July 19, 2001
now I'm feeling: Sad, depressed, and nostalgic
& yours truly
and O-chan at USJ
was my last day of school. My last day of teaching in Japan
and most probably my last day of teaching, ever.
I can’t really grasp what’s going through my head
right now. I am looking at every face and every room trying
to memorize every possible detail about them. I am so immensely
sad and at the same time I have tried to be so genki,
so cheerful in every class. This is why I came here. To teach.
And now it’s all over. I’ve been teaching for
three years when I thought I would only be here for one. And
now it’s all over. I keep hearing that
phrase over and over in my head.
I took some time after the ceremony let out to take pictures
and shake hands with students outside the entrance. I was
surprised. There were a few students, who I recognized but
they hadn’t made a real impression, who came up to me
and talked with me at length and told me how sorry they were
to see me go and how much they appreciated what I’d
taught them. One girl was almost in tears as we talked and
had to cut our conversation and run off before the waterworks
started! It was so heartwarming and terribly sad. Even the
rowdy boys sat outside for a while to talk, laugh and joke
around with me. Whole groups sat outside the school with me
so long that I told them that I had to go inside and pack
I really wanted to say goodbye to the teachers before they
all left for the summer break. I saw most of them. All of
the JTEs, of course. I have a pretty good rapport with these
teachers. The lessons aren’t the best, but I have really
made an effort and now even the teachers who normally dread
the ALTs visit like teaching with me because I give them plenty
of leeway and include them in all my lessons. A group of the
teachers at Takatsumi took me out for dinner last week at
a nice Japanese restaurant outside of town. About ten of them
altogether came out that night.
I met up with Machiko and Shin for the last time today. Unless
of course, I see them for Tenjin Matsuri next week, they’re
still not sure if they’ll be able to get off of work.
O-chan and I wanted to see Universal Studios Japan before
we left and I called Machi to see if they wanted to go with
us and they jumped at the chance. I’ve never been to
Universal Studios in the States so I can’t really compare
the two, but if I had to guess I’d say that they are
pretty similar. Maybe the one here has more rides. So we went
around the whole day and took pictures, ate til we couldn’t
anymore, and did some cool ride-like things. It was a lot
really hope Machi and Shin can go with me to Tenjin Matsuri.
I shook Shin's hand and gave Machi a big bear hug when I left
them at the train station and Machi later told me that I made
Shin really jealous! He's not used to his guy friends hugging
his girl! I think they got into a fight over it and I think
she told him to get used to it because that was how they said
goodbye in the West, but I think I'll try and chill out anyway,
at least when Shin's around!