December 18, 2009 - Friday

Snowy and windy.

There were periods today when it didn't snow, but not too many of them. Still it was a fairly good day for me.

I had planned to go over to the school in the morning and do some snow shovelling, but I didn't. My heel was bothering me and I was still quite sore from shovelling yesterday. However, I really had planned to go over. I even ate lunch at an early time today, rather than leave it too late.

In the afternoon, I went outside and shovelled some snow. I cleared out our apartment's parking stall again, then worked on clearing the extra snow on the roadway. I did quite a big chunk of work. While I was working a few children came by on their way home. One little boy said "Konnichiwa" to me and then proceeded to talk to me when I answered him. He asked me if I was from France! I was surprised and said no. Then he asked if I was American. Nope again. Then he just asked where I was from. I told him and then he tried to say a few more things to me in Japanese, but that was about where my Nihongo ran out! I really don't speak Japanese much. Still, it was nice to see a child being friendly rather than running away in fear from me!

I went in and started to get ready for my party. I showered and then blew my hair dry. That doesn't happen often. F called a bit after and said he was on his way home. I wasn't sure if he would be home before I had to leave, but he was. He offered to drive me to the restaurant, even though it's quite close. It was nasty out there.

At Grado I met up with one of my students and we went inside. We'd been there for a while when another of my students called to say she was caught in traffic and would be late. The other student didn't call, but did turn up about 15 minutes late. Finally, around 7:30, the last student arrived. We had a really nice meal. We had salad, carpaccio, pan gratin, fish, pasta, calzone and french fries. I didn't really like the fish as there were too many bones, but one of my students has an allergy to chicken so I couldn't really subject her to it. We ate and talked. Two of my students know each other, but there was one who doesn't know the others. Most of our talking was in English,but every now and then it veered into Japanese. We had a good time together. Sadly, one of the students had to leave to pick up her son, but the others and I stayed on. We had chocolate fondue (with way too many bananas) and then coffee to finish. The fondue was very good. The chocolate was bittersweet, very nice. I stopped eating it because I was just too full.

I phoned F to come and get me, and then we paid our bill and left. It was a really fun night for me. I think the students liked it too. Two really strange things about our meal tonight. There were a couple of other foreigners in the restaurant talking about coming to Japan. They were sitting with some teachers so I think they were ALT's. They were so loud! I was a bit surprised. They still had that "speak loudly and slowly and everyone will understand" thing going on. One of the teachers in their party was a student of mine from when I first came to Tsuruoka. And, at another table was another former student of mine. He was my student from when I started up until almost the end of my career at L'Eikaiwa. He was one of my most disliked students. Another teacher...good English, just not interested in working to improve it. So, I was trying to avoid seeing him/making eye contact/ and letting him know I was there. If I'm honest, I have a huge fear that he will find out about my school and try to become a student of mine again. I don't think I could possibly take that much table tennis ever again!

Anyway, F drove me over to my school and we checked it out. The owner of the parking space next to mine had done some shovelling, so actually my space wasn't too bad. However, I'd still have to do some tomorrow before a student could park there. Also, there was still no clear way from the carpark to the apartment building. My students would have to walk around on the road to the front entrance.

However, during the evening one student called me to cancel her class, and another emailed, so I may just have one class tomorrow. Or, none! I'm thinking of phoning her mum and telling her that parking is very difficult at my school. It really is at the moment. F managed, but he's a pro at driving. I don't know if the student's mother is that good at it.

Anyway, we'll wait and see what happens. There is more snow forecast for tomorrow and I'm really not sure what will go down. I really should go to the school and do some catch up paperwork. All the cancellations and makeups need to be recorded.

That's it for me for tonight. Gotta go. Night!

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