This was a tough week. I was in a generally crusty mood and unable to put normal bad-day stuff into perspective. It was a week that made me think I had fallen into the Culture Shock uglies far too soon. However, after dinner with a friend last night I was feeling better and today I’m enjoying my life in Toyama again!
There were some pretty great moments this week. I thought that I’d share them, in the spirit of optimism! Here we go:
1) I marked about 160 three page essays from the second graders at my school. (That’s roughly equivalent to Canadian 11th grade.) The first two pages were diaries from their summer and the third page was a self introduction. I learned that a lot of the girls like K-pop, so maybe we can sing some 2NE1 together. They also told me all about how great their respective club activities are. (More on club activities in Japanese schools later; it’s nothing like Canadian extra-curriculars.) My favorite, however, was the student who used his self-intro page to tell my why “The Rambo” is a very excellent film. He had two points. 1) The action is very exciting. 2)There is a plot. I completely cracked up (Although that might have been related to two days of doing nothing but marking papers.) While I don’t share this student’s taste in film, I suspect that we’ll get along swimmingly!
2)The staff at my school are great. So many of the teachers have gone out of their way to make me comfortable. Even the staff with very limited English are so great and help me figure the recycling and copy machines etc. I almost always have random candies or treats waiting on my desk after I return from my afternoon walk around the school. I still don’t quite feel like I fit in (and I’m not sure yet if I will reach that point) but I do feel very comfortable at the school.
3) I ordered a pair of tall, purple rain boots online this morning and am eagerly awaiting their delivery.
4) Yesterday I had an hour-long conversation with the teacher who sits beside me about Anne of Green Gables. (Akage no An — Anne with Red Hair) She told me that when she was young every time she met a boy she would think “Will he be my Gilbert?” It was fantastic.