Can’t believe it’s September already! It feels like I just arrived in Japan, when in fact I’ve been here a little over a month! I’ve been so busy I guess I just haven’t noticed. Because I’m feeling particularly lazy today, I am just going to list out things that have happened since I last wrote. It’s not entirely in order, but for the sake of those who are purely interested in my life in Japan and not what I do in my spare time, I’ve decided to do a separate post later on in the week about that.
-My bed broke…after one night sleeping in it: That’s right. My bed broke. It was assembled two weeks ago on a Saturday, but since I was spending the weekend in Nagoya, I didn’t actually get to use it until the following night. Monday evening, I was organizing my room (something I do often) and was about to put my suitcases under my bed when I noticed one of the support bars just… wasn’t quite right. So I shimmied underneath and realized one of the supporter beams had snapped clean off. After frantically enlisting the help of my neighbors, C and D, I decided to go back to Nitori to have it fixed. C and I took pictures of my bed and showed them what had happened and even showed them on the floor model they had. In the end, they said they would replace my bed with a new one free of charge. Which leads me up to my next bit:
-Bought more furniture for my apartment: Yup. I couldn’t help it. I went to Nitori with the intention to only have my bed fixed and price check some other items I was interested in (as well as measurements) but… saw a TV stand and just had to have it. Bought a second, larger bookshelf as well since the small one I have now just isn’t cutting it. They were both delivered yesterday and after an amazing two hour building session with my neighbor, C, I have a nearly finished apartment. Really! I’m almost done! Just small things I need to get now to make it homey, like hanging stuff from the walls and such. I will have a post later on this month about my apartment.
-Bought a total of 5 umbrellas: I KEEP FORGETTING THEM AT SCHOOL. Seriously. I don’t use umbrellas in Alaska. We have rain jackets. But NOOOOOO, Japan’s in on the umbrella thing. So I had one umbrella; left it at my JHS. Bought a second one, figured a spare was a good idea, to make up for it. Left that one at an ES. Bought another one. Can you guess where that one it? Yeah, another ES. So I gave up and bought a small purse size one so I could stop buying umbrellas.
-Attended the Opening Ceremony for my JHS: And I’m just gonna Segway right into this one.
Embarrassing School Moment #3: Being late for the Opening Ceremony. Yup. You heard right; I was late. They drill this into you: don’t be late on your first official day! Don’t be late! And see, I didn’t think I was going to be late. I arrived really early. However, I wasn’t told that the ceremony started even earlier. So here I’m thinking I’m an awesome person because I’m super early and have time to cool down and collect myself before having to give my speech to the school, I’m actually late and have to run to the gym, hair a mess, sweating like crazy. Mind you, I’m wearing a suit.
According to my tantosha, I wasn’t late for the official opening ceremony. Just the award ceremony. Still! I was late! I stood outside the gym for a little while, trying to fix my hair and seem less distressed than I really was and going over my small speech over and over in my head. I tried putting off walking into the gym as long as I could because the moment I did, EVERYONE looked in my direction. I wasn’t supposed to give my speech until after Kocho-sensei and that’s when I realized…. I was the only one in a suit. Even my Kocho-sensei wasn’t in a suit. It took everything I had not to turn red like a tomato in embarrassment. I gave my speech and it in both Japanese and English. Went something like this.
“Good morning, everyone. My name is Miranda Barril, but you can call me Miranda. I am from Alaska in the USA. My hobbies are cooking and tennis. Please to meet you.”
Short, sweet and to the point. Not going to lie, I was shaking by the time I left the stage.
-Got to see the Dance Festival in Nagoya: This one was awesome! It was a huge dance festival in Osu; I managed a video, but I haven’t quite figured out how to add those yet….
Now for a quick couple observations to wrap this up:
School Observation #1: Students will stop in the hall to bow and say good morning to teachers. This has happened to me at least twice a day while I’m at my JHS. Not sure if ES students do this, but I haven’t been there when students are there, so that might change. When I’m walking around the school, students who are there for their club activities will stop what they’re doing, or stop a little bit before I pass them and bow to me while saying good morning or hello.
School Observation #2: Students introduce themselves and state their purpose when entering the Teacher’s Room. This one threw me off the most because this isn’t something that happens in America. I sit right next to the door (I’m the first teacher students will see when they walk in) and whenever a student wants to come in they do the following: bow, ask for permission to enter, say hello/good morning to the teachers, state the teacher they’re looking for/what they’re doing in the staff room and then hurry off to whatever they stated they were there to do. Personally, I think this is genius.
Oh, and I guess this would a good time to mention that teacher’s don’t have a specific room like in America. All the teachers have desks in the Teacher’s Room and then go to and from their designated classes; the students are the ones that have specific rooms. The teachers go to them! Minus like… gym and a couple other classes.
Okay, so that’s gonna cover it for this post. I will have more coming throughout the week and hopefully I can post them somewhat regularly haha.