I go through them.
One of the things that I think kept my feet on the ground was building problems. Who has time to be culture shocked when your bathroom door won’t shut, or your metal sliding doors need oiling, or your 2nd floor apartment has a mysterious leak during rainy season? It doesn’t matter how you feel, if the drain is clogged you gotta unclog it. The banality of these tasks is the same everywhere in the developed and post-industrial world. When I have to go buy drain cleaner, I think, “This doesn’t change no matter where I am.”
Well, now I’ve got some warped tiles in my bathroom to help me get through this school shuffle, and getting my new predecessor’s appliances, most of which are newer than mine.
While the anger has mostly worn off, now I’m just feeling ho-hum. There are tasks to get done, and I do them, because it’s my duty to do so. That’s how I feel about everything involving moving to the new school. Getting briefed by my new predecessor, arranging to get her appliances, trying to contact the ALT who will come to my school twice a week…
Unfortunately, the new school either guessed or found out that I don’t want to go there. I mean, I don’t know if they understand that it’s not that I don’t want to go to their school, it’s that I don’t want to leave my school. Japanese teachers may get shuffled around, but they don’t have to work so hard at building relationships with their co-workers. Even if they get moved to a new school, they never really start from zero. But that’s where I’ll be. Well, I guess if when I first came to Japan was zero, this’ll be like starting from 1 or 2.
But I wanna go out with a bang at my current school. I’m planning a Scavenger Hunt with the new English Club (that everyone assumed I would be running TT_TT). My co-ALT, a video enthusiast, and I made a HILARIOUS video to serve as the set-up to the hunt. I also wanna make the calligraphic nameplates for the 1st and 2nd year English Course, even though I wanted to give these to the 2nd years when they were on their way to becoming 3rd years, the way I did for the current 3rd year English Course.
The teachers all found out about the change at morning meeting on July 6th. That day, one of the teachers of Japanese, who would say something to me only rarely, came up to me to ask if the phrase “If it should be that way” in English is understood as being the same as the word “goodbye.” I said that it wasn’t, unless the context made it clear that the “that way” referred to parting. (But even as I said it, I couldn’t be sure if that’s the case, or my mind has just accepted the phrase because I already knew what “sayounara” literally meant.) He said something about how in Japanese, さようなら（左様なら) means “If it should be that way,” and that the phrasing difference of this sentence and “goodbye” expressed the great culture distance between Japanese and English. At least, that’s what I think he said. He totally caught me off guard, since I assumed when he asked if we could talk that he would ask me a grammar question, and when he started talking about sayounara, I couldn’t help but wonder if he really even had a question, or just wanted to say goodbye without saying it. @_@
As for the students, I’ve been telling them the news after giving them back their graded 1st term finals, as for half the homerooms, this is their last class of the first term, and therefor the last time I’ll see them. The English Course homerooms found out earlier from their teachers.
Actually, the first year English Course did something very interesting.
We were running a little late for their class, and were in the hallway approaching their room as the bell rang, and a student (a very lively one) peeked his head out the door. When he saw us coming, he went back in the room and shut the door. Just to fool around, I opened the door only a little and peeked in in a similar manner. They simply looked at me and stayed silent. But when I set foot in the room…
…they exploded into woo’s and hello’s and indiscriminate noises at the top of their lungs!
I thought I must’ve had something on my face! Then I wondered if I’d done something wrong by peeking in the door like that. The JTE was similarly confused, so I figured they must’ve simply gotten the news of my transfer, and wanted to do something for me. ^o^ + T_T
Once they got sort of calmed down, we moved on to the greeting, which went something like this:
Me: Good afternoon, everyone!
Kids: GOOD AFTERNOON ELI, J—, F—-!!!!!!!!! WOOOO!!!!!!
Me: Ahahaha…I feel like it’s my birthday.
Me: F, is it your birthday?
F: No. It’s the day after tomorrow.
F: Yeah, but they couldn’t have known that.
Me: Okay, well, how are you today?
Kids: I’M FINE, THANK YOU!!! AND YOU?!?!?!
Me: Well, I was a little tired, but now that I’ve felt your energy, I feel awake! So thank you!
This carried on for about another 5 minutes. LOL
The class had started to drag after going over two tests and practicing for the recitation contest, but in the ending greeting, I told them, “Thank you for…for whatever that was at the beginning of class. For your 気合.” They laughed and seemed to go back to their cheery mood.
God it’s gonna be hard leaving this school…
次回！Eli tries to stop moping around by lightening up the mood with an RLS post!