Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A fleeting February and a maniac March

Hello friends and family,
It has been a while! My apologies for the lull in updates. Between school ending, days of endless grading and my computer becoming a very large paperweight, I regrettably did not send out a newsletter for February.

February, as always, was a short month. Valentine's Day this year was notable, as Caitlin came to visit me. We had a very nice time taking walks, exchanging gifts and eating lots of chocolate. Valentine's Day is a little different in Japan, as women as expected to give chocolate to men. The next month, on March 15th, men are expected to return the favor and give the women a gift in return. White Day, as it is known, was created by candy companies to sell more product. The Japanese mindset of reciprocation is also a big influence on both holidays, as anyone who gets a gift is obligated to return one. For a little more detail, see this blog post.
Exchanging gifts for Valentine's Day.
It was fun to see the students giving each other little gifts and enjoying the holiday. I was also able to share in my classes about St. Valentine and his love for others and appreciation of marriage and love between couples. I also gave all my students a small piece of candy on White Day, although some of them seemed confused as to why I would do that.

March came and left almost as quickly as February, but with lots more to do! KIU follows the Japanese school year, which means the school year ends at the end of March, which means I have finished my first year of teaching! March was full of grading, planning for next year and graduation for the senior class of 2013. Things were very busy, but we got everything accomplished!

Enjoying the cherry blossoms in Tokyo!
This week I'm enjoying a bit of a break and relaxing with the Essenburgs in Tokyo and getting some planning done for next year. Classes start in a little more than a week, so please keep me in your prayers as I start my second year of teaching!

This month, please remember these prayer requests:
  • Pray for my planning and lesson making for brand new classes and a new school year. 
  • Pray for all people in Japan who suffer from hay fever, myself included. 
  • Please continue to pray for the teachers and staff. 
  • Pray that school year can start well, both for the students and teachers. 

Thank you for your support of God's work in Japan!