Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Photos (PHOTO HEAVY)

I’ve decided that I will post my journal entries, but I have to re-take a few photos of some of the pages, so here are some photos until I get time to post the entries.

I present to you…1/8 of the pictures of my time at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, Japan!  😀  (Don’t worry, I chose my favorite photos.)

The entrance to the HP neighborhood


Hogwarts Express!

Zonko’s Joke Shop

The Harry Potter neighborhood was towards the back of the park and you walk through a winding path lined with tall shrubbery, then it takes you to the entrance of Hogsmeade Village.  The Ford Anglia (flying car) was among the shrubbery too!  🙂  Pre-park photo op!  🙂

You could take photos INSIDE the Hogwarts Express but there was a huge line and it cost about $30 (3000 Yen)…so we passed on that.

Zonkos looked almost exactly like the movies and had tons of treats and gags from the books except…the Muggle version…so less-cool IMO (in my opinion).  Very kid-friendly, but not for someone looking to save some yen.



Hogwarts Castle!  Wahoo!

We loved the amount of DETAIL in everything that we saw.  That was probably one of my favorite parts.  They tried to be as faithful to the books as possible so if you’re a super-fan like myself, you won’t be disappointed.  (They had a lake too!)

We had a Fast Pass for the Forbidden Journey ride inside the castle so we did that first.  It is a simulator ride and was pretty cool.  The inside had loads of stuff from the movies to look at.  Talking portraits (in Japanese…sadly (for me)), Dumbledore’s office, Gryffindor common room…

Entrance to Dumbledore’s office


Bought some butterbeer…which is DELICIOUS by the way.  I got the frozen one and my friend got the regular.  We spent an extra $3/4 (speaking in dollars because most of my family is from the US) on the souvenir mugs.  Worth it.  My drink was still cold a few hours later.  The only thing is that Butterbeer is really sweet (non-alcoholic) (tastes a bit like caramel and something else) so we probably could have shared.

*We had Pumpkin Juice as well (apple juice, pumpkin puree and one other kind of juice that I forgot…apricot??)…anyway…it was pretty tasty.  It tasted like pumpkin pie in juice form…in a good way?  Not sure how that comes across, but it was good too.  Sweet, but good.

Took this photo at my house just now–My friend has pictures from the park, but she’s a bit slower with the uploading than I am…

Anyway, we rode the Flight of the Hippogriff ride after buying the Butterbeer.  There was a HUGE line, but we wanted to do everything so we took our Butterbeers in line and played some Harry Potter hangman on an app on my phone.


We saw Hagrid’s hut while waiting in the line.  😀



Crate for the Monster Book of Monsters…which broke free by the looks of it!  Watch out!


House banners outside Hogwarts castle


My House 😀  Slytherin House: Home of the resourceful and ambitious

Hogsmeade Village


Hogwarts Choir performing some songs

The toilets even looked like school toilets (at least from the movie) with Moaning Myrtle! (in Japanese..sad day.)
She was in both the men’s (“Boys”) and women’s (“Girls”) toilets.

Lunch in The Three Broomsticks


Wizeacre’s Wizarding Equipment (clothing and souvenir shop)






Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans–unfortunately they were sold out! 😦


Chocolate Frogs–with collectible cards!
I bought two…a bit expensive at ~$9 (900 yen) a piece but worth it to me since I can’t buy them anywhere else
I have one unwrapped and half eaten and the other is still wrapped up (Salazar Slytherin was my first card.)


Inside Zonko’s Joke Shop
“U No Poo: The Constipation Sensation That’s Gripping the Nation!”
Techhhhnically, this should be in Weasley Wizard Wheezes, but ah well.  You can have it Zonko’s,  Nice to see it in the shops 🙂 haha

Classroom Update

This is my latest classroom video update 🙂


I changed a few things since the last video a month or so ago.

I didn’t speak during the video because it was after school hours and I felt weird chatting away to myself in the quiet school when others were working…but anyway, I’ll give you a written tour 😀

0-20 seconds: My latest work 🙂
I found this on Pinterest–it’s called Tired Words and I thought it was an awesome way to get kids to use different words.
I hear “It is delicious.”  “No delicious” so many times a day…drives me crazy.
I also just moved the bookshelf again and I think it’s going to stay like this.  I like that it creates more of a reading nook than the way I had it before (flush against the wall).  I actually just bought two pillows (chair cushions turned pillows) at the dollar store (3,000W or about $3/each) and I had two pillows that I bought when I first arrived for whenever I got around to buying a futon, but that still hasn’t happened, so I’m bringing them to my room to get some use out of them.  Those will be added to that corner tomorrow.
Each student also has a good behavior sticker chart–good behavior only–and I have different colors for whenever they finish one.  I give them little prizes from Daiso (basically a dollar store) when they finish their chart.  The first one is cheap chocolate, one is a pencil with a fun animal eraser on top, another is a thing of bubbles (I found a bunch on sale in a bundle).  Anyway, I spend money, but it’s not much and it helps keep my sanity in the classroom and the kids get into it.  They like the stickers and seeing who has the most stickers and what color will be next.

:30–Another new thing I added on Friday.  This is a fake window in our classroom and I’ve decided to do a “Break Time Challenge” with fall vocab words that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers…for FREE.
I printed and laminated them and hope to change them out every few days so the kids get exposure to more words and get practice with ABC order.  In a fun way.  Heh…so sneaky.  🙂

Around :35 is basically the student station.  Kind of a catchy name that I just made up, but this area doesn’t have a real name.  The student’s work folders are here and extra pencils and erasers for students that forget (so I’m not driven crazy by the sounds of “I don’t have a pencil today” and me wondering why students leave the house without supplies.)  They all know to just grab a pencil when they need one.  We’re working on only sharpening pencils before class and at breaktime with some of the newer kids, but overall, this is pretty effective.  Kleenex/Tissue and hand sanitizer are also here.

Next up are the careers.  At the beginning of class, a student from each class chooses the next career and three photos to go with it.  I talked about this in the last post though.  I do this on Mondays and the students rotate.

I added the ordinal numbers on Friday and my desk is around :56.  Birthday wall is around :58.  Part of me wants to do something special for the kid’s birthdays, but then again…I dunno.  Maybe just a little certificate or something?  Still thinking…

Around 1:00 you can see the “Today is”, “Yesterday was” and “Tomorrow will be” section.  The kids in my last class help me change these out and they seem to enjoy helping.
Word Wall at 1:15…also new!  I love having this because it’s nice to have an organized place to put all the frequently asked spellings and that massive black shelf is finally gone.  Wahoo!  I also added these fall words to the word wall.

1:30–You can see the area where we have story time (sometimes…could be more, but the kids don’t seem to pay attention as much when they sit on the mat).  The red chair is also used for time-out.  I rarely do time-outs, but sometimes I just need to remove a kid from the situation and this is an easy way to do it.  We also have a magnet board with the abc letters.  I picked up the alphabet letters at Daiso for about 3000W (about $3) about a year ago and the kids love it.  My school bought the magnet board for us.  🙂
The colored bags under the long table in the back are for recycling.  The paper needs to go out…oi.  Not looking forward to that.

Anyway, that’s that!  🙂  Hope you enjoyed my (somewhat blurry) tour of my/our room!
Halloween decor to come in October!  Yay!

Side note:  I made a direct link to one of my main classroom Pinterest pages over there on the right >>

Why, Hello there!

I’ve gotten really bad about updating this.  Whoops!  Sorry!

First, here are some of my favorite songs currently so you can jam and read at the same time.  😀

Jessie J’s ‘Sexy Lady’
Plumb’s ‘In My Arms’
Jessie J’s ‘Wild’
Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Salvation’

Ok.  Good.  😀

Anyway, let’s see…Thailand was frikin amazing and I definitely need to go back.  I had an issue with pickpocketing on one of the overnight buses which left me doing a lot of sitting, movie watching and reading at the end of my trip…but thankfully, I was able to experience a lot of stuff at the beginning.
I went to a Muay Thai class and had a 3-hour class..which was awesome.  If I had more lifetimes, I could see myself going back there for a bit longer and doing a bit more with that.  There were Thai people there obviously, and then other foreigners who went to Thailand specifically to train Muay Thai.  The gym was called Santai Muay Thai in case you’re curious or interested for yourself.  Super friendly staff and good overall environment.

I also rode on and bathed an elephant in a river.  Oh, and rode bareback, not in one of those harness things.  😀  I was excited for the elephant, but it ended up even better than I expected.  My elephant was really gentle and sweet.  🙂
On that same tour, I also went to Tiger Temple and got to pet some of the tigers there 😀
Tigers are my absolute favorite animal so that was HUGE for me.  That whole day was a blur of awesomeness…thank God for cameras.  I was able to get a lot of pictures to help me remember everything.

Also, I went to a few night markets and got to bargain/haggle and went to a floating market (same tour as elephants and tigers), saw a lot of temples (mostly all in Bangkok).  I also got in some lovely beach time and relaxation over on Koh Tao island.  😀

Bringing things back to Korea, I’m about a month and a half into my new job at the new school and it’s loads better than the previous school.  The administration are honest with me about my performance and we have weekly meetings.  We have TWO office printers (instead of the two personal-sized printers at my last place)–makes it a bit congested in the office with 8 teachers and two tiny printers.  Each teacher also has a heater in their classroom…ah!  And I have my OWN classroom!  😀 😀  It’s so lovely, and I’m free to decorate it as I wish. Our library is nicely stocked and the curriculum seems effective.  There’s also a system put in place if we need to discipline students.  The work load is heavier, but I don’t mind it because of all the other positives.  Plus, I also don’t mind working more if I see the results of my efforts…which I do, since I have my own students and it feels like a real school.

Also, as is customary in Korea for ESL teachers, with a new job comes a new apartment.  Each school provides an apartment (or housing allowance) for their foreign teachers, so if you change schools, then you change apartments…not sure if I’ve mentioned that or not.
Anyway, I’m loving my new place.  I’m slowly getting back on my feet after not having a paycheck for awhile. We get paid monthly here, which is a bit annoying, but the pay is good enough that normally it doesn’t matter.  It’s just that when you stop working and start back up again…it’ll be awhile before you see any money.  I got paid this past month, but my check for December will bring me back to feeling comfortable again.  VERY anxious for that.  A huge thanks to my momma who has helped me get through this rough patch.

I feel like I should have pictures along with this post, but they’ll have to wait til the next one.  It’s late again here and I’m ready for bed.

Happy Friday! 😀