Thursday, March 23, 2006

So today was interesting.

I managed to sleep in and be half an hour late for work this morning. Thankfully, I wasn't scheduled to be at the kindergarten until after 10, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Just made me look and feel like an ass. I choose to blame the disgustingly snotty cold I've come down with after last weekend's exertions in Muroran. I would have just called in sick, but I had a kindergarten class to teach, and those are a lot of fun. Yes, I am a sucker for adorable Japanese pre-schoolers. Especially when they come give you hugs and tell you "daisuki".

Snot and all, I taught my kindergarten classes. I came in just in time to watch the very end of their practices for graduation ceremonies to be held on Saturday. No - I won't be going to those. I've done my required graduation ceremonies for the year. Besides, I have a date with my neighbor and fellow musical-er Jeshie to watch the Oscars and make man-paunches so we look less like women when we play gamblers. Jimmy the Fish and Little Jule: Are we not men? Do we not sing bass?

Anyways, the classes went well. Extremely tiring, but that's what happens when you spend an hour and a half teaching 4-6 year olds. I was smart though, and brought all of my animal cards so we could play karuta. It's a traditional Japanese game, which usually involves one person reading cards with some kind of alliterative poem on them, and the players searching for the matching card in the pile spread out on the floor. The first person to slap the correct card keeps the card, and the winner is the one with the most cards. See the explanation at the bottom of this page. I've played it at enkais (I even won a couple of rounds because everyone else was so drunk), and the last time I taught at Toun Elementary I was the reader (Not surprisingly, I lost at janken). Which was entertaining because the kids there play so often they have the cards memorized. I read so slowly in Japanese they would finish reciting the story on the reader cards for me. At the kindergarten today we played with my set of oversize animal flashcards, and all I had to do was yell out the names of animals. Low key for me, fun for the kids. Oh yeah.


I was informed today that I will also be saying goodbye to my supervisor come the new term. I am not very happy about this, because Toshio-san is a very cool guy. Actually, my first thought was, "You finally have an ALT who is going to stay another year, and now you're getting moved to the town office!"

Well, I guess I'll just have to go and visit him for a coffee. At least he isn't leaving town. Hopefully someone cool will be replacing him. All I know is that his name is Takahata-san, and he's "very young". My current supervisor and the office accountant got a good laugh out of that one. Young in a Japanese office translates to under 40 (38 to be exact).

I'll really miss my boss. Who will say "bless you!" when I sneeze at work now?!

You may be wondering why there are so many people I work with leaving this year. No, it isn't because they have to work with me and I smell funny. In the Japanese system, every four to six years depending on your contract, you get moved. All of the teachers, people at the BOE and the town office, the school lunch center, everywhere, get shuffled around. I don't know why. It makes things more exciting I guess.

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