Monday, June 1, 2015

I'm aliiivvveee (sort of)

Hello again one and all. I bring you joyous news! I’M ALLIIIIVVVEEEEEEE.

Well. Sort of.

If you all could kindly recall, the day before my birthday (otherwise known as April 13th or “The day that shall not be mentioned”) I dislocated my knee during club activities here at Serenity. I then proceeded to two weeks in seclusion bed rest where I went entirely crazy and thought I’d never see the light again had cabin fever. 

A lot has happened since then and, at the same time, a lot has not. Just two days after bed rest ended, Golden Week began. Some of you might remember this from way back, but Golden Week is roughly a week long string of holidays near the beginning of May in Japan. Sometimes it’s less than a week, sometimes it’s a three day weekend followed by a 4 day weekend, and some, glorious, years it is a full week off. Why so different every year? Well, the dates aren’t fixed for these holidays.

What happens during those extra golden weeks is there’s usually a holiday, followed by a non-holiday, followed by a holiday. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Day on, day off, day on, day off… Japanese law states that any calendar day which has a holiday both leading and following it becomes a holiday in and of itself. Pretty cool, huh? Also, if a holiday falls on a Sunday then Monday becomes a holiday as well. I love Japan sometimes.

Anyways, enough education! Time for the fun stuff! I went to Tokyo!!! (Illaura, how did you go to Tokyo in that cast?) Well, I’ll tell you. Wheelchair fuunnnnnnnnn!! Well, not so much. I rented a wheelchair for my trip up. I was NOT missing out on my game group and, come hell or high water, I was NOT going to miss the Taylor Swift concert. So, with the help of my friend Cheeze (her nickname) and numerous passerby and train station staff, I went to Tokyo where I eventually made it to Tokyo Dome. Cool thing about going into the Tokyo Dome was I got to go in through the VIP entrance (because that’s where the elevator is). Not so cool thing was, due to the lighting setup, they moved the wheelchair area. Meaning I was wheeled up the STEEPEST RAMP EVER onto a box that was a good 3-3.5 feet tall. And then they took the ramp away until the very end.  Otherwise, the concert was a total BLAST and we all had cool lightup bracelets.

Golden Week over I came home, hunkered back down to work and my severely reduced workload (they cut 10 of my 15 teaching hours for now). You’d think this would have made things easier (and it did, IMMENSELY), but I was coming back into the game just two weeks before midterms. Schedules were behind (as happens when you teach) and I had NO IDEA what my students were struggling with, their abilities, etc. So it was one massive catch up game doubled with “You have nothing planned for after the midterm because you hurt yourself like a giant dork.”

So, I’ve been doing this thing called 自転車操業 (Jitensha Sougyou), or, basically, work, work, work, work, constant work. As it was explained to me, 自転車操業 is like your work is a bike that you hop on and never get off, you’re just CONSTANTLY working and trying to play catch up. So yeah. I hate that, and finally, I’ve finished the next 6 weeks or so worth of lesson plans. I’m going to give myself a week as a breather and start planning the fall term. I want to have (for the most part) my lessons charted out and my worksheets made for my conversation classes all the way up through April during this summer so I can get off that work bike and hop on my study bike.

Next comes the part where I’m ALLIIIVVVEEEE AT LAST!!!!

Two weeks I got out of the cast!! Yippeee!!!! But, still couldn’t really walk yet. Or really, anything. Last week I started going to rehabilitation and, by this past weekend, I was starting to walk again. WITH ONLY ONE CRUTCH. Yes. That did need capitals. Life is a lot more pleasant now, but I’ve still got a long road ahead of me. At least I’m not in the wheelchair anymore though! Graduated from it last week.

I even went to a festival last weekend. The (ほらい橋ぼんぼり祭り) Horai Bridge Lantern Festival in Shimada, Shizuoka. I was mostly just excited to be outside on a Saturday though. Outside AND not doing work stuff. Yippeee!! I even put up some of my pictures on my other blog ( On Being An Extra ).
So yes, I am alive. Sort of. For the time being. I’m sure to die again soon enough though as I’m planning on taking both a Japanese course (to review before I study for the N2) and a TEFL certification course beginning this fall.

I hope I can bring you guys more interesting updates (and have a more solid leg again) soon!


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