So up until about 3pm, if you had asked me, I would’ve said absolutely nothing exciting happened today. But then, around 3:05pm, the secretary lady comes up to me, as I am the only person sitting in the staffroom and asks “Vanessa, don’t you have to be at the board of education today?” FUCK! With all the special lunches and welcome enkais and boredom of the day, I had totally forgotten that we had an ALT meeting at the BoE today. fuck, fuck, fuck… it takes about 40 minutes to get there from here, so I knew I was gonna show up and the meeting was gonna be over. Sure enough, I caught about the last 5 minutes of it, and then Motoko-sensei had me make a “public apology” to the new Kachou-san, but all in all, it was pretty harmless, (especially since another dumb fuck had forgotten about the meeting so I wasn’t alone) but then she pulled me aside, after I’d paid rent and said “Vanessa…. about your hair…..” and made a face. Oh shit. I felt crestfallen. I knew what was coming, and I’d actually heard Domoto-sensei exclaim earlier today that there were red bits in my hair, but he laughed at it and he is always such a sweetie, so I didn’t think much of it. In fact, I didn’t think anybody would care, and honestly, I’ve gotten away with so much worse in the past, I am quite frankly surprised that they did this time. I asked if someone had made a complaint from the school and she nodded. I felt horrible. I think, looking back, that if she had simply come up to me and told me to change my hair, I might have argued and fought a little bit, but because I was already in an embarrassing situation, I felt so bad I didn’t argue at all. I also wonder if she used that as a way in… because in the past, although she has always “frowned” at my style and said “it would be better” for me to tone it down, she never overtly asked me to remove something. Anyways. We’ll never know, I guess. and after stewing in anger and breaking down into tears, I managed to take the red bits out by myself (saving me a trip to the hairdresser’s that I couldn’t afford anyways) and take myself to the welcome enkai that I REALLY didn’t want to go to.
Said enkai was pretty normal. At a fancy hotel and I was stuck at the loser table again (table where everybody ends up leaving to serve beer to other people around the room) but it wasn’t so bad. The male secretary dude kept coming over to fill up my glass and was like “drink up!” which was funny, and my new JTE, who is this super cute 25y.o. bubbly girl straight out of uni, came over to chat and she seems to want to be my new bestest best friend. lol. Could be worse. Also, the one other young dude (not the hot teacher) who is new to our school and looks like he actually belongs in the school baseball club (cuz he looks about 15 and is BROWN, with a shaved head) came over to chat. Him and my new JTE are friends apparently and went to the same high school and university, and so she introduced him and it was very very obvious that he was crushing on me and she was trying to “help him out”. She was asking me “Vanessa, do you like Japanese guys?” and I said yes, and then she asked my type and I said “cute face” and she asked “oh, like him?” pointing at him who was sitting right there listening to the whole thing…, so of course I had to say “yes” even though he’s not really my type. Then she was asking him if he thought I was beautiful, to which he answered yes… And then there was a conversation between him and Yabe-sensei (the annoying teacher) where he told him that I’d just broken up with my boyfriend so it was his “chance!” *sigh* not that I mind but this guy really needs to mind his own business.
Anyways, look forward to new developments on this situation ^_- I ended up going home straight after, because there was some confusion about the nijikai, and I’m broke anyways, and I’m sleepy enough this morning to be glad that I didn’t come home at 1am.
Urgh. I would REALLY like it if people told me when they are gonna have fucking morning meetings that start before the time I’m even supposed to arrive to school. *sigh* after all the crap that happened yesterday, it was SO not a good feeling to disrupt whatever dumb meeting was going on with my arrival… especially since the ichinensei teachers were all sitting in front of the door with fold up chairs and I couldn’t even get in. double sigh.
The rest of the day was really uneventful, with everyone in meetings and me staring blankly into space… I did have lunch with the 3rd year teachers at a nearby udon restaurant, which was nice.
Today is the new year’s opening ceremony! We just finished the morning one, which was actually 4 different ceremonies (really it’s just one big one) where the new teachers are introduced to the new 2nd and 3rd year kids, and then all the staff and who will teach what homeroom and what club… there was a really weird speech by our new Koucho-sensei, and then introduction of the student council. I had to go on stage and bow. Fun times. Poked my tongue out at Ryoga from the stage. maybe not the most professional thing to do. lol. but he laughed ^_-
I guess I should talk about the new Koucho-sensei. He is very tall, looks like a crooner from the 70’s and has that kind of “smooth” manner too, which I think is funny. He seems like a nice guy, but like I said, his speech was really weird. Our old Kyoto-sensei, used to speak at the speed of light (regardless of whether or not he was making a speech) and make never-ending speeches at every single opportunity. I could never understand a word, but at least he seemed very passionate. This new guy, well, his speeches are much shorter (thank god) and he speaks at a pretty normal pace, but while he was doing the speech today, he kept pausing (for like 5+ seconds breaks) after every couple of words, and it was just kinda odd.
Aaah, I take back what I said about Kouchou-sensei not making long speeches… the one he made for the entrance ceremony this afternoon was horribly long, and with all the random pauses in between and his complete inability to emote, it put everyone to sleep *sigh* oh well. The ceremony itself was uneventful, the new 1st years are really tiny, I recognized a few faces from the elementary school, and there are so many new kids that there are now 7 classes instead of 6. After the ceremony, all the kiddies trouped out to the front lawn to take pictures with their families and homeroom pictures, but since nobody told me (I think Hasegawa sensei tried to, but she explained herself rather badly so I didn’t get what she meant) I only found out when I tried to leave around 4pm and everybody was still there, crowding up the entrance. Oh well.
There is another ceremony this morning, but it’s a mystery ceremony to me cuz no one told me mum about it and honestly, what else could it be now?? Maybe a ceremony to introduce the new kiddies to the old ones? Who knows. Also, I think high school entrance ceremonies might be today because I ran into a few of my old 3nensei on the way to school and they were all dressed up in their new HS uniforms and accompanied by their parents. It was cute ^_-
Aaah, well, mystery solved. It was a ceremony to introduce all the clubs to the new students. It was a little interesting, even though pretty much the only thing I understood was the number of students in each club… lol. Every club did a little “display” and some of them, (like the kendo or judo club) were really cool to watch. The brass band played a song. At the beginning and end, when the new students trouped in and out, everybody clapped, and since I always stand near the door, the kiddies could see me really well, and it was fun to see the – sometimes surprised – looks of recognition on the faces of the ones I used to teach in elementary. After that everybody left and I did my dutiful role as school mascot and smiled and waved at the departing masses. Masaya was staring at me so I stuck my tongue at him (which usually makes kids laugh… or frown in confusion :p) but he stuck his right back at me and it was just weird… lol. Minami came over to tell me that my extentions were “oshare” and I commiserated with her that I had red bits in it before, but that the school made me take them out and she was like “that’s lame! kawaiisou” lol. I love her. Then when everyone was out of the gym, I left, and ended up following the basketball boys, who all started acting like idiots after saying “hello” (the only English word they know…) to me. The worst part is that, even though they are such dumb brats, they’re some of my favorite kids ^_- I smacked them in the face with my scarf a few times… they acted offended but thought it was funny. I asked them if they’d had a nice vacation but only good-Ryota understood my question and he had to translate to the rest of them. Then, bad-Ryota (there’s two of them. both in the basketball club) answered “no it isn’t”. Which is totally not the right answer even if you wanted to say no…. *sigh* teaching English is such a worthwhile job!!! Anyways, it amuses me to no end that these two are friends… and that they both have the same name but are sooooo different. Good Ryota is this super-cute tiny boy with curly, floppy hair (yes, it’s really curly!) an he’s always smiling and clowning around. He’s always genki in English class and I think he’s a good student all around. He’s really into basketball. Bad Ryota has the demeanor of a bully. He’s super scrawny and always looks ready to punch someone. He has a tendency (when I come up to him in class to explain something) to go “wha-gee-goo-gaa-ga?!” or other random speech pattern that to him sound like “fake English” to demonstrate that what I’m saying to him is gibberish. I have a feeling that he’s gonna grow up to be a super hot jerk… eeeh… *sigh*
Aaah, crap. On the way to the staffroom I ran into this incredibly annoying old lady, who is a “school volunteer”, whatever that means… mostly she trims the edges of the bushes on the school grounds, and rants about shit a lot. But she can speak English, and every time she sees me, she just HAS to come and chat for a half-hour or two… and she spits. She’s kinda sweet, I guess, but I just really don’t like old people… anyways, I haven’t seen her in ages actually. Maybe in a year, even. Kyouto-sensei doesn’t like her and she told me last time that he doesn’t want her in the staffroom distracting the teachers. But I guess she has come to pay her respect to the new Koucho or whatever since she’s in his office chatting right now… anyways, she made a really surprised funny face when she saw me and went “wow! 3 years” and I nodded with a fake smile and quickly ran away. I remember having a conversation with her last year in March, when she was asking me if I was staying at this school another year, and I said yes and she said “that’s impossible cuz ALTs never stay at this school that long”, and I argued with her cuz – seriously lady, I think I would know better than you! Anyways, hence the shocked look on her face this morning. It was kinda priceless. lol.
End of the week! yay! This morning on my way to school, I saw a lot of my graduated 3rd years on their way to high school. ^_^ first off I saw Hayato on my way to the station near my home, and it was so funny cuz he looked so surprised to see me there, but his new school is near my house. It’s a really good school too! I was surprised a funny kid like him got in! I guess he must be really bright too ^_- then I saw a few kids get on at the station of the school where I teach, and they were like “ah! Vanessa!” and then at the street light a block from the station, I saw Shoma pass me on his bike, and he’s the one who waved at me and flashed me a huge grin! It made me go “awww…” cuz usually, when I encounter students, or ex students, I’m usually the one to initiate contact.
Well, anyhow, today’s gonna be another long boring day. Baseball kid (the teacher who was crushing on me from the enkai) has made a mysterious reappearance though, (I haven’t seen him in the last 3 days) as he was sitting at his desk when I entered the staffroom this morning. I think that he’s the new hospital teacher though, cuz he was chatting to the other hospital teacher earlier, and their desks are together. That would explain the vanishing act. It figures that he would show up today though, since I’m dressed all sloppy :/ oh well.
Okaaaay… it’s just after lunch now and I am bored out of my freakin’ mind. You would *think* that I could find ways to entertain myself for 8 hours with internet access here, but after several days of the same regime, you have pretty much exhausted all your possibilities, and unless people on your facebook/twitter/blogfeed, update regularly, you are pretty much stuck. Never mind that youtube is blocked and that watching movies or playing videogames is pretty much frowned upon… I’m dying for class. Or ANYTHING to do. Anyways… I went on a little excursion to find Yuka, my new bubbly JTE, because she told me yesterday that I should come visit her class (since I was so bored) I was actually gonna go this morning, but then the 1st years were wandering (in an orderly fashion) all over the school, learning about the proper ways to open doors and shit like that (they are not born knowing that they have to say “shitsurei shimasu! sensei-gata ohayou gozaimasu!” apparently….) so I decided that after lunch would be a good bet to casually make my way into her classroom and stay there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find her anywhere. Not in the 1st year (mini) staffroom in the main building, not in the one in the southern building, and not in her classroom either. So I’m stuck back here (at my desk) twiddling my thumbs for the next 3 hours… *cries* but anyways, my 5 minute trip was still entertaining (and it killed five minutes…) since I ran into a lot of new kiddies. It’s funny because the ones I taught before smile at me and say hello, while the ones who have never seen me gawk in wonder. It’s funniest when groups of friends are a pairing of the two, because then the newbie kiddies are forced to say hello to me, and then run off giggling. There was even this one teacher on the first floor who kept telling groups of kids who went by “say aisatsu to Vanessa in English!” and so they would all echo “hello!!” before running off in case he forced them to talk to me more. lol.
Newsflash! brief interruption to my boredom! one of the teachers (who so rarely talks to me I don’t even know his name) came up to me and was like “Vanessa. shashin. ima” (picture. now) and he led me downstairs so that the school photographer could take one bright snap (I’m still seeing spots) and me and tell me to go. So nice that, even after 3 years, they still never tell me these things :/ oh well, at least my hair looks ok :p
On the way back to the staffroom, I ran into Hiroko (whom I now believe is definitely running up for position as my no.1 fangirl) on the stairs and she was like “English, kite ne!” (meaning, in our pidgin japanglish: come teach English in my class!) and so I told her that I would next week and she was like “honto?” all hopeful, it was cute. She was all sniffly cuz of allergies and so I told her to take care. She was holding my hand the whole time. lol. cutie pie.
And on that note, I’m gonna wish you all a good weekend. I don’t think anything interesting is likely to happen in the next two hours, and I have to upload this before I go, so… toodles!