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Tourists of the Caribbean

May 29th, 2012 No comments

This upcoming Saturday is Sports Day at my school, which means the entire week is nothing but preparation for the event. That means for most of the time I have nothing to do but watch the students prepare, but it at least provides plenty of time to take care of things like writing my much-procrastinated blog entry about the recent sailing trip. So I might as well get that out of the way.

Sunsail Marina, Tortola

Saturday

With a twelve-hour flight the previous day, the four-hour flight from Newark to St. Thomas felt like nothing. After a night of drinking with both my parents and getting to sleep around 11:00, I woke up at 3:00 and couldn’t fall back asleep due to jet-lag. I attempted to sleep on the plane-ride down but wasn’t very successful. Still, the excitement of finally getting back to the Virgin Islands for the first time in ten years was enough to keep me wide awake when we got down there.

St. Thomas, USVI

The travelling wasn’t finished when we got to St. Thomas. We first had to get from the airport to the ferry dock, take an hour-and-a-half ferry ride to Road Town Harbour in Tortola, go through customs there, then get from there to the Sunsail Marina a few miles away. Dad and I were both anxious to finally get to the boat, but the ferry ride was enjoyable enough.

At the ferry dock. Nearby water-landing.

After the long and slow-moving customs line, we decided to walk to the marina, stopping for a beer along the way. Dad eventually regretted the decision not to take a taxi, but I was glad for the opportunity to take in some of the Road Town atmosphere. It’s a completely different world on these islands than it is in the tourist-driven harbors around them.

Streets of road-town. The natives playing baseball.

We eventually got to the boat and I said hello to Dad’s brothers Gerry and Ted, and their friend Rob. I hadn’t seen Gerry or Rob since the Antigua trip four years ago and I can’t remember the last time I’d seen Ted. The last member of our crew, John, wouldn’t be getting in until around 11:00.

Our boat, above deck. Below deck.

We spent the evening drinking on the boat, then took a taxi to a nearby restaurant for a delicious first meal. By the time we got back to the boat I was already struggling to stay awake, so I crashed early around 9:00.

Sunday

Left to right: John, Gerry, Rob, Ted.

The first morning consisted of a boat-briefing and a chart-briefing, the latter of which took place in a large air-conditioned room. A British guy named Alan took us through the map of the BVI and told us a little about all of the harbors and important information like where you can or can’t sail. Some of the harbors are privately owned of just very upscale, so they don’t welcome the common rabble on charter boats.

The weather was overcast but still very nice when we were finally freed from the dock and under way, ours being one of the first boats out of there around 11:00.

 

Once we were free of the harbor we put up the sails and I got to experience the joy of pure sailing for the first time in four years. My Dad even let me take the wheel, something I didn’t get to do last time, so I enjoyed the experience even more.

 Captain Dad                 Hoisting the mainsail.        At the wheel.

We stopped at an outcropping of rocks called “The Indians” and took a mooring for a lunch of sandwiches, and taking a little swim in the absurdly refreshing Caribbean water as well.

The Indians

From there it was a quick motor-ride into “The Bight”, home of the infamous Willy T floating bar which is a tradition for them to go to every first night of sailing. We took a mooring there and after a few drinks on board headed onto shore for a few drinks there. We ordered some Painkillers, the signature cocktail of the British Virgin Islands, and sat at a picnic table on the gorgeous beach.

Notorious Willy T On an island.

First round of Painkillers.

We ate dinner on board, and took the dinghy over to Willy T shortly after it became dark. After ordering some more painkillers there I started socializing with a group of people my age there, feeling loose and happy and not particularly more drunk than I usually get at parties.

But as the night went on, shots were ordered and at one point my conscious mind just shut off completely and put me on drunken-autopilot for the rest of the night. I have no recollection whatsoever of anything after that first shot, but I found out the next morning that on the dinghy ride back to the boat I’d decided to go for a little swim, a pretty awful idea considering I still had my camera in my pocket. That camera is now dead, and I was only able to recover the above pictures after purchasing a new one after getting back to Japan. Luckily the memory card survived, but it was still a disastrously expensive mistake.  To add insult to injury, none of the pictures I actually took that night are any good.

At Willy T's. My last photo.

I asked Gerry and Rob to send me the pictures they took from the rest of the week but I haven’t gotten them and don’t know when I will if ever. So there are no more pictures to post on this blog entry, though it’s not so tragic when you consider all the islands and harbors look more or less the same.

Monday

The only hangover I had the whole trip lasted most of Monday for me. I’d apparently been puking a lot the night before, and that continued through Monday morning as my stomach refused to keep anything down including water.

We motored over to Tortola’s west end harbor for supplies, then motored up to a place called White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke. This was an absolutely gorgeous little bay with a beautiful beach, which the others say they now consider to be the nicest spot in the BVI. I laid out in a hammock for awhile trying to nap off the rest of the hangover, and being back on solid ground seemed to do the trick.

We had lunch and cocktails at a place called One Love, which the guidebook said makes the best Bushwakers in the BVI, a Bushwacker being a ridiculously delicious cocktail consisting of several different kinds of rum and Bailey’s Irish Cream, giving it the texture and flavor of a milkshake. I declined to participate in the first round, but after tasting some of my Dad’s drink I couldn’t turn down taking part in the second and third.

That was a really pleasant afternoon. We sat around drinking and occasionally going into the water for a swim. After we’d gotten tired of One Love we headed over the Soggy Dollar, the place where the Painkiller was invented but which ironically makes the worst Painkillers I’ve probably ever tasted. We met a group of people from Australia and chatted with them for awhile, they having just sailed up from Antigua and and on their way to Miami.

We ate dinner on the boat again and it was a nice mellow evening, though I took it very easy with the drinking because I still hadn’t fully recovered from the previous night and wanted to feel relatively refreshed the next day.

Tuesday

We started the day off by motoring over to another harbor in Jost Van Dyke to a place called Sydney’s Peace & Love which apparently has the best selection of T-shirts on the island. I didn’t get any but it was fun to look around.

After that we headed over to another little bay on Jost Van Dyke which had a particularly good lunch restaurant. Unfortunately, John was having back problems and dinghy riding was painful for him, so he didn’t join us.

After eating the best fish sandwich I may have ever had, I took with a walk with Dad and Rob to a secluded little area of the island with a tidal pool. It was just as cool to walk through the natural-scenery of the island was it was to dip in the pool.

When we got back to the boat we freed ourselves from the mooring and took a quick hour-long motor-ride back to Tortola to a place called Cane Garden Bay. Some of us went to shore to re-stock on things like ice, beer, and whiskey, and after getting back to the boat and showering most of us went back to shore for a nice dinner at one of the many restaurants there.

Wednesday

With the exception of Monday, it rained for at least a little while every day of the trip, but Wednesday was by far the worst. It rained on and off the whole time we were motoring up to Trellis Bay on Beef Island, a small island connected to Tortola where they also have the BVI’s only airport.

By this time John’s back was really killing him, so Dad and Gerry took him to shore to find out about getting him to a doctor. I stayed on board with Ted and Rob, and we had lunch and basically just laid around and tried to stay out of the rain. When Dad and Gerry came back and finished their lunch we all went to shore, where John had already come back from Road Town having seen a doctor and picked up some subscriptions for painkillers (the pill kind) and muscle-relaxers. He had to decline to join us for Bushwackers though because the doctors were adamant about not mixing the pills with liquor.

It was raining nearly the whole time we were on shore, and everything was pretty subdued without much conversation going on whatsoever. John is the most lively guy out of all of us so without him in an up-beat mood it’s a different atmosphere altogether.

When the rain let up a little we went back to the boat for showers and more drinking, and eventually came back to shore for a dinner at 7:30 which was decent but nothing special.

Thursday

It was nice and clear the next morning, and we sailed up to a group of three small uninhabited islands called The Dogs where Rob went diving and I did my first and only snorkeling of the trip. That was nice, but the coral was mostly dead and there weren’t too many fish around, so it didn’t live up to my memories of particularly awesome snorkeling from the trips ten and fourteen years ago.

I got to do some more sailing in the afternoon as we head up to the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, the second-biggest island in the BVI. For whatever reason, sailing up to that harbor is the nicest memory of the trip for me. I was taking in the beauty of the scenery and appreciating the wonderful feeling of sailing more than at any other point.

We took a mooring near a restaurant called The Fat Virgin that Alan at the chart-briefing had said offered “good food at reasonable prices” but when a couple of people came back from shore with a menu and it looked like there was nothing but lunch-food anyway we decided to eat on the boat. It was a pretty good dinner anyway, and afterwards we spent the evening playing a surprisingly fun dice game that Gerry had brought along. Somehow, miraculously, none of the dice ended up in the sea.

While the day had been one of the best of the trip for me, the night turned out to be the worst. Our boat was moored in such a way that the particularly strong winds had us swaying back and forth with the mooring rope rubbing along the booey and making a disastrously annoying sound that Ted and I in the front bunks could hear as though it was right next to our heads. I tried to go up and sleep on the deck but it was too windy and I felt like I’d be blown right off the boat, though I did have a nice time listening to some music on my I-pod and looking up at the brilliant starry sky. I eventually was able to fall asleep in the main room below deck, only moving back to my cabin in the morning and somehow managing to get another hour or two before the noisiness kept me up completely.

Friday

After docking at another North Sound marina to fill our water tanks in the morning, we sailed down back past Virgin Gorda and into a place called Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Island, one of the three small islands to the south of Tortola. Manchioneel Bay is a particularly lovely spot, almost as nice as White Bay. It’s also a very popular spot, so we made sure to get there early enough to take a mooring ball. We were among the first to arrive around 11:00 but the rest were taken up within the next two hours.

We had lunch on board and then did our typical routine of going to shore for cocktails (Painkillers again), back to the boat for showers and more beer, and then back to shore again for dinner at the restaurant there. They remember it being one of the best restaurants in the BVI and I would not disagree. The meal we ate there was easily the best of the trip.

Saturday

We had to have the boat back at Sunsail by 3:00 p.m., but that gave us plenty of time from when we all got up around 8:00. The first order of business was to head over to the wreck of the Rhone, the BVI’s most popular diving spot, where Rob—the only active scuba-diver among us—had been wanting to dive.

But when we got there, the swells were enormous and there was nobody else diving. After waiting a good 40-minutes and contemplating whether to go for it or not, Rob ultimately decided not to take the risk. Diving without a buddy in waters with such an extremely strong current is not a good idea, so the rest of the air in the scuba tank he’d rented had to go to waste. Still, it was the smart decision.

The plan was then to head over to a place called Maya Cove on Tortola where we’d stock up on some much-needed beer, have lunch, then sail around a little before heading back to the Sunsail Marina. Maya Cove turned out to have no moorings available, so we motored over to Fat Hog’s Bay which had plenty of moorings and a grocery store on shore to fulfill our beer needs.

John, whose back was thankfully now feeling mostly better, cooked up the rest of the food our boat had been supplied with for lunch, and after that delicious meal we did our last sailing of the trip.

I put on a CD I’d burned of the second half of Dave Gilmour’s live On And Island concert, hoping I’d get to have another one of those Comfortably Numb moments I remembered so well from the last stretch of sailing on the Antigua trip. I managed to have that song playing and me at the wheel for the last eight minutes of actual sailing, and while I certainly enjoyed the hell out of it I’d spent too much time worrying about making the moment perfect to just relax and appreciate it as much as I should have. Still, it was the best possible way to finish sailing.

We docked at the Sunsail Marina and spent the afternoon in the pool area there, drinking Bushwackers and occasionally going swimming.

Dad, Gerry, and I each had a glass of scotch on the boat before heading off to dinner, and during that time we got into a discussion about the first trip I’d gone on back in 1998 which was Gerry’s daughter Melissa’s graduation present. Dad and Gerry were talking about who’d gone on that trip—them, me, Melissa, her friend Jody, and Melissa’s mother Jenny with whom she did not get along. I reminded them that Ed, my Grandpa, was also on the trip, but they didn’t believe me. My dad said he hadn’t been in a position to invite anyone on that trip and Gerry said there’s no way Ed had been there. But I was completely sure of myself, and told Gerry that I bet him $100 that he’d been there. Gerry was apparently so sure of himself that he immediately took my hand and shook on it, and told me to leave the money with my Dad before flying back to Japan. Both he and I were sure we’d just made $100.

In the evening we took a cab to a Pusser’s—a chain restaurant they have down there—the same place where Dad and I stopped for a beer on our walk to the marina that first day. We had a very delicious meal of pub-food there and chatted with a newlywed couple on their honeymoon one table over from us. It was a very pleasant evening and a perfectly nice note on which to end the trip.

Departure

Gerry, Ted, and Rob were all gone by the time I woke up Saturday morning at 7:00. I showered and had a quick breakfast before we had to catch a cab to the ferry dock at 8:00. While sitting there on the boat I considered what a long distance I had to go from there to my apartment in Togane.

After saying goodbye to John and taking the cab to the ferry dock, there was a bit of annoyance there because the ferry company we’d paid round-trip tickets for a week earlier wasn’t running the return-ferry we’d bought the ticket for, so we had to buy a whole new ticket from a different company (though they eventually refunded half the price of our original ticket).

We took the ferry back to St. Thomas and from there a cab back to the airport. It was a three-hour wait there before the four-hour flight back to Newark, but when we finally landed my Dad got a text from Gerry informing us that he’d talked to Melissa and she told him that Ed was definitely on the 1998 trip. So at least I got $100 to off-set the cost of my broken camera.

At the end of the thirteen-hour flight back to Japan the next day I was astonished to make it through immigration, baggage-claim, and customs all in under 20 minutes. Before I knew it I was sitting on the train, looking around me and feeling a strangely comfortably sensation that once again I was now the only American in sight.

All in all, the trip was as enjoyable as I’d hoped it would be. It didn’t feel like as significant an experience as the last one did, probably because the Antigua trip happened during a particularly significant period of transition in my life, having just moved back to New Jersey from Santa Barbara and still months away from getting the job in Hannover. Back then I still felt like a child, just insanely lucky to be able to have an experience like that. This time, though I was still the youngest guy there by a long-shot, I felt like an adult, and it wasn’t luck that brought me there but my own hard-earned money.

But when all is said and done and you consider how rare the opportunity for an experience like that comes along, especially to share it with my Dad and other rarely-seen friends and family members, I’d consider it money well spent.

Sunset at The Bight.

Back On Semi-Solid Ground

May 23rd, 2012 No comments

After a week of sailing and horrendous amounts of flying I’m back in Japan and back at work. The trip was mostly a fantastic time, with just a few little things having happened that I’d rather hadn’t happened, the most significant being the premature death of my camera which took an unplanned swim in the salt-water on my second night there. I’ve yet to determine whether all the pictures from that first day are gone or if the memory card still functions, but I’ll need to buy a whole new camera before I figure that out and I have to wait until I get paid first.

I also find myself extremely busy back at work, which is actually a very good thing otherwise I’d really have to struggle to fight back sleep. The jet-lag still has ahold of me and I know I’m not all there in my head, but luckily my first few classes have been speaking tests so I haven’t had to do much by way of actual teaching, and the small time I have spent in front of the classes has gone pretty well so far. It feels as nice to be back among my students as I’d hoped it would, and indeed after this first day I almost feel as though I hadn’t been gone at all.

But as it stands I don’t know when I’m going to have time to get around to writing the obligatory blog entry about the sailing trip, and as of now I have no pictures to accompany the narrative anyway. Gerry and Rob should be sending me the pictures they took but that could take awhile. I’ll get to it eventually, but it might be extremely late.

There are only two things to mention about today at school. The first is having returned with a full beard after several months of clean-shavenness. Only a few teachers commented on it and the students’ reactions were unreadable. They were all third-graders so they remember me with a beard, but at this point I don’t think they expected to see it again. I got the feeling that while many of them didn’t like the change at first, after getting used to the clean-shaven look they now feel I looked better that way. I think I agree with them. I certainly looked younger without the beard, and now that I actually am getting old I see no reason to make myself look any older. So the facial-hair resurgence is sure to be a brief one, and I plan on playing with it a bit before making it disappear completely.

The other thing has to do with a favor I asked my mother to do while I was on the sailing trip, which is go shopping for cheap little presents to give to my students as rewards. I’d originally envisioned giving students points as little stamps on a grid in a notebook page I’d given them and giving a prize whenever anyone reached 20 points. But since the gifts my mom bought vary so much in value I decided to adopt a different idea that K-sensei had told me another ALT he’d worked with had used. I found a program online to put a picture of my face on a dollar-bill, and this morning I printed a bunch of sheets of these “Kyle-dollars” (14 to a page) and cut them up, so instead of giving points I’ll be giving fake dollars and letting students buy the presents whenever they feel like spending them. They can buy the cheap stuff right away at 1 or 2 Kyle-dollars, or save up and buy the better, more coveted stuff for upwards of 10 to 15. For 20 dollars I’ll let them go through my music library and burn a CD with songs of their choosing.

One Kyle-Dollar

So far the students have responded with a pretty good level of excitement to this, and I think it’s going to be a great tool to motivate them. I gave one Kyle-dollar to everyone who got perfect As on the speaking test today, which was the vast majority of students because they were clearly trying hard. Some students were already clamoring to buy some of the gifts, but I’ve yet to make a firm list of what the prices will be.

In any case, once students catch on to the fact that they get 1 Kyle-dollar for every time they come to a Team C meeting, I’ll hopefully get some more participation there. I really just want to go straight home after school today because I’m exhausted (though I’m still determined to go for a run) but I’ll be showing up to Team C anyway to talk a little about my trip and play a quick card game I brought from home before heading out.

Unless something of interest happens in the mean-time, my next entry will shoot back to the beginning of the sailing trip over a week ago, and depending on how detailed it looks like it’ll end up being I may break it up into several parts. I don’t envision going into too much detail about it, but I almost never do and wind up writing novellas anyway.

One thing I will say about sailing—it wasn’t hard to get used to the feeling of constant motion on the water. With all the seismic activity around here it hardly feels like solid ground anyway.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , ,

Gone Sailing

May 12th, 2012 No comments

I meant to write another blog entry before the sailing trip, but there was nothing really worth mentioning. I’m in America now, awake a few hours before I have to be even though I’m extremely sleep-deprived, but while it’s 4:00 a.m. here my body tells me it’s 5 p.m. I spent the night at my parent’s home in Glen Gardner and in a couple hours I’ll have to get up and make the next leg of the journey down to the Virgin Islands. I’m extremely excited but very nervous since the forecast calls for rain every day.

Naturally, I’ll write about everything in great detail once I’m back in Japan.

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The Original Team C

May 3rd, 2012 No comments

My last entry was titled “Who the F*** Am I?” both because that was the central question I was asking myself in the entry and to serve as a warning to some of the people who read this journal that they probably weren’t going to like that one. I don’t like it either, and now I’ve taken it down. Regular readers have already read it so they know what happened, but it doesn’t need to remain part of the public record.

I mention it now because after a few days of pondering I’ve come to a solid conclusion regarding the question it posed. I realized that now that I’ve done what I did that night, it’s no longer something I feel I can’t do. I’ve been to dance clubs many times (especially considering the fact that I hate them) and until recently I’ve never managed to attract the interest of any of the women there, let alone dance with them. That always made me feel like there was something wrong with me, that I was somehow less of a man. But now that I’ve managed to do it, I’ve realized that actually makes me feel like less of a man—at least less of the kind of man I want to be.

And that’s the conclusion I’ve come to. Now that I know that I can be that kind of person, I can choose not to be. And these past two days at school have solidly reinforced that feeling to the point where I don’t see myself ever engaging in that kind of behavior again. As I said, it seemed like I was a different person during that whole experience, and I didn’t like who I was. When I’m at school in the role of a teacher, I like myself. That’s the person I want to be. And that person is nothing like the guy I was on Sunday night.

It’s Golden Week, so there were only two days of school, and I only had two second-grade lessons each day. I thought I had strong material going in but as usually happens, every little flaw in the plan gets revealed the first time you try to execute it, and unfortunately on both days the lessons were back-to-back so I didn’t have time to fix it until I’d already done two sub-par lessons that first day. But on the second day I’d changed my approach to the presentation phase and simplified the game phase, and the lesson was a smashing success of the highest order. The kids not only seemed to solidly learn the grammar point I was teaching, but had an absolute blast doing so.

All four of those lessons were with To-sensei, whom I’ve now fully proven myself to. She was the one who started off by taking half the lesson to herself as a typical boring English lesson and only bringing me in for the game at the end, but after showing her that I could do the whole thing from warm-up to presentation to activation, when it came time to plan next week’s lesson she just trusted me to put the whole thing together on my own. The same goes for the other JTEs, so any fears I had about the replacements not letting me teach to my full potential have now completely subsided.

The other major milestone of the week was the beginning of my after-school activity, the Communication Club, or Team C. When I went to English Room 1 after school on Tuesday, I had no expectation that anyone at all would show up. When I introduced it in front of each class at the end of every lesson last week, I didn’t get the impression that anyone was interested, and as most of them are in other clubs anyway I figured I’d probably have to keep reminding students after every lesson until one or two finally showed up.

But on the first day, three students actually showed up: two second-grade girls and a first-grade girl, which was surprising enough as it is because I’d also assumed only third-graders would feel confident enough in their English to try and practice with me. But it turned out not to matter much because most of the time was spent speaking Japanese anyway. I started by practicing self-introductions, starting with me saying whatever I could say about myself in Japanese, and asking the students to correct me or help me figure out how to say certain things like, “I like to ride a bicycle.” When I asked them to practice introducing themselves in English, they first had to write it down on a piece of paper before they felt comfortable enough to try it out. I gave them some gentle corrections, and got a bit more comfortable myself as I recognized the similarity between this and the kind of small-group teaching I did in Germany. Just as I’d hoped, those three years were adequate preparation for this kind of thing.

I’d brought my laptop with all my pictures, and when I reminded them I’d lived in Germany for three years I was able to show them pictures of Hannover, which they really enjoyed. That also gave us an opportunity to learn some vocabulary words from each other, like the words for “church” and “power plant”. When that was done two of the students decided they were finished for the day and the third was ready to leave as well, so that was the end of the first ever Team C meeting. It lasted about thirty minutes.

Incidentally, one of the second-grade girls, M-, is actually a student I mentioned in my entry about my first day of teaching. She was a first-grader then, and in her self-introduction paragraph all the students had been instructed to write, her last sentence was, “I long for the good old days” which really stood out and I got a real kick out of. Because of that she’s one of the first students whose names I learned, and now she’s one of the first students to come to Team C. Turns out she’s just as cool and pleasant of a person as I’d imagined.

When I went yesterday afternoon, I again figured nobody would come. It was raining, it was the last day before a four-day weekend, and I figured the three girls from the previous day probably wouldn’t be back for awhile, if ever. But all three of those girls came back, and one first-grade boy joined us as well. I started off by asking them to write their names in Kanji and see if we could figure out their English meanings, but that proved too difficult even with my iPhone program to identify kanji. I then just went around and practiced the most basic Questions & Answers like, “What’s your name?” “How old are you?” and “What are your hobbies?” which allowed me to teach them (or at least remind them of) important English phrases like, “years old” and how to properly say their full birth-date in English. All four of them were born in 1999, which is crazy to me. I was already in high school, already in the full midst of my Aimee-obsession, when they came into the world. Man, I’m old.

But I also asked them what their favorite bands were, and when M- mentioned Gorillaz I felt slightly less old. Gorillaz are one of my all-time favorite bands and have been ever since college. Still, it’s weird to think she was just a little baby when their first album came out.

Once I felt we’d done enough straight-up conversation practice I busted out a deck of cards I’d made for the special needs students at the end of the last school-year, cards with pictures and names of all kinds of simple things like days, months, numbers, colors, etc. Each card had a pair, so the easiest game to play is “Go fish” which we slightly changed to “Go fishing” because they’d heard that expression before and when I came to think of it that’s actually what you say in real life. But it got them to practice the “Do you have…?” phrase as well as brush up on English names for dates and colors and such. They enjoyed the game even more than I expected them too, which was great because other students from other clubs kept coming in and out of the room (students were keeping their bags in the room because it was raining and sports teams were practicing indoors) and when they saw us Team C people laughing and having a great time, it made me hopeful that more of them will warm up to the idea of coming in the future.

I ended it when the game was finished at about 5:20. That meant we’d been there for over an hour, but it hadn’t felt like it at all. I’m technically off work at 4:15, but it’s not a bad way to spend my free time. And I’m getting more valuable Japanese-speaking practice than ever.

We’ll see how things develop, but I’m happy with the start it’s gotten off to. K-sensei explained that most of the students are in other club activities and they don’t feel comfortable asking their coaches to be absent for a day to do Team C instead. I explained that students could just come once a week or once a month, however often they wanted, and K-sensei said he needed to bring up the subject with all the teachers, so perhaps he’ll do that at the next teacher’s meeting. Again, I’m incredibly lucky he’s here this year. To have somebody else who believes in the idea is invaluable.

At any rate, it was nice to get back into my comfortable teaching-shoes after the insanity of the weekend. As a whole, my entire experience in Japan so far has been one of discovering the different kinds of person I’m capable of being. I don’t have to be everyone I’m capable of, but a good teacher and positive influence on young people’s lives is definitely someone I’m happy to be.

Categories: Personal Tags: , ,