Miyagi Orientation, part 1

Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 06, 2009

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yesterday, we new ALTs went to Tomiya for the Miyagi Prefectural Orientation.  First though, I went to pay rent.  Seeing that much yen go sayonara is rather depressing.
It was good to see familiar faces again (and meeting new people).  We have the added bonus of Michael being one of the senpais presenting.  The first day had a lot of rehashing of Tokyo Orientation material/common sense stuff.  The Tome meeting was useful though.  Even so, Michael has gotten me worried about the potential mold infestation in my apartment, especially since I have been gone.  Today had more helpful info as well.  I've gotten a better idea of what to do with my classes.  Aiyana also presented an entertaining panel about dating in Japan. 
Right now we've got free time.  I should socialize more with my Miyagi buddies, but I wanted as much time on-line as possible.  Now I'm too tired to do anything, and we've got to be in bed by 11 PM.  This place is very strict about rules such as curfew and boys not being allowed on our floor unless they're using the gym or showers.
Just some side commentary, my first couple of weeks here has made me realize why Americans have such a negative image.  We complain too much, and we're lazy.  Japanese students and teachers go to school until 5 P.M. even in the summer for clubs (which are mandatory).  The students clean up the building themselves and serve each other lunch.  They have no air conditioning in the buildings and practice sports out in the humidity.  My friend who's goes to college in Sendai and lives at home has to commute 3 hours both ways by train every day.  Gas in America is much cheaper than it is here (I think it works out to $7 a gallon), South Africa, and maybe Australia.  Fruit costs a few bucks each, and soda from vending machines is around $1.  Not everything is more expensive here, but I've stopped converting prices to American dollars because you can't just compare.
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