And what a weekend it was.
Firstly, in response to the last post…it was indeed difficult. Saturday especially–it was still such fresh news that I found myself in tears at several points during the day. We have a scene where Hook kills Tinkerbell and Peter brings her back to life (I’m a bit rusty on the original story, so I’m not sure if that was in there or not), and when we did our full technical runthrough on Saturday, I actually found myself choking up a little bit at it and finding it hard to keep emoting, and had to excuse myself from our dinner break to go out into the hall and compose myself before anyone could see me. (Though inevitably, people did, and I got several shoulders to cry on in the process, which ended up kind of working out.)
The response from the other ALTs was just phenomenal, though–they were so supportive and so encouraging, and just the fact that this was a really energized and enthusiastic atmosphere because of the nature of what we were there for–that all served to help me out a lot. When it came time for the actual performances, I was fine. I don’t think it would have been quite the same in any other prefecture…just from what I’ve heard, I don’t know how many other prefectures put such an emphasis on ken-wide gatherings and activities the way we do. I was getting a lot of comfort from people who live 3 and 4 hours away. I was even given flowers (in a sort of furtive, “hey, these are from my teacher…though I’m not telling you that I suggested she give them to you, but it’s my/our way of trying to cheer you up and thanking you for hanging in there with us during such a hard time” way) by a guy who lives 2 1/2 hours away, and they still make me smile every time I walk through my kitchen and see them.
As for the weekend as a whole–stellar. Absolutely awesome. Our opening night show was a huge, huge success–we got a huge crowd, massive applause, and a ton of donations, and our performance was rock-solid. The Sunday show was essentially a comedy of errors…lots of goofed-up lines, stuff falling and making noise backstage, two people falling off the stage (well, Jordan nearly did, and Christine actually did–all I heard was the shriek and crash, but I guess something must have distracted me, because she then blurted, “You bastards!” at Chris and Noam for not properly spotting her. I can’t believe I missed that)…figures that a TV crew was at that one. I believe one was at Saturday’s as well, but we’d been previously notified about the Sunday one.
I’m really, really psyched about the upcoming weekend. Not about all the traveling we’ll have to do–leaving straight from my junior high graduation ceremony on Saturday to drive 3 hours down to Hiwasa, and driving back that night–but this musical is just so good at making us all feel really good. We’ve even had people who have seen multiple musicals over the years that this is one of the best ones they’ve seen, if not THE best, and that’s a huge thrill. Additionally–this is a bit of vanity on my part–the Sunday show is really close by, and people I know from Ikeda will be there to see it, like some of my eikaiwa students and teachers, and maybe even some students.
The principal at today’s elementary school told me that she saw an article in the Tokushima Shinbun about it, and went to dig it out for me–I’m in the accompanying image, along with the other Lost Kids, Peter, Tink, and half of Wendy. I haven’t tried to translate it, since it’s really kanji-heavy, but the kocho-sensei pointed out that it says that it involves easy English. That was a really pleasant surprise, because a lot of us have been worried that it’s too much for ESL learners, and we’ve done what we can to water it down.
By the way, all my photos are up (snapped backstage and behind the scenes this past weekend–click the Flickr thumbnail to the left), and a few new videos are as well. I’m not entirely sure how to go about rotating the last 3 video files, though, since I (stupidly) turned the camera to capture them; they’re 640×480, but even after rotating, they remain 640×480 (as opposed to 480×640), so the image is skewed. I don’t have access to any serious video editing software, either–any ideas?
I feel like I have a lot more I’d like to say–I actually started this entry Sunday evening, and have come back to it a couple of times due to just not having time to sit down and work on it. Oh, well–if I think about anything else to write about, I’ll just post another entry.
But, yeah…I’m finally, slowly, coming to grips with the idea of Adam being gone. It’s just so difficult to wrap your mind around, though, when you live so far away from home. It isn’t like I regularly ran into him at a specific place, and now I’ll notice his absence from said place…with the exception of my family and Louise and the relatives I met in India, I haven’t seen anybody from home in nearly 8 months, and it’ll be months still until I see any of them again.
But additionally, thanks to this news, he’s been on my mind a lot more lately, and I find myself wanting to send him an e-mail saying hi, until it hits me why he’s on my mind. It’s such an awful, random, and ridiculously unfair tragedy–he was so young. From the digging I’ve done, it seems to have been due to natural causes (maybe some long-term medical condition? Speculation only, though)…but someone pointed out that nobody knows exactly when he died, because they didn’t realize he was gone until he didn’t report in for work last Thursday, they called the cops, and the cops broke into his apartment and found him. Also from the digging I’ve done, I learned that he founded the Georgia Tech Campus Democrats–I knew he was really heavily involved with them, but I never realized that. They were a really prominent and powerful organization, and very heavily involved with the Democratic Party in Georgia…and it’s all thanks to him. Wow.
I remember him being really excited when I told him that I was finally a registered voter (I didn’t get my US citizenship till 2002, though I’d lived in the US for the majority of my life, and I finally registered to vote when I renewed my driver’s license a few months before the last presidential election–not that my votes did any good, since Bush is still in office and gays and lesbians still can’t get married in the extremely red state of Georgia). He asked me if I’d thought about registering with a political party, and I told him that I definitely leaned Democrat, and he was really keen on helping me become a registered Democrat and him being my contact/reference. It never happened, though.
Well, anyway…no sense in dwelling on could-have-beens. It would have made him happy to do this, though, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a huge victory for him, since we’ve generally had similar sets of political beliefs all along. At the same time, the small victories can be just as sweet, though.
Speaking of small victories, I’m now officially one of the Tokushima AJET officers for 2006/2007. I’m the new webmaster (Andy’s even changed his forum screen name from “Web Monkey” back to his name, I guess to reflect this), and Kirsten, Jordan, and Anya are the other three, with Kelly and Rory assisting us every so often. It’s cool to know that I’m going to get to really get involved in the Tokushima JET community for the next year, but at the same time, there wasn’t even an election because not enough people officially ran for the posts. Eh, at least I put in the effort of officially applying, which ended up clinching it. Jordan also wants me to help out with our quarterly Teamwork Tokushima publication (a book with a lot of lesson ideas submitted by ALTs and JTEs across the prefecture)–I may end up the high school editor, which just means I get a day off every few months to go hang out with people in Itano(?) and collate a bunch of e-mails into booklet format. It should be fun, and this should all keep me busy in a good way, I think.
All right, this is really long, I suck at making decent transitions/conclusions (blame it in the cold I caught–probably from my students, ugh), and I need to go clean up my apartment before it gets too late. Apologies for the mammoth post.