Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"I am as constant as the Northern Star." "Constantly in the darkness - where's that at?"

I didn't have my first lesson today after all - that's one of those things I wish they would have told me before I spent half the night worrying about it. Instead, we had the entrance ceremony. Apparently yesterday was only the returning ceremony for the second and third years, so today we had another three hours of speeches and bowing. Fortunately, for the benefit of the parents watching with video cameras, we were allowed to sit in chairs, and there were two enormous heaters at the front of the gym. I thought the kids we saw yesterday were small, but they had nothing on the actual first years, who look like a strong breeze might blow them away. ( don't know why they seem so fragile, when the elementary school students I've seen walking to school seem fairly sturdy. Also, elementary kids don't have to wear uniforms, although many wear similar bright hats or jackets, or hard square backpacks. And I was shocked to see the high school girls on the streets - their uniform skirts are practically indecent. In chuugakou, the skirts are all past the knees - in HS, not so much.)

Today I went to pick up my gaijin card, so I am officially an Alien. Then I went to open a post office account. It comes with a bank-book that the company will deposit my salary into, and in another two weeks I'll get a card that will allow me to withdraw from it.

Two days a week at school I'll help with setting up the food for the other teachers - I like this sort of communal effort. And there's also been a group party arranged by some of the teachers, and the other ALT and I have been invited. I'm rather excited about this because it's said to be a good opportunity to connect with Japanese faculty who might be too shy to communicate otherwise.

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