Fashion Show~

A few months ago, Holly and I came up with the idea to have a fashion show with the students.
We had 4 student models participate in "Togaku's Next Top Model"

We organized the whole thing, including finding students to be models, having a rehearsal, decorating the room, buying/making prizes, inviting people to watch, and even modeling ourselves!

Do you like our runway?

We all brought our own outfits to show and then discussed them after walking (in English, of course).

One of the professors jumped in at the last minute in her Native American dress, because she had just come from a presentation and was all dressed up!

This is Mr. Cool, our winner, in all American brands-

We all came out again at the end, Project Runway style.

The boy at the bottom was wearing Sky Tree glasses, so this is his Sky Tree pose-

All the models together; the 2 with sashes are 1st and 2nd place. Holly and I made the sashes and the crowns out of stuff from the 100yen store, and they ended up being quite awesome! Also 1st got a gift card to H&M and 2nd one to Baskin Robbins, and the other 2 got candy and flowers.
So the fashion show was actually quite a success and we got many compliments from faculty because we did it all ourselves. It was pretty fun, even though getting students to commit and show up was much more difficult than I had anticipated. But, the 4 that did participate did an wonderful job and, the best part for me, they all seemed a little bit more confident after it was over.

We'll see if I have the motivation next semester to organize another lounge event~



Today, I got to dance R&B style with the hip-hop dance club at Togaku, Extreme Steppers, at a Christmas party. Holly took a video for me so here it is!

I'm the one in the middle with gold on my jacket and short hair.



my work blog

So, at work at the EEDC (English Education Development Center) I've also been writing in a blog. The posts are about events we host here and also about American culture.

You can check it out here:

The next post will be about the fashion show that Holly and I are hosting :)


JALT Conference 2012

So, let me tell you about the conference I went to Oct. 12-14 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka:

JALT is the Japanese Association of Language Teachers, so the conference was all about teaching English as a second language. Many teachers were there from all over the country, even some from other countries. There were talks and workshops, a dealer room for publishers, big presentations, and some parties, too.
The conference was right across from Hamamatsu City's train station at a place called ACT City. It's a huge area that has a building with two concert halls, a hotel, a big shopping center, a music museum, and 3 big exhibition halls!

 I was a volunteer along with about 50 other students. I did many jobs (some more fun than others haha) including giving directions around the conference, taking registration, moving and setting up projectors, and stuffing bags with materials. I was working most of the time, from about 8am to at least 6pm, so I didn't get to attend many talks, but I did hear a few tidbits here and there. At the parties, I got to meet some teachers from other universities and speak with them.

Everyone in the "intern room" on the first day for a welcome party with games and pizza-
The best part by far, though, was meeting all the other volunteers. Right from the very beginning we became a team so I felt like I could talk to anyone even though we had just met. And so many of them were so great! We had tons of fun working together, or talking during lunch, or staying together at the hostel. The last night, even though we were dead tired, about 10 of us stayed up to tell ghost stories. Unfortunately, most of them live about 3 hours away in Nagoya, but now if I go visit I will have people to meet up with!

I took the night bus there and back with Holly on Thursday and Sunday nights, and also got up super early to work all day, so basically I was a zombie for the whole weekend, but I took Monday and Tuesday off work so I had time to recover. All in all, it was a great weekend!

The JALT intern team


settling in

So I've been here a month now, and I'm really getting into the swing of things. I'm actually going to be quite busy these next few weeks.

My self-introduction poster for the International Exchange Center

This weekend I visited an English pub in Meguro and went shopping in Harajuku. The weather has finally changed into fall weather, which awesomely happened on my birthday. Also on my birthday I got to wander around Yoyogi Park, one of my favorite places ever!
Me with my carrot cake :)
Super awesome chair from Travis-
Cute soap dish from one of my students!

The EEDC (English department) has a blog which I've written for too. The first post by us, the interns, is here.

Tomorrow I will be joining in on a graduate school business class, so I'm a bit excited for that. I have to read a case study tonight to prepare, and then we will discuss in class mostly in Japanese. I might learn more this time than the students haha

This weekend I'll be working at the JALT conference in Hamamatsu. It's a big conference for English teaching in Japan, and I'll be there along with other student volunteers and some of the professors who will be giving and attending presentations. I won't have too much free time it looks like, but I hope I can attend a few presentations at least.

I've also been hanging out with the dorm cat, Mina, so here's some cute pics :)


First week of work!

My first day of classes was last Friday, so my first week is officially done :)

Everything is going well so far, and I'm enjoying my job. I want to get more into it though, because I think once classes really get going and I get to know more students better then I will be able to do a better job. But, so far so good!

Last weekend I went on a trip with other Japanese students and also international students to Kamakura. Kamakura is a very historic and old town near the beach south of Tokyo. We took a bus down with about 30 people, then explored in groups. The first temple we went to I had been to before, but it was just as beautiful.
All these were bought by people who wrote some kind of wish on them, and the proceeds support the shrine. This small shrine was part of a much bigger one and it was in its own little secluded spot.
We also did omikuji (fortune telling lottery) as a group. I got kichi which is pretty good luck.
This was my group. There was one more guy and he is in a hip-hop dance club at the school. He invited me to the club so I hope I can go sometime to dance! We had a very fancy lunch with tempura, sashimi, chawanmushi, soup, vegetables, rice, and tea. Needless to say, I was quite full and satisfied.

The next place we went was called Houkokuji. It is famous for having over 2,000 bamboo plants, and it is also quite old (from the 1300s). It had a very tropical feel actually. The place was really peaceful and full of nature. I really enjoyed this place.

They grow to be very tall-
We also got to taste matcha green tea at a small building in the middle of the bamboo forest.
You eat the candy first to get a sweet taste in your mouth, then drink the bitter tea. It's delicious!
Next we moved a bit farther south along the ocean to Enoshima to visit the aquarium. They had a whole jellyfish room which was really cool. There was a dolphin show too, at a stadium that was right up against the ocean and partially outdoors. The show was quite unique, because it had these 4 women who sang, danced, played with the dolphins, and did synchronized swimming. Not like a dolphin show in the US really, but I was entertained-
2 of the dolphins were huge like this^^

After we got back, the two professors chaperoning the trip took us out to eat. We went to this Indian curry place right by campus, which is one of the other teacher's all-time favorite curry place. The guy who ran the place actually asked us if we knew him because he goes there all the time :P

The naan there is humongous!!
This trip was really fun, and I loved that the main purpose of it was international exchange because OWU had lots of events like this but other schools don't. Mostly, it was a really fun day and I made a few friends. I'll probably be returning to the curry place soon, too!


my room

I am all unpacked, so here's where I am living:

bed with storage underneath

desk, tiny chair, and surprisingly fast dial-up internet

closet and kitchen

all-in-one bathroom

the door to the hall (2nd floor)


the view outside
I also have a storage closet down the hall, communal laundry area, bike parked outside, and a cat that wanders around-

and this is the route from here to the school:
check it out!


Back in Japan!

After a year and a half, I have finally returned to Japan to start working as a teaching assistant at Toyo Gakuen University in Chiba/Tokyo. The flight was long, my bags were heavy, and it's hot here, but despite all that I'm happy to be back! I got set up in my dormitory apartment last night by two of the faculty members. I just got internet this morning and I still have a few things to put away. Pictures will come when everything has a place- Today Mama-san, the lady who takes care of the dorm, took me out to show me around and to treat me to lunch even. We went to the station closest to me (about 3 minute walk!) and a little farther away to Kashiwa. This is kitakogane:

and the delicious green tea ice cream we had:

and now some awesome things I saw-