Fulfilling A Dream

Apr 17

Today’s amazing school lunch: rice, broiled mackerel with soy ginger sauce, kinpira (julienned burdock simmered with soy sauce and sugar), and nameko mushroom miso soup. 

Wow. This is definitely NOT the same lunch menu as two years ago. I guess they had enough complaints. Even the other teachers were saying “It’s been so long since I said that lunch was delicious.” Lol. The kinpira was sweet and savory. The mackerel was perfect. Skin was crispy while the flesh was moist and flakey. So many flavors (sweet, salty, savory), I’m overwhelmed. No pickles!!!!! I fantasize about days like this.

Today’s amazing school lunch: rice, broiled mackerel with soy ginger sauce, kinpira (julienned burdock simmered with soy sauce and sugar), and nameko mushroom miso soup.

Wow. This is definitely NOT the same lunch menu as two years ago. I guess they had enough complaints. Even the other teachers were saying “It’s been so long since I said that lunch was delicious.” Lol. The kinpira was sweet and savory. The mackerel was perfect. Skin was crispy while the flesh was moist and flakey. So many flavors (sweet, salty, savory), I’m overwhelmed. No pickles!!!!! I fantasize about days like this.

Apr 16

Today’s school lunch: beef bowl, pumpkin croquette, and tofu skin with pickled cucumbers.
The beef was drowning in soup. So I spent a few minutes draining it before I poured it on my rice. The pumpkin croquette was sweet, creamy, and yummy!

Today’s school lunch: beef bowl, pumpkin croquette, and tofu skin with pickled cucumbers.

The beef was drowning in soup. So I spent a few minutes draining it before I poured it on my rice. The pumpkin croquette was sweet, creamy, and yummy!

Apr 15

Today’s school lunch: bread, a hamburger patty, potato salad, and vermicelli soup. 

A bun and hamburger patty? The obvious next step is make a hamburger. Maybe I’m just very American because while I was eating my hamburger, the other teachers were eating their bread and patty separately.

Today’s school lunch: bread, a hamburger patty, potato salad, and vermicelli soup.

A bun and hamburger patty? The obvious next step is make a hamburger. Maybe I’m just very American because while I was eating my hamburger, the other teachers were eating their bread and patty separately.

Apr 14

Today’s school lunch: rice, fried potstickers, “Chinese” tofu stew-thingie, and bean sprout namul.

Today’s school lunch: rice, fried potstickers, “Chinese” tofu stew-thingie, and bean sprout namul.

Apr 11

Today’s school lunch: rice, baby anchovies with a sweet ginger soy marinade, burdock and fish cake stew, and dango (mochi rice cakes). 

The rice here is good. At my last school, it was on the soggy side.

Today’s school lunch: rice, baby anchovies with a sweet ginger soy marinade, burdock and fish cake stew, and dango (mochi rice cakes).

The rice here is good. At my last school, it was on the soggy side.

Apr 10

Today’s school lunch: beef hayashi (hashed) rice, pickled cucumbers with glass noodles, and an orange slice.

Today’s school lunch: beef hayashi (hashed) rice, pickled cucumbers with glass noodles, and an orange slice.

Apr 09

No school lunch today. Entrance ceremony today. Our special bento: sushi, red miso soup with clams, and various snacks from the previous teachers. Yummy!

No school lunch today. Entrance ceremony today. Our special bento: sushi, red miso soup with clams, and various snacks from the previous teachers. Yummy!

Apr 08

First day of school lunch for the new school year: pineapple bread, spaghetti, and pickled cucumbers with canned tuna. 

For the first time in three years, I finally have my own name plate for lunch instead of the generic “ALT.” 

Also, the lunch areas combined. This area had the worst lunch menu. It now has the same lunch menu as the second worst lunch menu. An upgrade, I guess…

First day of school lunch for the new school year: pineapple bread, spaghetti, and pickled cucumbers with canned tuna.

For the first time in three years, I finally have my own name plate for lunch instead of the generic “ALT.”

Also, the lunch areas combined. This area had the worst lunch menu. It now has the same lunch menu as the second worst lunch menu. An upgrade, I guess…

Last Term At My Last School

Yesterday was the first day at my last school rotation. My JET contract will end this July. I’ve now rotated through five JHS and numerous ES. I was to get one of the two left on the list that I haven’t taught at, however, they rotated me back to a school I had two years ago. 

That annoyed me so. I didn’t want to go back there. Why only me? If we’re gonna get repeats, why didn’t the other ALTs get repeats too. I know the underlying reason, but it’s still trivial as fuck. 

There’s a rotation scheme that the BOE follows. Who goes where in what order. It alters slightly when ALTs leave and new ones replace them. But overall, they follow it. I wasn’t supposed to get this current school two years ago. I got it because of my knee injury. I couldn’t drive to school because of my surgery, so I needed a school that was the closest to where I live.

So that messed up their rotation pattern. So to fix it, they rotated me back to this school when it was my turn. You don’t know who ridiculously stupid this is. The rotation is already messed up and will mess up each time new ALTs come. When we verteran JETs leave this July, it will get messed up again when our replacements come.

They tell us the BS reason the rotate us is that they want to expose the students to different ALTs and English accents. If that’s true, then why rotate me back to the same school where they already had me. Japan can be so damn anal and rigid. They have a system; they have to stick to it. God forbid, if they deviate a micron off-course.

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If I had to redo a school, this was my last choice. I’d even go back to the worst school. Because those delinquents graduated, and my two favorite teachers will be there. At this school, the bitchy 1st-years when I was there are now 3rd-years. And they didn’t get any better since I left. I used to yell at them. The JTE were surprised at first, but she then appreciated that I did try to keep the class in control. I was told from the previous ALT that her eyes lit up when she heard “The Enforcer” was coming back. I don’t want to become that person again. I’ve grown since then. I don’t mind if students sleep or are lazy. Because we all have subjects we don’t like. However, I cannot stand disrespectful students. They used to tell me to fuck off or that I’m disgusting when I walk pass them. I’m your teacher, you do not talk to me like that. That, I don’t wanna deal with. Doesn’t help that the students don’t respect that teacher. So they won’t listen to her. Also doesn’t help that she’s a pushover. So she will look to me to do something when it’s her job to do something. Let’s hope my patience will hold up. 

————

However, I shall make lemons into lemonade. Roll with the punches. That’s the most important skill you will need and will have to learn on JET.

There are some good things about being at this school. It’s close to my apartment. So I can sleep in and leave later than usual. Instead of the usual 30+ minute drive to the other schools, it’s about 10 minutes away. It’s also near the city center so I have many choices to eat at if I don’t have school lunch.

One of the things I wanted is to stay at a school and see the students grow up. I hate being rotated around constantly. Since I’m back here, I will get that opportunity. Not the preferred school, but opportunity nonetheless.

I’ve taught all the students before. They were 5th graders, 6th graders, and 1st-years when I was here last. And the current 5th and 6th graders were 3rd and 4th graders then. Damn. Time flies. Hopefully, they will be more comfortable with me and I don’t need the usual three months for them to get acquainted with me.

Actually, surprisingly some of the 3rd-year students have been friendly and called out and greeted me yesterday. I’m quite confused. They hated me. They never talked to me when I was here. I guess they’ve forgotten about that. I’m reluctant to lower my guard. 

When I was here last, I was very strict to them. The bad students hated my guts. The good students were terrified of me. Overall, it was a very bad atmosphere. That was my main regret when I left. I didn’t bond with the students. The good students wanted to talk to me but was scared of “The Enforcer.” That’s why I really don’t want to be yelling at them again. Now that I’m given a redo, another chance, I will keep an open mind and enjoy and make the best of my last four months here.

最後まで頑張る。

Apr 07

[video]