Friday, December 21, 2007

Sore but happy


I found out on Wednesday or Thursday that Kirita (my base school) was having a sports "mini-festival" on Friday. At first I was really disappointed that I was going to miss it, but when I asked Kocho-sensei (the principal) about the schedule for the "festival", he told me it would be in the afternoon from about 1:30pm-3:30pm. This was a great stroke of luck for me since I was scheduled to be finished at the school I was visiting after lunch (around 1pm). So I asked Kocho-sensei if it would be okay for me to come after my school visit, and he was like: "Let's play together!"


Unfortunately today started off on something of a bad note. It snowed a little bit so I gave myself a little extra time to get to my school: it usually takes ~17 min. to get to Koto JHS, so I called for a taxi just after 8am, giving myself 35 min to get to school by 8:35am. When I called, I swear that they said the taxi would take about 10 min (usually it takes ~5 min) to arrive. Well, it ended up taking 30 min.

Just as I finished calling the school (around 8:27am) to tell them that I would be late, the taxi finally arrived. Somehow we managed to make it to the school in about 12 min, but I was still five minutes late. The vice-principal and the teacher I was going to work with for first period were both really understanding, but I still felt terrible for being late.

Anyway, the classes I had today went pretty well--nothing spectacular, but there weren't any problems or anything either. So I was in a pretty good mood until lunch. I was eating with an ichinensei class that I hadn't actually met before, and when I arrived in the classroom, a group of girls was crying. I'm still not sure what was going on--the teacher tried to explain a bit to me, but he wasn't exactly sure what had happened either--but I think there was some sort of conflict between the girls and some sannensei where the sannensei said some mean things. I felt terrible that I was there eating lunch at the table where some of the girls were still sniffling, but I couldn't do anything to help.

After all that, I was kind of tired when I got home, but I changed and packed my stuff as fast as I could and drove to Kirita. I missed the start of the dodgeball competition, but I got to watch a couple of games, and it was pretty entertaining.

Then came the volleyball. The sannensei were split into two teams, the ninensei made one team, and the ichinensei were split into three teams. Since there are only 17 ichinensei, one team was short a person and some of the teachers took turns filling in--myself included! It wasn't regular volleyball, either; the rule was that exactly three people had to touch the ball before returning it.

Even though it was embarrassing because I was so terrible, it was fun playing with the students. And they're all really good kids. When their teammates missed, or even when their opponents missed, they would call out "Don't mind, don't mind!" and other words of encouragement. Since I was hitting the ball improperly most of the time, my arms and wrists also ended up sore and bruised. But still, it was probably one of the best times I've had at Kirita so far.

After volleyball, they gave out certificates to the winning dodgeball and volleyball teams, then everyone had Christmas cake and drinks. ^_^

The fun didn't stop there either. Afterwards I went shopping with T-san and H-sensei, and we also had our (Kirita) bon enkai (end of the year party). But I'll write more about those things later!

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