Friday, my teacher and I looked up my partner, having only his city as reference. We could not find him in our big book of people related to schools, so more drastic measures had to be taken. My teacher called my BOE, my BOE called his BOE, his BOE called his school. He then got the message and called his BOE, which called my BOE, which called my teacher, who told me. I can see why the Osaka Board of Education was convinced this would easy. It only took 8 steps and involved at least four agencies taking around forty five minutes. Easy as pie.
The good news is my partner is a typical Japanese teacher and is terrified to talk in front of groups. He is also typical in that OBOE told him he would BE DOING a presentation the same day they told me I had a partner. At least OBOE could care less about both of us. He was more than happy to yield all but 15 minutes of time to me. This means my presentation will still require some work and trimming, but it should be a bit easier. All the same, I am not happy.
All this frustration led to Friday afternoon. A taiko (Japanese drumming) group came to the school to put on a performance. At one point they called students up on stage and when they were done they had to hand the sticks to a teacher. I, obviously, was on the top of everyone’s list to go up there. The taiko guys wore bandanas, so I quickly took my tie off and wrapped it around my head. The kids loved this. I was also glad that I wasn’t treading on any feet or sacred headband related traditions, because the taiko players thought it was great too. Wailing away on this drum helped considerably! Taiko is so incredibly therapeutic, it has all the elements of making a bad day better. You get to hit the hell out of something that it is okay to hit, and you get to YELL, and you don’t even yell words (as far as I can really tell) they are more like primal sounding screems of “aaaaa” “soooo-rei!” stuff like that. Taiko: my anti-drug.
The kids kept yelling encouragement to me onstage, which is funny because I thought I was the most with it of all the teachers. I was a taiko master, I mean I have played the taiko drum game at JJ Club 100 like a bazillion times. My awesome English teacher that recently came back to school having suffered from eye plague broke her drum stick, because she is both terrifying and awesome.
Finally, Sunday night Dan and I went to the relatively new curry shop. Curry is like chicken soup to the OBOE oppressed soul.
Today is annoying because I told the teacher that makes my schedule that I need lots of time to practice my presentation, so I need a lighter work load. She (apparently) thought I said, “Two less classes than a full workload will be sufficient.” She is wrong. Katie is in Kobe and I would like to see her, as it is only an hour away. I can’t go tonight, but if I am decent shape by Tuesday night I’ll go.
Stupid Osaka Board of Education.