Hisashiburi (long time no see)

Wow, it’s been a while. I’ve actually been really, really busy lately…a 9-hour dress rehearsal Saturday and a 6-hour one Sunday, plus racing to finish the programme/playbill ASAP, plus just a ton of other stuff as well–but things are finally settling down now.

Today was surprisingly good; the elementary and junior high schools in Ikeda had a bowling night across the prefectural line in Kawanoe, over in Ehime-ken (one more for my prefectural visitation count, and that’s three of the four Shikoku prefectures down, since I live in Tokushima and have visited Takamatsu (and sat in the Zentsuuji train station) in Kagawa; when Shikoku-wide ultimate frisbee happens in Kochi-ken in April, that’ll be all of them!), and I went with five other teachers from my junior high and ran into a ton of the teachers I see and work with at all my elementary schools (six out of the eight in the town). My JTE had to back out at the last minute, but I think that almost ended up being for the better, because I didn’t “cling” to her the way I sometimes might, and I ended up having a really good time with these teachers. We had people place in the top three for highest individual male and female scores (not me, though–heh, noooo), and I won one of about a dozen gifts in a random drawing…all in all, a fortunate night. We also went out for dinner in Kawanoe, and they made sure to ensure that I could find food to eat (Ten Don, with all vegetable tenpura–really freaking awesome), and just took really good care of me, and I honestly felt like I was part of the group and not just someone who was tagging along. I think getting out of the teachers’ room and having something we actually could talk about and do together made a big difference–normally I just don’t know what to say to them. I think this really broke the ice tonight. There’s an enkai tomorrow night, so let’s see how that goes now.

I also found out that several people from Tech (hey, Jason and Pat) are probably coming to Japan over spring break, and at least one of them wants to come down and see me. And Louise may be coming down for a long weekend at the end of March as well. Australia, which we thought we were doing for Golden Week, has fall through, and we’re probably spending our holidays in Kyoto instead, with a couple of days here afterwards.

Our platform statements for AJET positions for the next year were due today, so I sent one in to apply to be AJET webmaster (which is actually more than just maintaining the website–Andy, the current webmaster, is for all intents and purposes the head of Tokushima AJET as well). I have no idea if what I wrote is appropriate for a platform statement, if it’s too long, or what…but at least I got something in just under the deadline.

I may also volunteer to work on Teamwork Tokushima, a collaborative lesson planning idea book that’s compiled and released quarterly and created completely by prefectural JETs. Jordan’s thinking of making me the editor of the senior high section. If all this does indeed end up happening, it’ll be quite a busy year next year…but I kind of like it like that, you know?

And this month’s Japanese correspondence test…was due today. Uh, oops. But there was no way I had enough time to devote to it, and since I already have studied a lot of it, I’ll just take the dreaded Yellow Card and make sure to get the next several in on time.

Musical rehearsals are going really, really well. And I’ve finalized my costume, and it looks awesome and totally in character (I’m SO GLAD I found those legwarmers at the ¥100 store–they totally make the costume!)–which is to say, like a huge geek. I’m really excited about the performances, but I know it’ll be pretty depressing when it’s actually done in a few weeks…seeing all these people that we never, ever would get a chance to see regularly due to the hours of travel between us, and just the fun of putting this production together. (I got an immediate okay today from my kocho-sensei to duck out immediately after graduation on the 11th, since we have an evening performance with an afternoon calltime on the far opposite corner of the prefecture. And a “ki o tsukete,” to boot! My kocho and kyoto-sensei are really awesome; I wish I got a chance to chat with them more than just when I need to ask them for something.)

I also found out that we have several closet pianists–I think I’ve gotten Amber interested in doing some violin-piano collaboration sometime, maybe even for the next Open Mic Night, if we can just find a piano for her to play!

And today, Claire posted a link at our AJET forum to what seems to be a really, really awesome weekend camp devoted completely to musical creation and improvisation across instruments and genres. And it’ll be in Kamiyama and Hiwasa in April! I e-mailed one of the organizers to let her know I’m interested in volunteering for the Kamiyama camp. I’m really excited about this–this is such a wonderful concept, and I really hope that I can get involved.

Today is also the final day that Ikeda-cho is Ikeda-cho; tomorrow it merges with most of the surrounding towns and becomes Miyoshi-shi, or Miyoshi City. We’ll still be Miyoshi-shi Ikeda-cho, so it’s not like much will change…though I also am switching offices and will be sitting in our board of education from now on (if not for bowling tonight, I would’ve been back at the community center clearing out my desk, most of which is full of my predecessor’s papers and clutter, and transferring my stuff across the way and into the BOE office).

All right–I’m off to finish touching up the final addition to the musical playbill, and then sending it off to Jamie. It’s finally done! I redrew Peter last night (using photo references to make him look more Christian-like, since I’d gotten some very basic resemblances to the actors with the other sketches on the cover), and got the translations for the synopses this afternoon from Andrew; I was wrapping up right as we were heading out the door to go bowling, but am not quite there. Just a bit more…

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