The Staff Retreat

First of all I want to give a shout to Larry Lawson. He is a devoted
fan of my blog, always comments and is about to travel to Ukraine in 3
weeks with his wife to begin teaching English with the Peace Corps.
You can check out their <a
href="http://klukraine.blogspot.com/">awesome blog</a>, too. I'm also
thinking of Larry (or Rarry as we would say in Japan because the
interdental "l" does not exist) everyday because a ubiquitous
convenient store here is named "Lawson". So when Larry and Karen come
to visit me in Japan on their hefty PC travel stiped, they will
instantly be i-doru (idols) here.

Our entire Junior High School faculty and administrative staff went
into the countryside for a retreat this thursday and friday. The
agenda was to talk about the impact on our school of the Kwansei
Gakuin corporation adding an elementary school to the portfolio of
institutions. They are doing this to be competitive with other schools
in the area. Once students are admitted to a school, they can remain
in it through university. Kwansei Gakuin is a prestigous school for
the Kansai (west Japan) area, so many parents will want this for their
children. The trouble is that the elementary school will be co-ed. The
Jr and Sr highs right now are only boys.

Did I mention that this will only affect our school in 2012? Talk
about advance planning! I have been very impressed by the amount of
forethought that the principal and staff are giving to this issue. We
talked about home economics class for 45 minutes. Did I mention that
all these deliberations were in Japanese and I had to be present for
every minute of them? Wakarimasen (I don't understand)! But I showed
my unity and read a book while everyone talked. Hey, I've just been
here a week, so I've no stake to share my opinion. Plus, I will be
long gone from here when the major change begins.

Nevertheless, we did have some nice socializing and Japanese style
bath. Its different from American baths in that you don't rinse, wash,
and rinse in the same water. You sit on a little stool, rinse and wash
and rinse with a hand-held shower head. Then, you get in the steaming
hot bath to relax for a few minutes. I stayed in the super hot water
too long and got a little light headed. Oh, and these baths are
public. Meaning that there were others around to. The Japanese use a
washcloth sized towel to cover their private parts when transferring
from one area to another. Its a very considerate way to bath in public
without having to show everyone "the full monty".

Now I'm at an ATE neighbor's house bumming her wireless internet while
I get mine installed in a few weeks. Then, I'll be a regular blogger
again. Heck, you can even webcam chat with me if you like. Stay linked
for more updates!


Larry said...

Thanks for the shout out.

I heard about that convenience store; I'm sure I'm heir somehow. I'll see what I come visit Nijon/Nippon.

Just hear stateside trying to emotionally deal with the carnage in New Orleans. What little I have--future PC volunteer and all--I'm giving.

What's the press like over there? I heard Japan is giving $200,000.

Anonymous said...

Ohayo, Jefu-kun! Cousin Jess here. Hope the hot springs were fun. I miss you lots. Keep posting these little slices of life, they're fun to read!

Yuki said...

Ohayo, Jeff. Thank you for leaving the massage on my blog. FYI: The "kawaii" red panda's name is Futa-kun.

So, you had your Onsen debut! Congratulations. I miss taking a "real" bath so much, so I'm jealous (ura-yama-shi).

Glad to hear that there were no seriouis damages from the typhoon in Nichinomiya. (Somehow, I dreamed about Shinjuku flooding all the way. Maybe because of New Olreans.)

How did Jeff-sensei's first day go? I'm sure boys were excited to meet you.



Countries I have visited

Where I've been in the USA