Friday, March 19, 2010

The View from Friday, or Because shit is worth doin’.

Well, it’s Friday again, and you know what that means!

Actually, with the way the end of the school year is changing all the schedules, it does not necessarily mean anything at all.

But, it’s bright and pretty warm, so the window is open. I’m dressed down in my KU fan gear because of NCAA stuff happening far away (Vandy.. I heard the tales.. I am saddened). I spent the first part of the morning cleaning my desk, wiping off all the dust and organizing the binders. The sum total effect is it feels like a college weekend, right now. In which I would be at my desk a lot, but pleasantly so.

I didn’t have any classes to teach today, and yesterday’s intro to a third of the incoming 6th graders (I’m heretofore assigning animals to the classes to differentiate them so I don’t have to keep saying ‘current whatever-years, about to be nantoka-years’), or FROGS class, went really well. Awesome-sensei had approached my desk on Wednesday to ask if I would teach English with him to elementary students. For just an instant I thought he was personally informing me that he had been transferred to one of my elementary schools in the end-of-year teacher swap, but I soon realized he meant just the one class on Thursday afternoon.

Which I planned and prepped and which went off more or less without a hitch..! I am absolutely floored by his ability to interact with a class, somehow simultaneously joking with them and putting them at ease, and not taking any crap from them, expecting nothing lower than his exacting standard. Although Awesome-sensei has been difficult for me to work with at times, doing this class with him reminded me that his nickname comes from somewhere.

But I’d been looking forward to today for a long time. My first class-free day, without plans for the next day or even next week? Sounds like time to clean my desk! And catch up on a lot of things I had put off.

One of those was “look into PEPY riiiide”.. because one day I innocently inquired when and where the Hyogo-ken charity bike event would be held, if you please, though I have little biking experience or knowhow, and ended up being asked if I wouldn’t like to organize it myself!

As of yesterday I was thinking, oh yeah right. And honestly, I don’t think I could do it by myself. My initial reaction upon reading a bit more about the event and thinking about doing it was to ask Big Brother JET if he wanted to co-lead with me, but that makes little to no sense, because he has a marathon on the weekend the ride is supposed to take place.

So I asked The Illustrator JET what he knew about it, since I knew he biked to Himeji from time to time, and Himeji would be a lovely city in which to hold this ride… were it to occur.

But he immediately was able to tell me about last year’s ride, in which he was a participant, and ways he thought we might be able to schedule and plan it. I know very little about Himeji and bike riding, but I’m more than willing to do some of the legwork. I’m not very good at research, but I am good at planning when I put my mind to it. Plus I’m at the stage of my Japanese language learning experience where I see trying to make bike rental reservations as a fun, potentially impossible challenge and not an impossible task. It’s been a while since I put together a group event, and on this sunny Friday afternoon, doing it seems like a very good thing.

I intend to evaluate the route and plan as we formulate it as though it were my personal ambitious afternoon.. Where would I want to stop, what would I want to see or visit? This is probably not a bad idea, since I personally am not in super-biking-shape, but I am eager to get out there and try it. All of this is going down (weather permitting) April 17th, maybe with room to push back a day or a week for weather reasons. I’ll write about it more as it comes together. Today’s brainstorm mostly only washed out a “yeah, let’s do this,” and notions of beginning near the station where there is a handily located bike rental place, and talk of Shosha-zan around lunchtime.

In other news, my weekend-event schedule was changed without warning yesterday when my Kyoto-sensei informed me that the Okayama enkai to which I so looked forward was not any longer an Okayama enkai, but a Shingu enkai. And rather than an overnight stay (see: mental visions of carousing and karaoke late into the night, inexplicable images of poker games in a smoky room), the women are all leaving that evening. And I was like, where the hell is Shingu? Who is this bag?! What about my plans to spend the rest of the weekend in Okayama City’s environs?

But the view from this Friday is? It’s going to be great anyway.

Coming weekends:

3/19 – Three day weekend Tokyooo!
3/26 – Non-Okayama enkai and subsequent Himeji-area/Shiso weekend
4/2 – Okinawaaaaaa (from the 1st to the 5th)
4/9 - (take a deep breath)
4/17 – PEPY riiiide!
4/24 – Pepy uberrain date; 25th Hanshin Tigers baseball if I can get off the waiting list and onto the ticketholders list…
4/28 – leave for Hong Kong, return 5/4.

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