Monday, 3 June 2013

Day 175: Last day of teaching...

Day 175 (30 May). Thursday. This is the last day of teaching for a few weeks. We still have marking and exams ahead then it is back to preparation for next semester. In the mean time, I have a Council meeting to attend in Canberra, a trip to Japan to catch the Upper House election, write up a couple of articles...these are our 'holidays' after all. 

Lunch in the making,
at 6.12am
Last night was a late night home (always judged by how far through Tony Delroy's 'The Challenge' I am when the garage door is closed--we're on question 23 of 25). I have to be up early and so the 6.12am pic catches a glimpse of any one of several activities going on at once. This is making a quick egg, I'm told they are good for many things, including Vitamin D. I'm also having breakfast, feeding the birds, watering the bonsai...thinking about the day ahead, all the usual. 

First year Japanese students are doing their final presentations today and the second years are due to have their final interviews as well. It is a very wet day and we are all dodging rain downpours in between classes. At 6.12pm, the first years are starting their presentations and my wet brolly on the floor looks a bit sad and the worse for wear. 

Presentations, at 6.12pm
It is always a pleasure to see how far students develop over a semester, particularly the ones who haven't studied Japanese before. We've observed an interesting phenomenon over the years. Students who haven't studied Japanese before university tend to catch up, overtake and excel at the language over their 'background learner' counterparts. It is partly the difference in teaching styles and opportunities between high school and university and as for other factors...well, one day we'd like to do a study on that. 

At 9pm, when classes are finished, there are no cheers or celebrations. It is just back to the office to finish the day's work. Just as I know the Caboolture servo staff on a first name basis, so too the cleaning staff at work who turn up every Thursday evening...tonight, at 10.25pm, they are surprised I'm 'leaving early' that night. It has been a long day, a long week, a long semester...and there is a long walk to the distant car park. 

When I get home, we're on question 14 of 25 on Delroy's Challenge.

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