September is such an odd month for me in Japan. I have the entirety of August off, which is no fun given I have a crippling 40% cut from my salary because of it. I feel that pain in October though because I get paid at the end of the month and am on the one month lag pay system. When school resumes, there are 2 public holidays and a sports day that cut the work week further. I suppose it’s nice, because it allows me to ease into work.
So this week is Chibimaru chu, and this week really means Thursday and Friday as well as sports day last Saturday. Chibimaru chu, has the friendliest and tightest knit group of teachers in the city. When they have meetings, they all crack jokes and generally relax and have fun with each other. Honestly, going to this school feels like going into Cheers.
So for the total list of schools and dramatis personae, check:
Nakamaru Chu from the post: Sports day… week… whatever.
Shomaru Chu from the post: School.
Oomaru Chu coming soon
Now for Chibimaru Chu:
Mrs. Forrest– A very sweet older woman put in charge of rambunctious second year students. They are nice kids, but she can’t handle them and she gets steamrolled. The kids aren’t bad, but they have no idea what the limits are until she gets visibly frustrated. Really kind though.
Mrs. Huffy– another sweet older woman who is a part time teacher. This woman is the very definition of gregarious and can sweet talk her way out of anything I’m sure. She is often paired with Mrs. Forrest.
Mrs. Minnie– An impossibly energetic teacher. Super nice and the kids really respond well to her. She is one of those people who can keep her energy level up in a room of people born without personalities. She is always open to new ideas and is a cornerstone of this school.
Ms. Fields– A brand new, young, cute and kind teacher. The girls really seem to connect with her, and that is really nice to see. When she first started working, other teachers kept introducing her to me as either young or fresh and invited me to make in depth conversation with her. It started to feel like they were offering her to me as a sacrifice. In class she is still learning the ropes and is a bit mousy still.
Ms. King– She is the other superstar of the city. Her English and technique are both so good, she really doesn’t need me around for anything. I almost feel like a fifth wheel in her class, because she has it under control. While Ms. Temple at the other school is a superstar because she bonds so well with the kids, Ms. King does so well because her technique is razor sharp. She always uses whatever technology is available, which helps in an environment where the technology at hands is 3 generations old.
Now with sports day over, the newest thing for the kids is the day at work program. I give the Japanese school system a lot of shit, but this is one instance where they shine. The kids pretty much do a one day internship at a business of their choosing. The thing is, they have to do all the leg work requesting permission and asking if the businesses are cool with it, which many are. Today at school the kids are lining up out the teachers office with their prepared scripts, calling the various businesses. From what I am hearing, the local 7/11 is going to be packed with students.
On a separate note, as I was leaving my final class of the day, I was goofing around with the first year boys when I heard the sound that is bane to any working professional… The sound of one’s pants ripping in the only place you don’t want it to rip. Fortunately no one noticed, and I heel-toed it to the bathroom. I was hoping that it sounded worse than it actually was, but when I checked it, I was about 3 inches of fabric from full on ass-chaps. Shit… At least class is over, but I am a 2k walk, a 20 minute train ride and a 10 minute bus ride from home. I am forced to make battle field repairs, and grab some brown packing tape. After I slap that stuff on the inside, I proceed to heel toe it home. Little did I know that the tape would start snatching hairs when I walked… So yeah… I was yelling out random explicatives as I was having a poor mans bikini wax… Once on the train, I went to the first car and stood in the corner with my full bag strategically placed. Once I got home, I threw those pants in the garbage… friggin pants….