Looking forward and catching up

This was the second day in a row that I had a teacher talk to me about my new workload at that one elementary school and wish me luck with it. Japanese junior high school teachers are wishing me luck with my workload…that’s kind of a cause for concern.

I actually have no idea when I’m supposed to start at that school, though. I’ve done zero planning because classes at my elementary schools won’t even start until next week (the only one I know about for sure is next Wednesday), and I’ve been enjoying the last of my relative downtime till the Big Crunch starts.

Today was pretty busy and tiring, but we spent the morning cleaning and preparing for the entrance ceremony for the new first-years (aww, my kids–a few of them were making eye contact and mouthing greetings at me when the teachers were being introduced, and it was so sweet), and I took a nap tonight, which was nice and really needed (and which is why I’m still awake now, unfortunately). I had some good conversations with a lot of teachers today, including the new Japanese teacher, and I got a shoulder massage from the groundskeeper lady, who had to lean on me to get up on the stand for the staff photo. The kocho also called me into his office suddenly and gave me a present–a copy of a Japanese-language book on education that he’d written, and he asked me to please use it as an aid to help with my Japanese studies.

Another high note of today was that I got to talk to my former boss, the one who I worked for during my first eight months here. She’s been out on maternity leave since January, and I haven’t seen her since December. Lindsay sent me a package from Togo with gifts to give to our friends and supervisors here, and she’d included some things for our former boss’s newborn daughter, so I sent those with my two gifts last night. She called me this evening to let me know she’d received them.

The problem, though, is that I use my cellphone as my alarm clock, and she happened to call during the five-minute snooze interval after my alarm started going off. I mistook the ringing of the incoming phone call as my alarm, so I reached over, pressed a random keypad button to turn the alarm off, and turned over to sleep for another five minutes, and then heard her voice saying, “Moshi-moshi? Moshi-moshi?” I kind of blurted something hasty and apologetic in sleep-dazed Japanese, wondering if I’d somehow managed to call her on accident, but then it hit me, as I finally woke up fully, that she was calling me. It was a bit awkward explaining that one off.

But in the end, it was really sweet–we talked for about ten minutes, and it was really nice to hear from her and have a conversation with her again. She’s quiet by nature, but she’s just a few years my senior, and I’m glad we could catch up. I didn’t really talk to her at length after the gappei and staff change last year, when she was moved to another position and my current boss came in. She’s been in to visit the BOE a few times, but I’ve never been in when she came in. I filled her in on my schedule change–I’ll only be at the BOE for about 3-4 hours a week now–so I hope she’s able to time another visit for that interval.

(I swear, the Korea update will come soon; I keep forgetting the notebook with the names of the sites and stuff at home. Tomorrow! Tomorrow!)

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