A crazy weekend…and planes!

Sometimes I wish that my weekends were a week long, especially on weekends like this one when I have so much to do.  For some reason this weekend, just after exams, is also the same weekend when I have a lot of baking to do for an event on Monday and juggling dealing with grading and running in and out of the kitchen is a balancing act that is wearing me out!

One saving grace, however, is reading in their Reflections, the comments from my students about their experience during this half term. For any teacher it is always priceless to receive feedback from students so you can have an idea of whether or not you are actually managing to teach them anything; if you are being at all effective.  The greatest joy a teacher can have is the realization that they have had, and are having, a positive impact on their students. I’m daring to hope that, based on what they have written, that they have learned a few things in my lessons, and for that I’m happy. I’ll keep trying to explain things to them and try to engage them as best as I can. I have never regarded myself as the greatest teacher in the world but I do try and I do care.

The term is at its half way mark and I’m hoping that the second half of the term will be even better than the first half. Now, if I can only finish baking all those cakes in time I’ll be happy!

On a completely different note, below are pictures of aircraft that I took at an air show I attended in Tottori when I lived there some years ago. I really love aircraft and I dream, still, of learning to fly a plane some day.  I haven’t figured out how to caption individual pics yet so I’ll have to just identify them in the next two paragraphs. In the first two pictures below, people are going into and out of the belly of a C5 Galaxy Starlifter aircraft which is one of the largest military aircraft in the world. These monsters are used to transport large quantities of things and/or people. They can carry, for example, other aircraft, tanks, missiles and large quantities of cargo. Below the first pic is an exterior shot of the front end of the plane. Another pic of people going in and out of this plane is further down.  I can’t remember the exact model of the yellow biplane just below those but I do remember that the guy who flew it did some seriously amazing aerobatic stunts in it. His flying ability was unbelievable and it is breathtaking how maneuverable  – and fast! -this small plane is.

The helicopter below the biplane is a Japan Air Self Defence Force Chinook helicopter. It is a US made aircraft and they are huge, hence the need for two rotors rather than one. They are workhorses and are used for transporting anything and everything, from troops to small vehicles. With two huge rotors they are also very noisy! You can see and hear them flying across Tokyo’s skies occasionally. The last pic is of the Japan Air Self Force Blue Impulse aerobatics team climbing into the sky. Their formation flying and stunts were a delight to watch. Those guys are good,perhaps as good as the Royal Air Force Red Arrows or the US Air Force Thunderbirds.

That air show was great and I enjoyed it thoroughly. My dream is to visit the Farnborough Airshow some day, and also to watch the Red Bull Air Race. Farnborough, held in the UK, is an annual event and is one of the biggest air shows in the world. Red Bull Air Races are held around the world every year, including here in Japan, in Chiba. The tickets are very expensive, though, so I guess I’ll better start saving up for tickets…!

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