The Ups and Downs of the New Year

Ok, first, let me get the not so great stuff out of way first.  That way the good stuff will seem that much more epic.  Besides, I should end my posts on a high note.

The Not-So-Good

  • Comic-book-sensei’s replacement makes a point of actively ignoring me.  Seriously, he won’t even look at me and does not great me.  From now on, though, I’m going to go out of my way to be in his face about greetings.  The more he ignores me, the more outgoing I’m going to be around him.
  • I really don’t like the new desk arrangement.  It makes me feel really penned in.
  • I barely teach any classes with Youngest-English-Teacher and teach the most with my supervisor.  I really don’t like teaching with her.  She’s a good person and a good teacher, but our teaching styles really clash.  I was really spoiled by the fact that Youngest-English-Teacher (who I taught with the most last year) had studied abroad in the US and was at least familiar with a Western mindset.  I often feel like nothing I do is right with her.

The Good/Awesome/Epic

  • First and the best thing of all: the second and third years all know me now and they almost all smile when I see them.  A lot of them actually run up to me and try to have conversations with me.  Nothing makes me happier than the students talking to me.  At least one of them has asked me to come to club activities.  (Granted, it’s one of the karate students, but that doesn’t make it any less epic!)
  • My new vice principal is super friendly and has a decent grasp on English.  I make a point of greeting him in English, but I follow his lead with what language to use in conversations.  He’s very nice and just generally seems a lot more chill than my old VP.  (PS, if any of my Nobeoka friends are reading this, we stole him from one of your high schools and I refuse to give him back.)
  • One of the new, younger teachers is a huge Pokemon fan.  He and I had a long chat about fairly geeky things.  (I understood most of it, I think.)
  • I’m really going to try and be more outgoing with my fellow teachers at school.  So far I think I’m doing a pretty good job.
  • I have three trips loosely planned for the coming months and I’m incredibly happy about all of them.
  • I feel over all happier and healthier.

And now, have one of my favorite views in all of Japan (captured in a hastily taken photo while wearing sunglasses and attempting to take the picture quickly before too many cars drove past and wondered what the weird foreigner was doing this time.)

IMG_1838

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