It's been a long, action-packed couple of weeks as we wind up to wrap up this JET year with a bang, and a whisp of smoke. I went far too long without sleeping in, but finally this morning was able to sleep til 10. At last!
What's been going on, the crowd asks. Oh, so so many things.
I had my little hell week, where everything was due at once at the end, which does happen from time to time if you have exactly nine of your ten fingers in nine different pies. Friday was the due date for our Tokyo Orientation Presentation, which was a technological and time-managing pain in the collective ass. This year, they combined the seminars for Japanese Language Study and Japanese Etiquette, reducing them from 50 minutes each to about 21 (if you make room for intro, etc). Excellent. Excellent. Then have four people across the country all trying to file share using different computers and different restrictions at work which allow or do not allow certain up or downloads... it's all pretty much a mess.
Simultaneous to this, I was getting ready for the Shorinji Kempo test I said I'd back out of but never got around to escaping. I was woefully underprepared, and I was cancelling other commitments left and right in order to just, goodness, make a good show of it. I did pass, of course, but not smoothly and beautifully and without wanting to cry. That was on Saturday. Which was also a work day. Not really a work day, but we were required to either show up or use nenkyuu (unacceptable), so I showed up, and attended as many of the sports teams' games as I could (judo, girls' table tennis, softball, girls' volleyball) before rushing home to suit up and roll out to testing.
Sunday, I went to Kyoto to see Dre again, and we passed a very pleasant day exploring a temple his professor had suggested, Tofuku-ji. We then surprised-called Nami and had dinner with her and her husband at their house. I crashed with Dre, and on Monday morning, which was a day off because of working Saturday, pushed onward to Universal Studios Japan.
Which was also enormous fun; that Hollywood Dream rollercoaster just fills me with joy. It's like flying, with all the smooth sheer terror that entails. Rode it three times. We also enthusiastically participated in super-wet-time on Jurassic Park ride, which was awesome and we rode twice. USJ is excellent, but it pays to go on a schoolday.
But as you can see, this was a full weekend, and I hit the ground running Tuesday by doing 5 classes at elementary, followed by a 2-class Wednesday with moving in the afternoon. Thursday was more elementary, and Friday was just all day moving.
Moving, you say? Yes, we're moving. To the new school building. The kids march like ants, all toting something as we make our way up the ramps from one building to the next. Since the new building is about two car lengths from the old, we didn't have to port that stuff too far.
So, yeah.. we're moving. My file cabinet is being taken away for space reasons (the new staffroom is, for some reason, smaller than the old one), so I've had to collapse my storage. I think people believe that since I am not always there, I couldn't need much space. Except.. the reason.. I am not always there.. is because... I do... Elementary. Which as you may be aware, requires a crapload more in the way of supplies, toys, brightly colored things, etc. No one understands us, *headdesk* et al.
This weekend was a three-day-er, thank heavens, so we spent Saturday in Osaka for the Harry Potter EndTimes; expectations were high after our 7-week lead-in of awesomeness, watching one movie a week until this weekend, but expectations were met by the movie. I'm still rolling it around in my mind as I clean up my damn house, because the first thing to fall apart when I don't have time to do anything is the state of my house. It's maddening, that, but I'm not sure how to prioritize cleanliness when I have to be out the door in thirty seconds. Also I just received/bought a bunch of stuff from some leaving JETs, so I have to integrate that into my house, sift out things I don't have room or need for, find out what to do with them. It's trickle-down stuff, so I'll probably have stuff to give away come August, hopefully stuff the newcomers will want.
Oh and of course, in the background to all this, rainy season gives way to HOT season, typhoons still roll in to drench us with much-needed rain.. the backyard is a jungle, at least for now, until the horrific heat turns that thriving weed-patch into a gravel pit, and I am getting ready to lose some very good friends and adventure-partners to the wilds of their futures back in North America. It's very important during this time to be able to make time to spend with those who won't be around Shiso much longer, especially considering I am leaving on the 23rd myself for Tokyo.
I'm also getting ready for Tokyo Orientation, a trip to Amerika, and the hosting of August guests. And trying to keep up with my extracurriculars on the side. Oh, and writing letters.
And I actually have three classes tomorrow. Which is preposterous, because it really should, by all rights, be summer vacation by now.
My apartment is finally coming together, I am, more or less, (and I'm rather shocked by this, myself) on top of my shit. I've even.. kind of.. started to pack! I will do more of that this evening, no doubt, and maybe clean some more. I made the unfortunate discovery of mold in my house this year, something you never wanna find, but which is sometimes difficult to prevent when you don't have AC.