The second day of culture festival is always my favorite. In the morning the second years had their market stalls, though it was strangely a lot smaller than normal. While wandering around the market area I ran into one of my taiko friends, Reiko, whose youngest daughter was volunteering with my students. Every year my school partners with a local elementary school (for some reason). She and I ended up talking and wandering around for a while before I went to the library to check out the kids’ room that is always set up there.
In the kids’ room I ran into the karate coach from my first year. He was transferred in the spring after I arrived and I had not been able to speak to him since. I do not realize how much my Japanese has improved since living here. Yes, I studied Japanese in university, but that only gave me the basics. Living in Japan has improved my speaking ability more than any program I have done in the States. Maeda-sensei was astonished when I was able to hold a full and normal conversation with him. He even said, “I remember when you first got here and we had to communicate through our smart phone apps. I always wanted to talk to you but it was too difficult. I regretted that we couldn’t talk more.” He and I spoke for a while and caught up. If he was still at my school we would probably be friends.
Shortly after that Cameron showed up and we walked around together. This prompted EVERYONE to ask if we were dating. Despite saying no, I had several people who still insisted we were. There was one point when, while Cameron was looking the other way, my students made hearts gestures with their hands and kept trying to indicate that I could tell them if I secretly liked him. Jodi, you can totally confide in us, your 15 year old students. We will keep the secrets you don’t dare to share with him.
The day ended with 3rd year skits and the teachers’ performance. We did two different versions of the cup game. It was a lot of fun.