Geez, I don’t think I’ve perspired this much in all my time here. It was kind of embarrassing, having to sit there and fan myself for 30 minutes before I finally cooled down.
So yeah, everything seems to be all right. The teachers weren’t acting out of the ordinary in the afternoon–and as I wrote in the last post, I talked to the school nurse, who reassured me. I also ended up getting a ride home (long story, which I’ll get into momentarily) from another teacher, and I let her know that I was pretty stressed/worried about how the day had gone, and she said that the teachers had talked about the incident and the blame is on the kid for not thinking before he acted. I still want to go talk to the principal, though, just to express my regret that this actually happened.
I’m also feeling a lot better today–there’s no tension in the air or anything like that. As Chalice says, “It’s daij, man.” She came by to drop off Lindsay’s copy of Lonely Planet Japan since she has her own guide which suits her needs more than LP does, and we ended up just talking for 45 minutes, which was great–she’s one of those people who really puts you at ease just because she’s so warm and mellow by nature.
But it’s almost funny how bad yesterday was–beyond this whole punching incident, it hit me that my entire workday was kind of crappy. In the morning, I missed my bus by ten seconds because I was across the (narrow, two-lane) street from the bus stop when the bus went by–if I’d just started running a little bit earlier, or left my apartment just a little bit earlier, then I would have had time to cross the street to the bus stop, so the driver would have seen me.
So, having missed the bus, I bought myself breakfast at the bakery and went to catch a train…only to get to the platform and have the train not be there. Or rather, it was there, but one track away from the platform, so it was intentionally out of reach. I asked one of the engineers hanging out on the platform, who told me that trains down to Kochi were canceled! I went to return my ticket, and the guy at the ticket window told me it was because of “oo-ame.” I called my boss and got permission to take a taxi, and got to school around 8:40.
On my way home, I left with enough time to spare so that I’d have a few minutes to wait for my bus. The light near my bus stop changes, so cars are lining up, and behind them, I see the bus pull up. The way it’s set up is that the road curves, and once you come around the curve, my bus stop is directly ahead, so directly in the line-of-sight of anybody on that road. But not this bus driver–before he even reached the stop, he pulled the bus to the right to get into the turn lane, and completely just blew right past me! I was standing there, staring open-mouthed at the bus as it went by…the worst part was that it was early, so the guy was obviously just in a rush to get back, no matter how many people he was going to ditch along the way.
I had about 40 minutes to kill till the next bus, and I didn’t want to go back to my staffroom, so I crossed the bridge across the Yoshinogawa (River), only to realize that I couldn’t get to the bus stop from there due to construction that was blocking the road. So, grumbling and frowning, I turned back–and one of my sannensei boys, a kind of smartass but good-natured kid, passed me on his bike, grinning and waving, which at least made me smile. Anyway, I hurried back across the bridge, down the street, and across the bridge on the other side of the construction, and made it to that bus stop (probably a 25-minute walk) with 15 minutes to spare. When there were about 5 minutes left till my bus was set to come, a teacher–the lunch lady/groundskeeper teacher (so not technically a teacher, but a staff member–out of all the staff members, she’s the only one whose name I can never, ever remember) came driving by, honked her horn, and pulled over to give me a ride to my place (her first question was, “How did you end up all the way out here?”). I talked to her about the day, and how bad I felt about what happened, and how worried I was about today’s and next week’s classes. In response, she said, simply, “Ashita wa ashita.” Tomorrow is tomorrow. And that’s totally true, isn’t it?
So I did freak out over what happened yesterday, in part because I think the way the teacher informed me about it made me feel like I’d somehow caused it. But there’s absolutely nothing I could do to prevent bullying to happen outside of class just because one kid made a mistake. (My parents saw my blog post and called me last night just to see how I was doing, and I told my mom, “If this had to happen, why couldn’t it have happened during, like, math class or something?”)
I just realized that I never recapped the weekend and the sayounara party and everything…there isn’t much to tell, but I’ll probably come back to it later.