After lunch, the children were gone, so we were free at last to spend some serious time cleaning out and organizing. And boy, was this task long overdue for me. When I landed here I was too overwhelmed to know where to begin, and while I did start keep my own affairs organized eventually, my things just sort of floated on top of everything that was already there. For one reason or another, I never did plunge in and take ownership of the whole shebang.
It wasn’t long before I found some minor forgotten class assignments from January that I’d forgotten to hand back. I corrected the things that weren’t and organized the material into folders by year… plus one. (Luckily there wasn’t anything from Year 6.)
Then I started into the resource books. And boy, don’t I wish I’d had time to look through those more carefully! I had way too many things nipping at my heels when I first arrived to have done so. But boy, the next time I succeed into someone else’s job… There were many, many math and science resource books, most chock-full of activities and sheets and material that would have been a godsend had I known about them. Instead, I had been scraping together things off the internet and getting through each class by the skin of my teeth, just waiting for the term to be over.
So now I had the class assignments organized, and all the textbooks and supplemental books organized. That left the curriculum folders.
OMG. Not only were there several ready-to-go class assignments that would have been great, but V. had left several uncorrected and semi-corrected assignments behind, probably assuming that I’d find them, correct them, and return them on my own accord. Boy, did I ever feel sheepish correcting Grade 5 science handouts from mid-to-late November! (And I’ll feel positively ridiculous when I return them.)
On the bright side, all this kept me occupied during what would have otherwise been a very boring afternoon, and there’s enough to do to keep me going through most of tomorrow, too – perhaps more than I realize, since I’ll be on day care duty for two hours. (If the kids happen to be on the quiet side, I’ll bide the time by writing postcards – I finally found some to buy a few weekends ago in an omiage shop below Tokushima Station.)
[They’re talking about the cherry blossoms on the news right now. I wish I could describe how sublime it feels to listen to the newscasters obsess over every detail: “The cherry blossoms came out in ten locations today, including Kochi and Fukoka. Here is what it looked like in Kochi. It is a sunny day and you can hear birds chirping. The cherry blossoms actually came out one day later than the seasonal average.”]
This evening, J. came by to inspect my apartment. This is one of those chores that serves to remind me that I’m not so independent as I care to believe – I mean, it’s one thing if your landlord or super is conducting an inspection, but what about when that person is also your boss?
But it turns out I had little to be nervous about. The inspection went quite well. J. even called me a “neat freak,” which helped me feel at ease. We checked off the items in my apartment – things like the TV, the fridge, the rice cooker, the bed and mattress, the toaster oven, etc.. She’ll be back again sometime to take photos of the apartment so that its present condition can be compared to its condition when I leave.
And finally, I booked my first vacation day – Friday the 4th, a day care day for which I’d been prescribed no specific duties, so it was perfect. Actually, this is the extra day I got in exchange for the two half-Saturdays from this past month. The office wanted us to use said extra half days (I’m combining them) soon – they don’t have a formal mechanism for keeping track of these days on a long-term basis. (I had been thinking that they ought to, but I don’t think the Japanese teachers get these days, so maybe it’s best kept the way it is and unofficial.)
Now it's time to hang up my wet laundry and go to bed.
#29, the story of the road trip, will come soon!