I try not to say anything overly negative about work, but I've got to admit that I've had difficulty adjusting to the change in staff at my base school in April. (In Japan, teachers get shuffled around for the beginning of the new school year--and for the most part the teachers don't have much say in where they're moved.)
The teachers that I talked to the most and was friendliest with were pretty much all transferred, and the atmosphere in the teachers' room totally changed.
But yeah, given my general sense of unease at my base school this entire semester, I wasn't really expecting to enjoy the bowling and enkai (dinner & drinking party) today--the end of the first semester.
Yet somehow, I ended up having a surprisingly good time. With the bowling, well, getting a decent score definitely helped me get into things. My first game was 117 (my 2nd time breaking 100!), but I went downhill from there and only got 87 in the second game. Still, my final (combined) score for the two games was a very respectable (for me, anyway!) 204!
Plus our team was the only one that managed to win beer! Basically the "beer frame" rule was that if a team got all spares and/or strikes in a single frame, each player would get a can of beer. Since our team only had 3 people, we had specific frames (2,4,6 & 8) in which we were eligible to win beer, whereas the 4-people teams could get beer in any of the first nine frames.
Thankfully I was first, so I had decidedly less pressure to perform than my teammates. (Last year I was last in the order, and blew the beer frame by 2 or 3 pins!)
I also got to see an impressive site: one of the teachers in the lane next to ours got four strikes in a row! (I knew 3 strikes in a row was called a "turkey" but who knew that 4 in a row is called "ham bones" or a "4-bagger"?!) So yeah, the bowling was a lot more fun than I expected.
The enkai, too, was better than I thought it'd be. I actually managed to talk/join in the conversations a fair bit, and the food was plentiful and quite good.
All in all, it was a good end to what felt like a horrendously long semester.