Jessie Arnold Photography Blog

Today was my first day at work/school – Sadamitsu Junior Highschool.

Much to my horror, they called a school assembly (yes, in the middle of summer break) and I had to introduce myself to the school. I had butterflies but I felt like I was on top of it since I’d sat down and painstakingly, with my terrible rusty Japanese, written out a short introduction. Unfortunately one of my JTEs (Japanese teacher of English) happened to glance at it and quickly dashed a few corrections on which threw me a little bit!

The school files into the gym, which is about a million degrees inside. Imagine my panic when I am given a lone seat on one side of the students while all the other teachers form a nice orderly row waaaay over the other side of the gym. To make matters worse, when the other teachers talk to introduce me and welcome the students, they are just standing to one side with the microphone…on the other hand, when it’s my time to talk I am directed up onto the stage to stand at the lecture. I manage to deliver my speech without too many blunders but then instead of being allowed to race to the relative refuge of the teachers’ seating, I am directed to sit at yet another single seat…on the stage…completely isolated. A student recites a welcome note to me in Japanese, and then after a stern prompt from his English teacher he reluctantly mutters a translation and finally I am allowed to flee the stage.

So that little traumatising moment aside (what’s one more in my life?) the day went quite well. Many of the teachers and even the vice-principals are really nice and between their English and my Japanese we can talk about the big issues in life, like why we love iphones even though we hate Apple. The art teacher sitting one seat away from me turns out to have fantastic English and she makes the incredibly generous offer to take me bed shopping, even though she already works two jobs — I am stoked and immediately start thinking of ways to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the lifelong friendship we are no doubt about to develop. I go out to lunch with some other teachers, and to my overwhelming delight arrive back to find the broken aircon has been fixed and is pumping out subzero temperatures, JOY! I spend the afternoon helping one of my JTEs go over the summer homework with some hilarious second-year girls and cross my fingers all the kids are this easy to be around. The icing on the cake — I drive my gigantic tank of a car home and manage to park it even though some jerk across the road is totally blocking my way and interrupting my enormous turning circle. A day full of win all around!

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