Thursday, 1 April 2010


And so we approach the end of the second (and last) week of the spring holidays, and I've had plenty of time to muse about various happenings. Allow me to share a couple of them with you..

First, it is supposed to be spring, yet it is still quite chilly at night, and when I look out the window today I see a low overcast and rain. At first I was silently complaining to myself and occasionally gesturing at the weather and asking whichever teacher was listening "haru wa, doko?" Then I took my usual moment to stop, stare, and drift off... and I realised rain always obliges the landscape by adding that wonderous infusion of moisture, and in doing so it reminds me of english summer rain. A hot day is always fabulous, but walking through the english countryside when there's a light rainy haze always makes everything looks so fresh and lush and alive and vibrant [insert more adjectives as appropriate]. So I have a newfound appreciation for the rainy spring we have in Japan at the moment.

Over the past two weeks I've watched the teachers scurry around getting things prepared for the opening ceremony of school, when they induct the new year of students. I've helped out where I can, but feel I get in the way, so sometimes step back and let them do what they are doing. I've watched teachers practicing their bowing (!) to eachother, as well as practicing their quoir conducting movements (!!) to eachother in the staffroom. You wouldn't think any Japanese person needed to practice bowing, but it's not until you watch them do you realise the sentiment and respect that generates the effort. I'm still in awe of the respect the Japanese have for eachother. I'm also adept at bowing now.

This week we've had an influx of new teachers, five replacing the four who left last week. One of the new teachers' desks is next to mine in the staffroom, the occupant a freshfaced university graduate (so I'm no longer the youngest teacher here). He seems pleasant enough, but I'm going to help him along by attempting to batter aside his Japanese shyness. I doubt it'll work, but hopefully I'll make a friend of him in the process.

My new JTE seems nice enough too. I introduced myself earlier today and he told me he worked here 10 years ago with another JET. I got the impression he had a good relationship with the individual, so I hope that's a good forecast for me.

We'll leave the musings there. There are of course more, I am blessed (or cursed?!) with an active mind, but we'll post more later. Er, ok, I'm aware I just referred to myself in plural there. Maybe the damp got to my brain...

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