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It’s starting to feel like Summer has finally come to visit us here in Gunma. It was a rather wet and cool spring and most of June was dark (I even found myself  wearing a sweater for a few days), but finally in the past week the humidity-laden heat has come to stay along with the characteristically strong Summer lightning storms. In this weather I struggle to stay vigilant on my exercise plan. I have been practicing daily hill climbing on my bike around my town in preparation for a trip this August to a friend’s seaside home in Ibaraki (about 175km) after I return from my vacation.

Speaking of vacation, I am really looking forward to  going home to spend some time refilling my my burger, pizza, and taco reserves while being able to relax on the beach camping with family and friends for 4 days in San Diego. I will be turning 30 there and my family and I were planning a party, but I decided in the end it would be best to stop having parties after all. I feel somewhat ambivalent toward this particular age because it does carry a bit of social significance albeit an arbitrary number. Despite the artificially pressured situation I do think it is a good time to think about what I will do from now. I feel like it is important to have more hits than misses in things I do from now on, and I have been really considering my goals for the next 10 years.

In school related news it is getting closer toward the end of the year and classes are getting packed in to the slots where they can fit so my days are becoming busier and busier. But it is horribly unbalanced. One day I will have 6 classes in a row and others I will have just 2 for the whole day which leads to a cycle of stress and boredom. I’m glad there is just a few weeks left. One good thing is that I at one of my schools I got the rare privilege of having a Japanese American high school student to help me teach my classes. It is a really wonderful opportunity for the children to talk to someone closer to their age and closer to their background. These relatable qualities are one thing I will never have going for me as an English teacher so this is really a great opportunity to get my students to have an interest in learning English or even just traveling abroad. She has thus far proven to be very useful and it has also been nice to have someone I can speak English with in the workplace. I’m just sad I couldn’t have someone like that to teach with the whole time I was here!

I almost didn’t notice, but today is the 4th of July. At home I would have been looking forward to this day for a while… I should do something special… like raise a miniature American flag and light a sparkler.


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