some of you may have not known that I have a new job.

Update #1. Ian has a new job.

Now you might be wondering "Just what does this job involve, Ian?"
Well, this job involves me travelling to student's houses to teach them fun (hopefully) English lessons. About 2/3 - 3/4 of my students are children, ranging in ages from under 1 year up to 12 years old. I teach many brother and sister sets, often with another friend or two joining the lesson. Now I will anticipate and answer some questions:

How do you get between classes? How much travel time do you have?
Currently I am still waiting on converting my Canadian driver's license to a Japanese one. Thus, I travel by bicycle to all of my classes, but occasionally take a train. The closest class is just 2 minutes from our apartment, but the furthest is a hefty 45 minute ride. I usually end up biking for around 1.5-2 hours/day, all together. So far (finger's crossed) the weather has been beautiful, so I'm quite enjoying it. However, Japan's rainy season is set to begin any day now.

Do you like the new job? Is it better than NOVA?
Yes, and yes. At Nova, all of the lesson plans are written out for you, and you don't really have time to think about the job much at all. Let's face it, if you don't have to think, and they keep sending pay-cheques, it's just too easy to not put any effort into the work. But, that's not at all a satisfying job experience. Now I have practically the opposite situation: no plan whatsoever, and it's entirely up to my creative energy to make things work. Not to mention, it pays better, I work fewer hours, and (hopefully soon) I'll have a company car (and can write off gas as a business expense). If I had to name downsides: I had really good coworkers at Nova, but now I spend most time going solo. Also, there will be days when the weather is just not fun for biking!

What kind of hours do you work?
I'm kind of an after-school tutor, and for the most part classes are between 3:30-7:30pm. The adult classes are either during the morning or early afternoon (having tea with groups of older ladies), or in the evening around 8:30-9:30pm. On days with later classes I'm home around 10pm, but once or twice a week I finish by 6pm.

What do you do with those REALLY young kids that you mentioned?
Not a whole lot. I only have one class where the kids are that young, and there's a Japanese lady teaching the class as well. I'm there to help with songs, read them stories, and so on. Also, the mothers sit in the classroom with the kids, so it's more for their benefit if anything. After that class, all other kids are in the 5-12 range.

What is it like teaching in peoples' homes? What are their homes like?
Actually, this is part of the job that is really cool. I get to see many different homes, and observe a bit of modern Japanese lifestyle. Sometimes the mothers will sit in the lessons and watch, or help the kids. Other times they bring me drinks and snacks - everyone is quite welcoming and hospitable. In modern Japan many houses/apartments are quite Westernized, with just hints of traditional Japan (a sliding door to the bedroom, for example). But there are still some beautiful, completely traditional Japanese homes. In the future, I'll try to get some pictures of some homes and gardens to display on here.

OK, that brings you up to date a bit on my new job situation. Please ask if you have any more questions.



kevins said...


Daver said...


Do you really ride a bike all day?

Question #2


question 3

Are you serious?

That is all.

Anonymous said...

So, now you're pedalling your wares..hehehe. Sounds like a much more interesting job!

I have some questions.

1. What do bees make? (this one
is for Justin)
2. Why is the sky blue?
3. Is thunder really the result
of giants bowling in the sky?

I await your answers with great anticipation. Domo aregato!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ian:
That sounds like a great job. I can see you becoming a are getting close to it now teaching kids...
On the other hand I don't see you coming back to London too soon...looks like to are progressively settling down out there.
All the best

Derrick Matheson said...

Sounds like a way better job! Hopefully you can get your license moved over without too much difficulty, you were saying to me that it has expired over here though, have you been able to get that extension?


My questions are...

WHAT... is your name?

WHAT... is your quest?

WHAT... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

(freaking forgot my password again... )

anita said...

Hola's the japanese coming along, eh?

your friends in Japan said...

Mr. Kevins - Hoot! Indeed, sir. Excellent question...exclamation... noise.

Daver - 1. Yes Dave, I deemed that it would be more efficient to perpetually ride my bike around the city, rather than stop for silly things like sleep and food. Also, the Japanese government deemed it more efficient to power Mecca-Godzilla using the energy field created by my ...well, you're an engineer(geek) you know where this is going...
2. Yes.
3. Yes, and you're a geek.

Arlene - ha ha. 1. Question from Justin... the answer is "e-QUALs window", and I don't care if it ends our friendship.

2. Actually the sky is clear. The universe is blue.


Jean Pierre - Thanks! I'm enjoy teaching. I did some kids classes at Nova, but (see latest post) Nova is... bad in most ways. It's a business more than a school. With the new arrangement I'm more responsible for planning and progression, so we'll see how I do.
Now please call my mother, you're scaring her.

Derrick - Hey! Yes, fortunately I was able to get my license extended. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation sent it to Japan free of charge. Tomorrow I find out if they can switch me over to a Japanese license.
Re: your questions.
You too are a geek, and perhaps should consult with Dave. Infact, maybe you should live with Dave.
And anyway, what do you mean? An African or European swallow?

Captain Anitez - amari wakarimasen.


Derrick Matheson said...

I... Don't... Know! Aaaaurgh!!!!

And, wait... I already live with dave!

MOME said...

They are looking for male teachers in CANADA!!! :D

Justin said...

I can access the blog finally! China sensors were preventing me due to the controversial nature of your blog.
Sounds like you've got a good deal over there. As for equals, you know my view on the issue. Thankfully we've both matured some and can agree to dissagree...although you and I both know perfectly well that equals and not E quals is the proper term and may your bed be infested with gnats be it otherwise! alright strike that last one.


p.s. what is a gnat? how's that for a question? and that last one?
and that one? That one was good.