Thursday, September 10, 2009
My First Week!
My first week of school has passed, and I’m still alive. I have visited all of my 6 schools at least once now, so I have a decent picture of what I will be getting in to this year.
I learned that 2 of my elementary schools are being closed in April, when the Japanese school year starts, because they are too small; 18 and 24 kids total. So, as you can imagine I have very small classes. Most of my classes at other schools are about a dozen kids, but one of my small schools handed me a 1st and 2nd grade class of 2 kids and the other school gave me a 3rd and 4th grade class of 3 kids. This makes things interesting. I have to be very energetic and plan lots of activities because they fly through games. However, they are all really sweet. I eat school lunch with one class every time I visit, and they love that. I must say though, eating lunch off a tray, sipping milk from a carton made to look like a bird, and sitting in a desk designed for someone ½ my size does take me down a notch. The meal is generally quite delicious so it balances out. My pride and my stomach are at war daily around 12:15.
My co-workers find me quite entertaining. As is custom in a small town, they naturally ask if I have a wife/girlfriend. This information is hurriedly funneled into the gossip chain so that the local sewing circle can begin plotting which Japanese daughter they can set me up with. I am sure there will be a “Random Blind Date” blog entry in the future. (Insert awkward situation here)
I also got to witness Sado’s International Ironman and Half Ironman triathlon last weekend. I missed the registration by about a month so no tri for me this time. My friend Yuki (2nd picture), an auto-mechanic and Sado native, competes every year and generally does very well. This year he placed about 15th in the half Ironman and 4th place among Sado-ites. His first question after crossing the line was “Phillip, next year, we do?” Yeah, maybe…
Indeed, the most amazing site was the one pictured above; the smoking area just outside the finish line. No comment, EVER!