Summer School Preps

While everyone else geared up for beaches and pools, we spent more than a week prepping for our summer school program.  At times like these, I miss the Middle East. Adjusting to a mere week-long summer break wore me out last year; I felt close to returning to the sun and sand where summer meant two sluggish months with my pillows.

Our theme for this year is “The World.” If not for the research I have to cram for, I would very much enjoy learning about different countries and cultures. I haven’t found the time to actually sit and read and while it’s good that I am forced to do so now, I would like to spend the few days I have to rest and go out with the kids. On top of the summer preps, I still have to update some of my bulletin boards. I only had energy to work on one – the cultural board at the back of my classroom. We are supposed to talk about Russia next month and because I would be busy with summer school in the coming weeks, I made it one of my priorities to make something simple and quick.

I found a nice clip art on Russia over the net, and just made a few tweaks on it when I drew.


I don’t like working with water color because it’s just too messy but it’s the way to go if you’re drawing for a board. I hate having to wash the brush every time and getting up to change the water in my bowl.


Of course you still have to wait a few minutes for the paint to dry before you could work on it again. Idle time makes me impatient. Isn’t there a way to do this faster?


That’s the finished work. That’s Anna (Frozen) on the side, a permanent decor on that board to use up the big space ;-).

A Dream Come True

January 2014. After the winter break, I was scheduled for a teaching demo via Skype at 4am (9am in Japan). I hadn’t slept yet and since it was a weekend, some of my housemates were still up. I couldn’t turn the lights on so I did the demo in the kitchen. We had a final interview shortly after and at noon that day, I received a job offer. The next one and a half months were spent processing my visa. I had my passport stamped before February ended and by the second week of March, I arrived in Japan.

My employer processed my husband’s visa as soon as I arrived and after 3 months, he came. He wasn’t as excited as I hoped he would be (of course he missed someone) and went back and forth from Japan to the Middle East, still unable to make up his mind. In October, the girl booked him a ticket for a flight back and that was when I gave him an ultimatum. I said that if he leaves again, I will make sure he won’t be able to come back anymore. He decided to stay.

The following month, he found a part-time job. Coincidentally, my boss had a business trip to my home country and allowed me to tag along so I could visit my kids. It was just for a few days but I had enough time to process my younger son’s passport.

My boss had been very supportive about moving our kids here. Last February, he processed their visas and they were scheduled to arrive in Japan a month later. My husband went home to get them. It was a busy month in school as we were preparing for our year-end recital so I couldn’t leave. It was hubby’s first time to see the boys in 3 years and he was about to spend grueling hours with them in a plane. I was worried.

They arrived safely in the late evening of March 21st. I thought it would never happen. I was complete. 🙂