Thursday, April 25, 2013

ALT Life So Far and Penny Pinching

Well, I've been working for about two weeks now, and so far so good everyone. I like my school, the staff, and mostly the students. I'm finding that while the teaching hours are less, I'm spending probably the same amount of energy. Mainly because my class size has jumped from 8 max to 30. When you have a bunch of 13 year olds being loud and obnoxious, you of course have to be louder than them to get their attention. I still am adjusting to doing more lesson prep. With AEON, everything is ready to go. You may have to cut some stuff out for kids, but that aside, there wasn't much actual materials preparation. Interac has lesson plans you can use as guides, which I do, but since the number of students is increased, there are more materials that need to be made. I've have made so many card decks @.@ I feel like I use a ton of paper, but the school says don't worry about it. And I'm figuring out ways to make things to where they can be reused. My JTE, whom I will refer to as T-sensei, is so sweet. She always checks if the schedule is okay before she submits it to Interac, and apologizes if I have a 5 class day. I just tell her it's nothing compared to AEON haha. I guess I'm the first ALT they've had that is there every day, so she is trying to figure out the best ways to keep the schedule balanced.

That aside, I'm learning how to penny pinch in Japan. I never really had to do this in Japan, but since I was out of work for one month, and won't get my first bigger (but not full) paycheck until the end of May, that means three months without a decent paycheck. Which is something I understood completely from the very beginning. I wasn't as careful as I probably should have been however, I mean, Japan is EXPENSIVE. So for the next five weeks, I have set a goal. My goal is to spend as little money as possible of course. I am doing this to see how much money I can save overall by setting a weekly spending limit of ¥10,000. My goal is to have a little left over each week. If I spend it all, it's okay, but if I have some left over, I set it aside. I cannot splurge with it. Luckily, my commute to school isn't outrageously expensive, so it is doable to stay within my spending range. Granted, on the weekend I donate to a shared money pool for me and Aki. I so far have been able to stay in the range and last week had some left over. This week I might not since I have to go to Sakuragicho for a meeting. I basically go to the supermarket on Sunday and buy supplies for the week. This includes lunch and dinner stuff. I go in the evening when stuff goes on clearance, and make sure I have enough for the week. I don't make anything fancy, and I go cheap. If it is something that will expire in a day or two, I cook it Sunday night and put it in the freezer. Usually that kind of stuff goes into my bento anyway. Speaking of bento, I am cooking my lunch every day. The school lunch is ¥500. I probably spend that much on the ingredients for five days of bento food. I also am grateful that winter is pretty much done and it's not too hot yet. I don't need to use the air-con. Which means cheaper electric bill. Hmm... I also don't eat conbini dinner or buy alcohol during the week.

Well, I guess that sums things up for now.

-Rizu

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