Here I am in Toronto. At the moment I'm sitting at an oval table in a kitchen with an old stand-alone cupboard (something in my heart tells me there is a more specific term) peeling paint and an L-shaped layout very similar to many of the kitchens I know in Lawrence. I am surrounded by two men from France, a tall Japanese man almost my age with long, curly, black hair, and a younger Irish woman who works here, all of us trying to figure out how a waiter asks a customer how they'd like their meat done (rare, well, etc.). I still think there is a more specific way to put it, but I'm always wrong, so I give up for now. Anyway, one of the French guys has moved to asking the Japanese guy about judo terminology.
My first interview didn't go so well. The first part was great, but then, that was primarily informational. Later, however, we were asked to come up with a short demo lesson over lunch and then present it, the other interviewees acting as young students. I was a little nervous, of course, but the first few presenters, while they were energetic and fairly interesting, kept making mistakes that had more to do with paying attention to the instructions given at the beginning of the demo lessons than with real effectiveness - in any case, it seemed fairly easy, and I felt confident that when it came to my turn I would do not only well but outdo myself.
As has often been the case lately, I was humbled. I did a really poor job; I kept stumbling where my imagination had seen me performing particularly stunningly (yes, that's right, remember, adverbs can modify other adverbs, though don't try it at home).
When I left, I wondered to myself if an old dog can learn new tricks. Not in those terms. I mean, though, that I have fairly good idea of what I am good at - I finished the grammar quiz without any problems, but in this simple task I just fell flat. So I wonder if I can - if I should bother to try to - become a good teacher.
In a later one-on-one interview (until that point we had all been gathered together around a round table very different from the one in front of me), the interviewer - there was only one, somewhat of a surprise - mentioned that my performance hadn't been bad enough to signal a "red light," but it was not really enough to catch his attention. I agreed, saying that I had started fairly poorly in a speech class, and yet later I did really well.
There is one little quirk that could... could work in my favor - they have an opening in mid-March in Hiroshima that happens to be looking for "someone a bit older to balance out the primarily younger teacher pool" or something along those lines. Intriguing, and there is a chance that just because there is such a short time-frame for them to find someone they may ask me, but I still really have my heart set on Tokyo. I have until Monday to decide, and during that time I should get a good idea what my chances are with other schools, as I have a three-day interview starting tomorrow.
Alright, enough of that. One little Canada note, then I'll quit. Absurdly, the government-run liquor stores close at 9 pm. You heard me. Apparently this is a little different in the French-speaking areas, but I was shocked. I wonder if life is that much better here for it? Maybe it is.
While I've been writing this, a French couple has come in and the Japanese man and Irish woman have left, so I think I'll retire off to somewhere else.