Friday, July 14, 2006

Last entry until when?

Life has been so crazy busy. So much stuff going on and the last thing I have had time to think about is blogging what's going on.

And because I'm in such a rush to write something, anything, I will once again resort to listing.

People who have inadvertently have kept me from blogging of late:
1. Julie
2. Colin

What time I have to use the computer at school is inevitable consumed by these two people. If I am on-line on the school computer, it's usually emailing or chatting to Julie. If I am working away on my computer at my desk, it's laying out and playing with the book, trying to get it done. With these two things that bring me such pleasure, you can understand maybe why I don't make time to write while at school.
So what the heck has happened to my time at home, why don't I write anything at home and blog it later? Well, I do write a lot at home still, but it has been more of the journal variety of writing than of the blog variety. (Am I repeating myself? So sad to have no new thoughts to share!)

But it's not like I don't have other things that take up my time either. I took a half-day off last week Tuesday to go to the immigration center, and then went out with Julie after, seeing as how I was closer than normal, and finished what I needed to do really early.

Last week friday, I went down to Anan to have dinner and sing karaoke with Colin and Jenny, Jonny and Emi, and Sarah and James. That was a blast.
Saturday afternoon I went surfing again with Colin (he leant me a board again), and then in the evening was the Tokushima JET Sayonara Party. The party was down at Maze no Oka campground again, and the skeeters weren't nearly as bad this year as last year I'm told (they don't like my blood in this country, so I didn't notice either time). It was pretty good, better than last year. But perhaps I feel that way because for me it really is goodbye this time, and thus it was more meaningful. It was also good this time to go home after instead of trying to sleep in the rain. Even though I didn't get back until like 2:30. But good dancing and hanging out was done and had, and good farewells were said at the end. And a very tasty LLT (lamb lettuce and tomato... with cheese, too) was made by Colin and consumed by me. Mmmmmm!

Then on Sunday I still got up reasonably early to go out for lunch with Julie and then we went to hang out at Ron and Andrea's for the afternoon. It was also Josh's birthday, so we picked him up a cool helicopter LEGO set. Andrea made an outrageous truck-cake, and the bed of the truck was loaded with animals-- in gummy candy form! Such a massive sugar rush! Cake+loads of icing+gummies+ice cream= potentially very wired kids. All in all a very relaxed and enjoyable afternoon, and the conversation with Ron and Andrea was fantastic.
In the evening, bible study was at Brian and Christine's. They made everyone mashed potatoes, salad, and shish-kabobs for dinner! So Tasty! The bible study was on Psalm 139.

This week I only had two regular days of school: Monday and Thursday. I took Tuesday off to gather paperwork for my car to save whoever buys it some trouble. One of the places I had to go in the doing so is Kitajima, near the high school that does the English camp I've helped at the past couple Februarys. So I made a plan with some of the students there that I email with from time to time to meet for lunch. It was nice. And then using my being in the neighborhood as an excuse, I had also made plans to go out for dinner with my girlfriend. Just to a gyudon place, pretty much fast food, but I still got to see her, eh?

Wednesday was my second last day of elementary, and because it was the last day of classes with the grades four five and six kids, we just did all games in every class. Some of the grade five kids started to cry at the end of class, and saying goodbye to them almost brought me to tears, too. They told me how much they loved my class and that they wished I could stay and so forth. Pretty sweet stuff. The other two classes were easier, letting me go with a smile and a wave, a thanks that was fun, end on a high.

There's a part of me that says, "The sadness is an emotion that is tied up in leaving, and it's good to deal with it, to accept it and feel it. It's natural to cry when you are leaving something that has meant so much to you." But on the other side, I really do like to leave on a high. To cross the border at the high pass, at the climax and peak, and deal with the valleys and difficulties in the midst and course of life in a place or situation. That's probably why I find leaving easier knowing that I get to travel and adventure a little on my way home, even if it's just to a country like England.

Mind you, England is probably a really good middle step if you think about it. It is a nice cultural middle step between Japan and Canada. Both Japan and England have had that island nation mindset as a major influence on their cultural development. Both have long histories and deep developed culture. Both are geographic patchworks of groups who speak the national language in very different ways. And then obviously Canada was a British dominion, we both have western culture, blah blah blah, you all know what kinds of similarities Britain offers Canada.

So I don't have to leave the country looking down into the long valley of readjusting to my "own" culture, but rather looking up at the next adventure. And it makes leaving easier for me, I think. Of course that still awaits, but I think that after a month of travel I will want to be back somewhere familiar. Surely my mind and custom will want that familiar place to be my apartment here in Japan, but with that metaphorical door closed firmly behind me, I'm confident that I will find that my "real" home is much more appealing and desirable. It will be, "Ahh, good to be back," instead of, "Aww, I'm back again."

Then after school was my last Japanese class, where we went over three of the speeches I'm going to have to make in the next while. I still have two more to finish and translate.

And then at jujutsu I had my most successful day of fighting yet! I won twice! Now of course I was fighting against someone who had fought two bouts just before while I was resting and then helping a new guy learn to fall properly, so I had serious advantage, and he had barely anything left to give. However, even when in that situation before, I've had a hard time finishing; a hard time taking my knowledge into action, and finding a way to get the other to submit. So despite unfair advantage, it still felt like an accomplishment, a confidence builder.

Today (still technically), Thursday, I realised was to be my last day of classes at the junior high. Luckily, it turned out that four of the five classes I have at the school were scheduled for today, and we were able to switch the last of the five in as well, trading with the gym teacher for a different day. So none of the kids had to miss out on one last day of all games and fun with Mashuu-sensei. It was good to have all the classes in one day, one last hurrah. I even had my last English Conversation Class in the evening. It was the busiest Thursday I've possibly ever had in Japan, and it felt good. One, Special Ed, Three, Two, Lunch, Sign Language, Staff Meeting, Eikaiwa.

Also, for the record, today was stinking humid. They turned on the air conditioning in the staff room at some point, and all the windows fogged up. On the outside!
When I went home my apartment was really really hot and muggy. SOP says strip down to nothing but underwear in that kind of heat. So I followed procedure. And after a little bit of tidying, lifted weights a little. And let me tell you I was sweating in unprecedented volumes, far in excess of what would be expected for the amount of effort I was exerting. A cold shower never felt so good. Except for the day before after jujutsu. I guess we are into summer now: cold shower season.

I'm sitting at Colin and Jenny's typing this on my computer, because I've taken the day off tomorrow and we're going surfing. And we're leaving at 6:30 am, which is why I'm crashing here tonight. With a little luck I'll get to post this before we leave. But I don't know when my next real posting opportunity will be, because:

Saturday: finish the book if possible, go out for dinner with Derek and Hideki and friends, and Julie too!

Sunday: climb a mountain in the morning? hang out with church friends in afternoon, last church service with everyone there that night.

Monday: one-day vacation! take advantage of that last statutory holiday to see a little more of the country

Tuesday: taking the day off to clean the apartment, english teacher's goodbye party (only 4 people!) in the evening.

Wednesday: last day of elementary, grades K123, all games, and a goodbye party or something as well, it would seem. That night is the junior high staff End-of-Term and Farewell-to-Matthew party.

Thursday: closing ceremonies at the junior high. clean out my desk, delete my links etc from the school computer maybe. Phil arrives that night, and chaos ensues.

Friday: last game of settlers with brian and christine in the afternoon, maybe dinner with colin and jenny that night.

Saturday: goodbye party with friends that night, then night bus to tokyo
Sun, Mon, Tue: Tokyo
Tue, Wed: Fuji
Wed, Thu: Kyoto
Fri: Osaka, then I come back to Kamikatsu for the saturday night summer festival, phil goes on to himeji and hiroshima

And then just a couple days to hang out at my place before the new ALT comes and we've got to move out and go stay somewhere else.

So I hope you can see as clearly as I can that my life as I know it ends with closing ceremonies this coming Thursday, now less than a week away. And i hope you can see that I don't have much potential blogging time between now and August fourth. But probably I will do the mobile blog thing some more with my poor dying cell phone.


At 11:38 a.m. PDT, Blogger Tom said...

The end of an era! ;_;

It will be good to see you though!


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