May 2, 2000
5:52 pm
Right now I'm feeling: TIRED!

Right now I'm listening to: Mai Kuraki

Mai Kuraki: Love, Day After Tomorrow

Isao Junior High School

Today I was reading: Elizabeth Peters' Lion in the Valley. Her books are sortof cheesy, but I love 'em to death!

Quote of the Day:
"Be confident. Be expectant of grand and beautiful results from everything you do."
-- Patricia Sampson

School Trip

The last two days have been special days at the office.

Yesterday was "Sketch Day". The junior high schools that are close to Wakayama castle go there to draw the keep or one of the gates. They don't really have much of a choice; one whole grade goes to one location and has to sketch that particular thing. The gate or the keep.

Isao is over a river and up a mountain, far from the castle, and there being no points of interest nearby, the students sketch the school. Each grade goes to their designated area, but they are allowed to sketch anything in that area; the school, a random building, even a single flower. I liked that much better than the sketches at the castle, where they have no choice in what they sketch. I had no classes that day. My job was just to wander around occasionally and do some baseline socializing with the students. And check out their sketches. These kids can draw a hell of a lot better than nearly all of the kids I knew in junior high school. Some were remarkably good. Serious talent. None of the first graders knew who I was because this was my first day there for the new year so they were a little afraid of me, so I just went around and said hello. Every time I passed one particularly unshy girl she asked me to kiss her!

Misaki Park

Today for the school trip, I was to go with the second grade class to the tidepools at Kada, but the teachers decided it'd be easier on them if they took them to Misaki Park (they wouldn't have to watch them there, they just let them run wild).

Misaki Park is a small zoo/amusement park. Entrance is free, but the rides all cost mucho dinero. I went on two rides, one of them cost $5!! What a rip off! Most of the time, the place looked deserted because there were only the students from Isao and a few other random people there, and if there are not enough people for a particular ride, it doesn't run... not like Disneyland at all. The rides are also very short, I wasn't satisfied. But hey, it's the first time I've been on a roller coaster in about a year so I can't complain. Much.

Yesterday, the teachers told me not to bring a lunch because all the teachers were going to eat at a restaurant that I was sure to like. Uh-oh. When a Japanese teacher says something like that it always means eating something which doesn't look quite dead yet, or something that's slimy and has more than four legs. But when we got there and he pointed to those big golden arches and asked, "Is this restaurant ok?" I just sighed with relief.

I wandered around aimlessly for a while. Popped a few coins into the arcade. Then went back to the entrance for lunch. I had just sat down with my Big Mac and fries and opened my book when a group of third grade girls came by and said how sad it was that I was eating by myself (actually, I was kind of looking forward just to relaxing under the shade of a tree with my book, it was a beautiful day today), so they kept me company while I finished my lunch. Then they kidnapped me and took me on two roller coasters. Nice girls.

I didn't see any of the teachers until it was time to go. I heard that there is a place where teachers or parents can sleep while their charges are roaming. I saw one teacher with his hair like he just woke up and his eyes just a bit red. He denied he was sleeping, of course.

Tomorrow "Golden Week" starts. It's a series of unrelated holidays that are in succession which gives for a five day weekend. I don't have any special plans, but God knows I have enough work to keep me busy. I do hope to get out of my apartment, though.

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