Wednesday, September 07, 2005

All is calm, all is bright.

Weather has returned to normal and all signs of the typhoon have passed, though this afternoon I witnessed some rather unique clouds that made me imagine that I could actually see part of what the satellite pictures of the typhoon look like. I didn't blow away on the way to school, which I was pretty happy with, and I came to the conclusion that the wind sounded worse than it was for me all night due to the fact that I'm on the fourth floor of an apartment building and I have the corner apartment, so I am the windbreaker on three out of four sides of my apartment.
The air has a touch of something in it today. If I was educated in Japanese weather I might say that there's a touch of fall in the air, but it's a hard call to make when it's still 31 degrees out. I have no idea what a Japan fall looks like, so I suppose all that I can say is that there's something different in the air today. The sky and the sun right now remind me of the type of calm blue sky and bright late-afternoon sun you see when you're camping and starting to think about making supper on the propane camp stove. It's calming. I like it.
Wednesday is now finished and I have taught all grades at school now, though not all classes in the grades. I believe that I have now taught 8 of the 15 classes, which means that I am halfway through my self introductions. I hope that I don't have to talk as loud and as long for the rest of the classes this semester or I shall return to Canada at Christmas quite voice-less. The students all seem to be excited at the new gaigin in their midst, and I can't begin to explain how strange it is to hear mumble mumble mumble mumble JENNYFER mumble mumble mumble in the halls everywhere I go. Some students got confused with my name today, so it is my suspicion that amongst the ni-nenseis I shall be referred to as "Jeffanie". Could be worse. At least I know that it's not a rude name.
I find it peculiar to walk up to students and start conversations- I am never sure of the level of their learning. It is generally quickly obvious after we exchange "Hello!" "Hello!" I then say, "How are you doing?" (this is a stock phrase, one of the first english expressions the Japanese seem to learn.) If I am answered back with "How are you doing!" then I know it's a moot conversation. The problem is getting out of those conversations, it's always so awkward. If I can't find a way to end the conversation, I am stuck in an echo for about five minutes. "I am good, how are you?" "I am good, how are you!" Anyhow, it makes the day interesting.
This afternoon due to the poor sleep I got last night, I snuck off to the library (which is never used) and took a nap at the back of the room on a few stacks of chairs... I finished teaching all of my classes by noon so there wasn't much to do after that until 4:15 anyhow.
Two more school days to go through, and tomorrow after school I'm (according to our Kocho Sensei) joining the PTA choir for the School Festival in October or November. Friday night I have the first of three Enkais (welcome parties) for my school-- this is with my co-english teachers. And then-- And then!! On Saturday I shall rise bright and early, hop on the train bound for Himeji and meet up with the newly wed Snoek couple! Words can't convey my excitement!

No comments: