Wednesday, 12 September 2007

PostHeaderIcon Here's one I wrote at work yesterday

It is currently 11:26am and I’ve been sitting at the Junior High all day doing very little because the English teacher is off to the city for a meeting. That’s about 3 and a half hours of cursing myself for not bringing any Japanese books to study. I don’t have the internet here so I’m just writing in a Word document to make myself look busy. I think this is an art that every single member of the school staff has mastered. There must be about 100 pupils here but there is a staffroom full of teachers/nurses/office staff. The reason for this is the towns own the schools but the prefecture owns the teachers so when a town closes down a school the teachers are dumped somewhere else as it’s almost impossible for them to lose their job. I have no idea what half of them could be doing all day and I probably taught more classes yesterday than some will this week.

Some things that have been slightly irritating me this morning despite the boredom/tiredness/hunger is that I have the crappy desk. It reminds me of ‘The Young Ones’ when Rick is complaining about being on the rickety chair. I’m not here every day during the week so people just use my desk to dump their stuff. I’m not too bothered about that but sometimes this force of habit means they forget I’m here and pour their drinks about 5cm away from my laptop etc. The brushing of teeth/flossing/gargling right next to me is also something I could live without. Nah, I’m being too harsh on everyone but I’m glad I’m based at the Board of Education and get to go to Elementary the rest of the week.

I believe I ended last night’s update (I wish I’d slept instead!) with my Elementary lessons. I forgot to mention we had an enkai (party) last Monday with the Elementary teachers which was quite fun. I pulled the usual Japanese speech and used chopsticks which always seems to impress everyone. Also, apparently I only like the cheap sushi which everyone found amusing. I failed to mention what I do for lunch these days now that school has started. On Monday/Tuesday I eat with the Junior High students and on Wednesday/Thursday with the Elementary lot. In Japan all the teachers/students eat a universal school lunch together which is apparently designed to have all the nutrients etc that you need. I was warned that it would be disgusting but I actually really enjoy it and the surprise of what is for lunch is always fun. Quite a lot of emphasis is put on me eating lunch as it is quite a good bonding exercise between myself and all the students. The first week I went out of the way to sit next to the little toerags with fancy hair/swaggers as it might make it easier on myself to try and befriend them in some way. I felt a bit annoyed at myself for being all smileysmileyhappyteacher as they really annoy me. Nevertheless it seems to have paid off this week as everyone is a bit more friendly towards me and now I can move about at lunch and spend some time with not so annoying teenage brats.

Can't you just feel the irritated mood I was in yesterday morning? It was mainly due to me being unbelieveably tired and I came home from work last night and went straight to bed. I woke up for about an hour to eat and then back to sleep. I'm still really tired actually, I hope I don't have that rare disease I was too cheap to vacinate myself against. Speaking of which, yesterday afternoon I had to stand in the sun for two hours watching sports day training which was dull. So me and the principal hauled about 30 years worth of old, rusty baseball stuff out of sight. I grazed myself a few times and was quite pleased that I had checked my last tetanus jag before I left. Take that open air oxidation of iron!

My blog updates are rather sporadic these days and I am trying to get fully up to date soon. Right now I might go buy some ice cream because I had dinner and now I want something sweet. I might even drive into Nahari just because I can although I reckon I should change my socks first.


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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.