Jodi and the Cultural Festival, Part 3

Because I had gotten a ride to Tsuno and back home, my bike was still at school.  So on Sunday morning, I had to walk to school.  I was running a little late, so my hair was still wet from the morning’s shower by the time I left my apartment.  Just as I walked around the front of my building a small procession (there was a festival going on at the shrine in my neighborhood) was going by.  Of course.  So they all turned and stared at me.  Some even nudged their friends to make sure they all saw me.  I just smiled and said a quick, “Good morning,” before hurrying on my way.

It’s about a 45 minute walk, so it wasn’t bad.  My legs were a little numb by the end of it, though, because I hadn’t hit a single red light.  As a result, I had walked for 45 minutes straight without stopping.  I got to work and wrote a quick note for Music-sensei.  Music-sensei is moving to New York at the end of the month (something that no one thought to tell me and he hasn’t asked me to practice English or anything) to study music.  Because I wanted to do something for him and to let him know I was here to help, I wrote him a small note in Japanese and English, then taped a penny to it and put it in his mailbox.  In the note I explained that the penny was for good luck and I hoped he had a good time in New York.  (I’m pretty sure he’s checked his mailbox and seen it by now, but he hasn’t said a word to me.)

Then, I double checked that I didn’t need to be anywhere in particular and headed out to the booths the students had set up in the parking lot.  Every class was selling something.  There were even some local artists/ merchants as well.  It felt a bit like a farmers market crammed into the parking lot.

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My students robbed me blind.  And by that, I mean I was suckered into buying something from every one of their stalls.  I bought a bunch of small things, but I’m pretty sure they added up pretty quickly.  I also had barely any money the next day for my mini-road trip (because I had stupidly forgotten to go to an ATM).  A bought a bunch of tasty food and just generally wandered around in circles.  I also got to go to a tea ceremony.  One of the home ec teachers paid for my ticket as a gift so I could go.  (She’s super awesome and always wants to practice her English with me.)  It was lots of fun seeing my students doing the tea ceremony (it was the tea ceremony club who was in charge of the thing) and the sweets we got before the tea were delicious.

There were also various rooms set up.  The library had been turned into a circus themed playroom for kids.

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At lunch I returned to the office with every intention of eating in the office as per normal.  But then I realized how little I wanted to be in the office.  So I grabbed my lunch and walked outside.  I found a group of students sitting at the tables outside and asked to eat with them.  After they snapped a few pictures and ooed and aahed over my homemade bento and my ability to eat with chopsticks, they started chatting and I just enjoyed being out of the office.  I’m going to start eating with my students on a more regular basis.  I felt awesome and just generally happy afterwards.  I’m going to make my students like me or die/embarrass myself trying.

The afternoon was filled with more performances.

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And the third years all did skits.  My supervisor’s homeroom had one of the most creative skits.

And there was this thing:

And then there was a video of the teachers (myself included) doing something called the Fortune Cookie dance.  I’m currently working on getting my hands on a copy of the video to post.  Over all, it was a much better day.

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