Well, Valentines’ Day is at least.
(Another short update post because I managed to catch a cold that has stolen my voice, on top of everything else.)
During the winter holiday season, I participated in an online Secret Santa. I was paired with someone in California and received a packaged from another American living in Japan. I love giving presents, so putting together the perfect gift was the best part for me. As I was riding home one day I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was something like that for Valentine’s Day?” When I got home, I suggested it on the site and went to sleep.
When I checked on it the next day, 5000 people had liked and/or commented on my post. They all agreed that it would, in fact, be cool. As a result, I ended up organizing a Covert Cupid exchange for about 700 people.
At work, I have been looking for more ways to engage with the non-English speaking teachers. I make small talk, but I wanted some sort of gesture to show them that I was interested in talking and getting to know them all. I’ve been here a year and a half, but I am just barely getting past the small talk stage with most of them. So I made up a little information sheet and proposed the idea of doing a covert cupid at work. My supervisor loved it. With her help I presented the idea to the Vice Principal who also gave it his seal of approval.
I printed off a bunch of sheets with explanations and spaces for people to write down their interests. Then I put them in everyone’s mailboxes. To my surprise, 17 people entered! In the days leading up to the actual exchange, a lot of people came up to me for clarification and to just tell me how much they liked the idea.
When the day came, everyone who entered ended up with some awesome gifts. (We agreed on a roughly $5 limit, but most people went above that.) I had teachers coming up to me for days after telling me how much fun it was. Some of them still don’t know who their covert cupids were! In addition to doing all of that, I made little Valentine’s for everyone and taped a fun sized chocolate bar onto them. I then put them in all 60 teachers’ mailboxes (with the help of my supervisor).
The pre-Valentine’s Day festivities were almost as much fun for me as the day itself. (More on that to come. But to summarize, my awesome university friend Jen came to visit me!)