Of sleep and generosity

I think the rapid drop in temperature has made me sick (AGAIN!), because I was dozing at work today, and actually fell asleep for 10 minutes when I ducked out of the office and into one of the bathroom stalls to “regain my strength.”

When I finally emerged, embarrassed and self-conscious as to whether anyone may have noticed how long I was in there, I ran into one of my eikaiwa students, a really spunky lady in her 30s who (along with her good friend, another of my students) is one of my two best intermediate-level English speakers–she hasn’t been able to come as often lately due to being busy with running her husband’s family dress/kimono shop. We chatted for 5-10 minutes because it’d been about a month since I saw her last, and I’m now meeting her for coffee this evening–in about 10 minutes, actually.

I also had my final Halloween class today–lots of compliments, lots of wide eyes and grins from the kids, and I startled a lot of teachers when they walked into the teacher’s room and saw my purple wings, which was awesome. It was my first class where I really noticed the kids struggling to be creative, though–a problem that many ALTs discover, because creativity and original, individual thought isn’t stressed as much as learning the facts is in the Japanese school system. My kids generally are good about it, and with all my other classes I got some really original jack-o-lantern and costume designs (our activity for the Halloween class–we did masks last year, but I didn’t want to repeat it for the many kids who already did it, especially since they still have last year’s masks). It’s just something I have to be more mindful of.

I just met up with one of Brian’s eikaiwa students, who works at a local temple. We met again at the eikaiwa Halloween party that Julie/Sally/Brian combined to throw, and exchanged keitai info, and have been e-mailing back and forth. I offered to get her some cream-filled momiji manju from Miyajima. She told me that she’d gotten me something as well…she had today off, so she drove here. In return for my small bag containing only 5 momiji manju, she gave me a box of chocolate from when she went to Hokkaido, free passes for the ropeway cable car to and from the temple she works at, some cookies and persimmons, and a mochi ball!

I now have a dilemma, though…Sunday’s the day of an annual festival at her temple, but it’s also Events Day at the art show that Chalice, Brian, (Chalice’s) Joe, and their friend Charlotte are hosting with the Kamiyama Artists In Residence. I could go tomorrow instead…but I was hoping to take it easy and just do some shopping instead of a major excursion. I guess I’ll figure something out…but for now, I need to go meet my friend. I’m glad we’re getting coffee–I could really use it.

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