Oh man, busy couple of days, yet not as frantic as I'd anticipated!
Yesterday: CPI from 7-9am (sent some emails, started an article, and did some BAB layout), then taught the pre-nup girl from 9:30-11:30, then marked from 12:35-9pm, then home...
Today: Gym, then teaching from 9:30-11:30, then marking from 12:40-9, then home...
What is this marking you ask? Basically, its insanely boring, yet pays well, so I can't complain too much, though I do!
It's one of the biggest English proficiency tests in the world, so we were marking one level, (one below the highest), and 20,000 people had written it, so we had to mark that in 2.5 days (I was supposed to go back tomorrow, but they said not to bother b/c I was only marking in the afternoon, and they're thinking they'll be done by then). Anyway, part of the test was like a bubble test, and then the other part of it was a paragraph answer, and that's what we were marking, at a rate of about 40/hour. Assuming I kept up, that means I marked roughly 700 of these suckers! I know have a much greater appreciation for provincial exam markers, and the importance of neet handwriting and some originality! By the end of the day today, I think we were all probably giving some points for creativity, and nice handwriting definitely made us happier before we started reading!
The paragraph they had to write was a three-part question, basically "why do you think there are more freeters in Japan now, do you think it's a good idea to travel before you start your career, and in your opinion, what is the most important factor when choosing your career?" (a freeter is a person who chooses part-time work as opposed to the life of a salary man)
The answers (about 100 words each), were fairly standard, although some were definitely more opinionated than others, saying that freeters were terrible, or whatever... About 80% of the people said you should do what you love, while the rest said salary (or sarary) was the most important.
Some one said "It is so nice to hear from you (it was supposed to be an email) because everyone said you had been eaten by lions in Africa" Erm OK? Someone else wrote "I want to be a freeter because I am so busy now I have to go" and that was it (too busy to write the test?), and then there were the slightly phsyscotic ones, like someone who said they hated their parents so much they wanted to kill them (I didn't mark that one, and it got reported), or someone else who got half way through before saying "Anyway, sh*t, f@ck, jesus!" Cause yea, that's going to help you! There was the person who said "The most important factor in choosing your career is that God will decide for you", and the one (he was 10) who said you should be a doctor or a flight attendant, because, "those are famous careers", alternately, someone else wanted to be a pilot, and suggested to the mythical email recipient that they be a pilot as well, "so we can work at the same airport" and someone else also suggested the two head to a movie next Wednesday.
The vast majority ranged from unintelligible to to just plain boring though! To be expected though, I'm sure!
Now, for another "Only in Japan" moment we introduce Pepsi's newest tasty (?) carbonated beverage: "Ice Cucumber" Umm yea, its bizarre! Scary, scary green color, scary lotion/taste smell, which makes more sense when you taste it, as it seems like soap could well be the second ingredient! It's really hard to explain! Kind of lime/sprite-y, but it also tastes like melted freezy, and it feels hard somehow, like the carbonation is really intense or something... I'm not a good describer apparently!
Go drink some fake iced veggies w/ a side of carbonation now!