Date:
July 19, 2001

 

Right now I'm feeling: Sad, depressed, and nostalgic


Favorite icchi-nensei girls
Favorite ni-nensei boys
Takaoka-sensei & yours truly
Me and O-chan at USJ
Shin & Machi

Last Day

Today 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 my things!

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 of fun.

I 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!

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