The parents who will be coming to see their children have high expectations – they want to hear their children speaking English, they want to see their children’s artwork and stories, and they want to see that the teachers have made flash cards the size of neighbourhood electric vehicles. Including finding out just how much our photocopier can enlarge, it’s been an educational experience for me so far.
Even the school building itself isn’t left out of the work – the entire east wing of the primary school, save the second-floor teacher’s office that we work out of, is closed for extensive renovations and, rumour has it, earthquake-proofing. When I say “closed,” I really do mean closed – the rest of the primary school is walled up! We now have to enter through the west wing and cross to the teacher’s office via the second-floor balcony. Behind the school where people go back and forth between the west wing and the junior high stands a giant 1.5-story steel fence evidently meant to keep all interlopers out of the construction staging area. It kind of gives the whole place a Cold-War-era-Berlin feel, and the teacher’s office is Checkpoint Charlie.
Tomorrow is Showa Day, a day honouring the birthday of the Showa Emperor (but just between you and me, we can call him Hirohito – but that’s just for us, OK?). It will probably remain a holiday indefinitely – Hirohito, posthumously named Showa, after his era (reigning Japanese emperors are never referred to by their given names by their Japanese subjects, and after they die they are referred to by their era names) was emperor through times of great changes (a great understatement). Let’s just say that we’re not likely to see a Heisei Day meant to memorialize the collapse of the tech bubble or mourn the ripple effects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Anyway, so tomorrow we’ll get up early and catch the Habs game, then later we’ll be going up to Matsushige to visit L. at his new apartment. I’m kind of happy to have a holiday falling on a Tuesday like this – it helps break everything up a bit.