So I'll skip right over the middle of last week because all I would have written then anyway was "omg itsstillrainin" (oh wait, I did). Friday the 13th came like a breath of not-so-humid air. Hazy in the morning, the air felt bright despite the “sand from China” hanging about the valley. I looked at the board at work to see that no one had any classes at all, everyone was on various field trips (the 3rd year Mice in Okinawa, the 1st year Fish somewhere else closer, and the 2nd years were around, just about to go on their one-day adventure). I suddenly did not want anything to do with the busy work I’d made for myself, thinking I would have a normal staff room atmosphere. It was not to be a normal staff room atmosphere. I would be the only person there, aside from the one they leave to answer the phones, and it was the first sunny day after three straight solid heavy rain days.
Who, tell me, wants to sit at their computer on that day? Sure, I had plenty to do, but I no longer relished the empty day in which to do it.
To my joy, the band teacher asked, “Emily, what are you doing today?” I gave her an innocent and hapless look and shrugged. Nothing. I’m doing nothing. “Wanna go with the 2nd years?” Um, YES. I love the second years (the Frogs). They are still my new favorite class. We stood under starling nests and gave instructinons, aAnd with that, we set off at a walk up the hill toward Sponic Park where the kids were to draw landscape sketches for the first part of the morning.
I wandered around a little, got bit by a leech for the first time in my life (those things are gross; but seriously, leeches, get some anesthetic to go with your anticoagulants, or you'll never be as successful with me as your brethren the gdmf mosquito) becuse they were living in the damn grass (what with all the rain). Some students were kicking them off their shoes as well, jumping on them to make them "kanpeki shinda" (I swear I heard that.. the first word is "perfect" and the second "dead"). Also saw a mukade (the poisonous Japanese manypede), all of these sightings/attacks were in the same area, too. The students jumped on the mukade, but it was not made perfectly dead before it was flung away off the hillside. We also saw a deer just chilling rather close to where we were drawing.
After our juice break, we set off for part two, which was a walking "quiz rally" around the area. Kids were in their groups, all had maps of the checkpoints, and at each checkpoint there was a question. Lots of Japanese riddles, some kinda random questions (What number is equal to the ages of all these listed teachers combined?), for which kids would get points based on how close they got to the real thing. I carried my little parasol and wandered around with them, which of course led me to discover (as I had hoped it would) some new interesting points in the area.
Then we all ate lunch outside. After lunch, they went in to color the sketches, and I got done just a little of the work I had planned to spend all day on.
That afternoon I went back to the fuji, but it was pretty much destroyed by the rain. I stopped at Osaki-san's, and she gave me manju and cocoa, then I went to Miriam's, and she gave me some kind of apricot tart cake, then I went home, and really intended to eat a real dinner, but never did.
Saturday was really nice too, we're talking perfect weather. I spent a little time on the garden, then we had a little group picnic down by the river on the road to Himeji. Went home just in time to wash up and go to Young English Enkai, which went better than I expected it to go! The food was great, and everyone was very game. I thought only about half the group (err.. mostly the ALT half) would end up at karaoke, but actually everyone came but one!