Monday, August 30, 1999
I woke up late for the meeting with Tsuyama (surprise, surprise). The other ALTs all got back from their trips. We all presented him with our letters which we were to send to the JTEs but he made me rewrite mine because it sucked (wrote it last night after I got back).
I took my five rolls of film to get developed and he told me to come back after a couple hours... they were done! And done well, too! But I misunderstood him when he presented me with the options of development because it cost me about 1000 yen to get each roll developed (about $8.50, ouch!!) But the pictures turned out really well. The best one was one that Seth took. For this particular shot, I had climbed a wall to get on top of the outer wall of the castle, the wall which lined the moat. Seth went outside the castle and took the shot from the other side. Wow! A tiny me sitting on the wall of a castle with the huge six storied keep in the very near background! I think I'll blow that one up and send it home.
I did a little unpacking today, but most of the stuff is still lying around... and the place was kindof a mess when I left it so it's still that way! Ughh. There's nothing worse than coming back from a trip to find your place in complete disarray. I tried to type out my journals from the trip today, but I need a little distance from them... my brain needs to "digest" the trip. Hopefully I'll be able to get them up by the end of the week. I also want to get some of those great pictures up, but the way I figure it'll take about six new sections! AHHH!! That's a hella lotta code.
Tuesday, August 31, 1999
It's the last day of vacation. Oh man.... WHY?!? This is so unfair. I'm just starting to really enjoy vacation and now it's over. I'm still dealing with the aftermath of my trip... stuff is still everywhere. And now I've got to find all my old textbooks for school! I have no idea where they are. And I promised myself at the beginning of break that I'd look through them and try to figure out better ways to teach these kids. Oh, well. I suppose this kind of thing happens to everyone. You set out goals for yourself when you think you'll have a lot of time and they just don't happen! It's frustrating, but it's part of the over-idealistic nature of humankind, I guess.
I sorted through and scanned some pictures today, but I can't write the pages until the journals are done. It's turning out to be a lot harder than I thought it'd be. Also did major laundry today, I've totally run out of clothes.
That flake who sold me the CD Rom drive emailed me (finally) today and said that he doesn't have an invoice for the drive that was supposed to be mailed over a week ago. Gettin ticked off, here. I've got this program Power Japanese and I can't use it cuz I's gots no drive!
Wednesday, September 1, 1999: Opening Day
Today was the first day of school; a terrible, terrible day.
It was an easy day, though, because there was only an opening ceremony and they told me that because they didn't have a schedule for me yet, there'd be no classes tomorrow (for me anyway). I got out around 10:30 or 11 and just hung around. I didn't have to make a speech because the principal said that because I'd taught at that school before break that it was "continuous" so no speech was needed. I'm going to have to put an end to this speech nonsense sooner or later though... I think the last day I'm here I'll put my foot down. Either that or just be really late and totally miss the teachers' meeting.
The plus of the day is that I got a few things done and some of the Kawabata mansion teachers got together for pizza and x-files. Rebecca and Martin just got back from Canada and they brought a ton of stuff... and they gave me like four bags of tootsie rolls! Ahhh! I couldn't believe it. They're so cool!
Friday, September 3, 1999
Yesterday the teachers said that I "might" have classes today. But they know that if they don't give me any classes they get in trouble so they gave me classes. Not that I'd be the one to report on them, mind you. I'm perfectly content, I have a bunch of stuff to read. Ahhh... I know, I should feel guilty, and maybe I do. I dunno.
Only had two classes, as it turned out. Then at lunch the English teachers went out for okonomiyaki. We were talking over what to have and they, of course, said that they want whatever I want, but then one teacher told me that she doesn't eat any animal meat (including fish). She won't even touch it. It sounds religious, maybe it's a Buddhist belief, but, hey, that's cool. A Japanese person with actual beliefs and a real opinion. That's a start, right? So she almost begged me to pick okonomiyaki, at which point I declared that I would very much like to have okonomiyaki. So we went out and had a good lunch at this faraway place which, of course, specializes in okonomiyaki. It's almost next door to the famous Wakayama curry poisoning incident. Man, that house is so trashed now... graffiti and everything.
I'm finding it hard to adjust to this slower pace of life. I know I was only traveling for a week and I've been back for a few days now, but I think it's because I'm sorting through all the pictures from my trip.