The course I’m teaching this week is as exhausting as expected. Everyday from 9 to 5 with 50 minutes for lunch and a few 5 or 10 minute breaks scattered throughout. There are 2 110-minute sessions in the morning and 3 70-minute sessions in the afternoon. The students are pretty much studying and practicing conversations for 6 or 7 solid hours a day, for about 2 weeks. Teaching it isn’t difficult at all, but just a little repetitive and definitely tiring since I’m standing up all day.

Luckily, my group of 10 students are all pretty funny, and we all get along. Most are under 30, and I think there is even 1 who is younger than me. Half of them work in farther-off parts of Japan like Osaka or Nagano, and are thus staying in a dorm on-site. Everyone else commutes from Tokyo or somewhere close by; I probably have the longest commute out of the group. After class today a bunch of them were talking about bringing DSs tomorrow to play Mario Kart, so I told them I’ll bring mine. Oh, and one student asked me at the end of the first day if I’ve ever been told I look like Jack Bauer from 24. I of course said no, but he is pretty adamant that I look like an old white guy. None of the other students see it either (thank goodness).

Riding the trains isn’t as bad as I feared. I think I’m just before rush hour, which is great. I rode the limited express the first day (an extra 500 yen from Chiba to Tokyo), which gives you a bus/airplane-like seat instead of the usual bench and stand setup. I might do it again tomorrow to get an extra hour of sleep during the commute. I still have to wake up at like 5:30, which means I’m going to bed ASAP.