only got a month or so left in Japan. I can hardly believe
it. I feel now like I did just before I left college.
A chapter of my life is coming to a close. I can feel
the chiming of a grandfather clock when it hits midnight
when I close my eyes. Things are happening so fast...
where to begin?
been getting together with some teachers of mine who want
to have one last hurrah before I go off back to America
to make my way into "the real world". I went
out with the Seiwa English teachers a few days ago. I
really like them. I probably have the best relationship
with the English teachers at Seiwa. They think I'm super-cho-genki
ALT and they don't want a new one. These teachers are
soooo nice to me and are sooo easy to work with. I wish
I could say how much I'm going to miss working with them,
but I can't!!
took me to the best okonomiyaki restaurant in Wakayama.
It's near the house of that person who poisoned all those
people with curry last year. We went by and saw the house..
it is totally graffittied. Totally! I thought about taking
a picture, but I think my fellow senseis would
have thought it rude. They gave me a bunch of really cool
gifts like a Wakayama ball, a yukata, some Japanese handkerchiefs,
and Kawakami-sensei made me this origami
butterfly that was very cool.
of my students called me up last week and asked me out
to dinner. Well, she was an old student. Now 18, she's
off to university next year and heard that I was leaving
the country. Rika is one of the most intelligent, interested
and interesting students I've taught here. Even
when I first met her, she never needed a dictionary when
we talked. We went out to this little variety restaurant
where we were able to catch up. She has been busy!! She's
got school, college application stuff, and English/International
extracurricular stuff going on, and she's got a new boyfriend,
too! He's a chef at a restaurant in town. He's 25. I was
a little surprised and blurted out that I was 25. Then
she said, "Yes, that's like you and I dating!",
I got really embarrassed, which was her
goal, and she laughed. A lot! So confident and sure of
herself. This was the same girl who three years ago, the
first day we met, asked me in virtual whispers a slew
of inappropriate questions such as how old was I when
I first had sex (she was prompted by her friends, who
were giggling and hiding behind her), while blushing a
dark beet-red color! Rika has almost no shame now. Very
rare to see in a Japanese girl. But I'm glad she's doing
so well, and I know she's going to do fantastic at university
and after that, too.
of us city ALTs decided to go to Kyoto the other day for
one last stomp in one of the most historic and culturally
rich cities in the world before we got into the mean task
of packing to go home. K and O-chan hadn't been to Kyoto
nearly as much as I had, but there were some temples we
all wanted to see and they were ones I hadn't seen yet.
We didn't get around to half of what we wanted to see,
mostly because everyone wanted to take their sweet time,
which I have no real objection to. hehe But we did see
some cool temples and some cool gardens, rock gardens
and this really cool statue that is supposed to be magical
or something. The story goes that the statue originally
stood looking straight ahead and there was a monk who
was dancing behind him and the statue turned around, the
monk stopped and the statue told him to keep dancing.
Another version is that the monk was lax in his meditation
and the statue turned around to chastise him. Either way,
the statue is now permanently turned around.
reason that we didn't get to see everything we wanted
to was because the six city ALTs had a dinner get-together
with Tsuyama-sensei, our old supervisor. His two daughters
came along. Both are studying English and doing very well.
It was great to see him again. Our current supervisor
is nice, but not as warm as Tsuyama-sensei. He was great.
don't have too many days of teaching left. I love these
kids. I will miss these kids. My kids. Today I had a totally
engrossing superficial discussion about one of my favorite
Japanese groups, Do As Infinity, with a student. We were
critiquing their latest single using botched English and
Japanese. It was great. I'm going to miss these hodgepodge
of the city ALTs left the fold today.. A, my neighbor,
left for England. We had one last dinner and movie night
last night. Watched The Big Hit (I highly recommend it),
and ate too- expensive pizza. I'm such a movie freak,
but the girls are terrible people to watch movies with.
I love 'em, but they fell asleep even during Mission Impossible
II which is one of the loudest and most action intensive
movies to come out last year.
is actually coming back to Japan, but not until after
all of us leave. I may actually still be here, depending
on when I get back from Tokyo early next month. I still
have to make final arrangments for my plane ticket and
my shipping crate. My family has been bugging me about
the final dates and I keep telling them that I don't know,
but I hope I find out about Mariko in Tokyo soon so I
can buy my ticket. Hopefully I can get a good deal on
a one-way ticket.