Today is the first official day back in class. It's good to be back. One, I have classes to teach, and two, I have an internet connection at my desk at the Junior High School. Life is good.
Yesterday was the opening ceremonies for the Elementary and Junior High Schools. It was much like the graduation ceremonies of last month, only with the younger students. The same marching in of the students, and never-ending speeches. Although at the elementary school, I was actually able to follow the speeches seeing as they were geared towards Grade 1 students. I was a bit miffed that I wasn't introduced at the Elementary school along with all of the other teachers. If I had realized what was happening I would have just gone up with everyone else. They had all of the teachers come on stage and introduce themselves to the students and parents at the ceremony. I think that my main contact at the elementary school forgets that I at least speak a little bit of Japanese -- at least enough to introduce myself. Oh well. The students there already know me.
In the afternoon I went to the Junior High school entrance ceremony. I barely recognized last years Grade 6's in their uniforms. I hope they have a great year.
And of course, no Japanese ceremony is complete without an enkai. After work yesterday I went to the welcoming enkai for the new teachers -- my new JTE among them. There was (as usual) much eating and drinking. Unfortunately, my new JTE isn't much of a drinker, but he does like karaoke. He did a superb rendition of Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer" at the second party. I made it to the san-ji kai (the third party) with the hardcore among the staff. It was hilarious. The male teachers all ordered "nabe ramen" -- giant family sized portions of ramen. It was hilarious.
A good night all in all, but I'm spectacularly tired today. And I have another enkai tonight with the Board of Education. And then it's off to Shihoro this evening for a musical rehearsal. Yes, straight from enkai to musicalling. I think it's the start of a very long weekend...