First Day of School

You have no idea how nervous I was.

Off I go. . .

the results are in!

Operation "first day back at school" was a big success. It feels good to be "working" again. Aside from the humidity, and feeling the sweat roll down my back while I was sitting at my desk. . . today was a good day.

two tiny stories

Story number one:
I'm no longer the "outsider" at Satte Shogyo (the school I work at Tuesdays and Thursdays). Now there's a new foreigner to pick on. Her name is Tsuto, and she's an exchange student from Taiwan. Her discomfort when she had to give a speech to all the teachers was all too familiar. Before she started, I watched as they began to notice her presence in the back of the room and saw them whispering (and laughing) to each other. I suppose it's a natural reaction to anything that is new. But still, I wanted to run over and shield her from the stares and tell her that everything was going to be OK. I talked to her later, and she seems to have handled her first day in school much better than I did last year. I don't think she cried once.

Story number two:
The Kocho Sensei (THE man in charge) called my supervisor to tell him that he wanted to see me in his office. Uh, oh. . . right? My first thought was, "It's this skirt! I KNEW this skirt was inappropriate for work. . . but I could have sworn I wore it last year too. . . " I tugged and pulled at my skirt as I scurried over to Kocho Sensei's office. When I got there, he asked me to sit down. So, I did, trying really hard to sit like a lady and seem calm, cool and collected.
The first thing he had to say to me was, "Thank you very much for the chocolate. (I had brought chocolate back from the States for all the teachers.) I enjoyed it very much, and now it is in my stomach."
It turns out that he just wanted to have a pleasant conversation about my vacation. He was also concerned that my family was OK, because of the hurricane. This is not the first, nor the last time I was asked this question today. In fact, every Japanese person I talked to today asked me if my family was OK.

in three words:

I love Japan.


Anonymous ShouldBeWorking said...

Dear Melissa,

You mean I'm the first to leave a comment? Just wanted to let you know I love the blog idea as much as the mass e-mails. It was wonderful to see you at Dustin's wedding and amusing that you've picked up some very cultural mannerisms. Not that that's bad (its subtle), but having been in Japan, I noticed it. Also, people have probably told you millions of times, but you look so much like your mother in the headshot of you on your First Day of School. (I know all the relatives are reading this - don't you guys agree?) Glad you're enjoying Year 2 already. You are certainly missed here, but I'm sure you brought as much of home as your nimotsu would allow with all the omiage you had to bring back... Keep posting stories, they're great!

Sending Love,
Linda (Ron, Brandon & Allison too)

12:30 AM  
Blogger myste said...

...an another one bites the dust. glad to see you have a blog now, you can be sure youll have at least one faithful reader

and hey, now you have no excuse to post anonymous comments on my blog anymore

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Dustin & Annie said...

You now have 4 faithful readers... EAT MEAT, it's great!

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Andy B said...

wow. How things have changed since you first left. I remember when you refused to use the internet as a form of communication, and now you're Skyping and Blogging and who knows what other forms of E-webbing! How lucky we all are that your mind has been changed.

Lana leaves tomorrow for Japan. She's so excited!

Talk to you sooooon.

4:04 PM  
Blogger stewie stewart said...

wow blogging eh i like this. andy is right japan has shot you into the 21st cenutry. i'm still in the age of aquarius, bummer.

12:31 AM  
Blogger stewie stewart said...

i went to art supply warehouse yesterday. thank you for showing me the way of Dr. Bob. he is so nice and helpful. he dropped mad xacto #2 science on me and now my foam core woes are no more. thanks meliss

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Mwangi said...

Blogging and Skype? Look out for the podcast soon...

1:29 AM  
Anonymous kristin joyce said...

oh so glad to hear that your family is alright. i must say i was somewhat concerned as well.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa,
I love your space on the web! So far, everyone is doing just fine. We saw Grandpa yesterday (Auntie Lulu, Janelle, Bri and myself). He told us that Toyoko was driven by an Army truck from Houston to Oakland, California. She lost everything, but it kinda sounds like she might be going back to New Orleans. She lived just east of University of New Orleans, directly off Lake Pontchartrain and in walking distance of the golf course. Her area was probably one of the hardest hit area which stills remains flooded. Anyway, it was good to read about your students and thanks for the e-mail too.
Take care, love ya!
Auntie Mary Ann

5:17 AM  

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