Every year in January, Miyazaki ALTs are required to attend a skills development conference, also known as the Mid-year conference. Most prefectures have this conference, but I’m not sure that all of them do.
This year I had the pleasure of working with Ray, who lives in Takachiho, and Alissa, who is in Nobeoka. Our topic was last minute lesson plans. Though this was my second year presenting, I was nervous. I did not feel completely prepared, though that was probably pretty appropriate given our topic. Alissa works with elementary schoolers, Ray with junior high schoolers, and I work with high schoolers, so we each presented three games appropriate for our various levels. The workshop was packed (a nice change from the two people who showed up to mine last year) and it went really well.
Afterwards, Cassie drove me over to my hotel and we stored all the things for that night’s party in my room. The hotel has to be one of the worst business hotels I’ve stayed in Japan (which is saying something because they are normally all incredibly clean), but I chose it because it’s attached to the building where the party was held.
Though I worked at the check in desk all night, I really had a great time at the party. Rather than dealing with the confusing social anxiety that those kinds of amorphous/lacking activities beyond dancing and drinking parties cause, I had a role and a specific place to be for the night. That is infinitely more enjoyable and comfortable for me. Throughout the night a wide variety of people came out to join me at the desk and chat. It was really nice catching up with friends I don’t often see because I am kind of a hermit and a little stingy when it comes to train costs, as of late.
This year’s theme was On the Red Carpet. People either dressed up as movie characters, or just dressed up like they were going to an awards ceremony. It was cool to see everyone’s outfits. Even though there were half the number of people this year, I think everyone had a great time. I did not take as many pictures as I thought I would, but I did manage to take some.