Meaning: Long time no see (-:
The reasons are several. The main reason being I haven’t had the time.
Since I’ve been living in Japan, many Japanese traits have rubbed off on me. One of them is the work ethic pervasive here. Most people work at a rate unthinkable back in NY. It’s cultural. People are expected to work long and hard and thus they do. I’m, however, not expected (by Japanese) to work long and hard, but nevertheless I do. In addition to my full-time teaching job I have no less that 16 private man-to-man students that take up most of the remainder of my free time. At 4000 yen a pop it’s a lovely compliment to the teacher’s salary.
This is not new. I’ve been living this way for going on 3 years. So you’re probably wondering how I was able to write pretty regularly before. Well, I’ll tell you. I did most of writing at work during my free time in the office of which I have quite a bit. Has that changed? No. So why has the output decreased? There’s an answer for that too.
In Japanese schools, and I believe at Japanese companies as well, every year around this time, people get shuffled around. For example, 3 teachers who had been working here at this school for several years were suddenly transferred to other schools. They did not want to go. They loved it here. It was not a punishment. They were all exemplary educators.
At the goodbye ceremony, everyone was in tears, students, staff and faculty. Even former graduates came back to visit and brought flowers and gifts for their previous teachers who’d they’d heard through the grapevine were moving on. I even squirted out a couple. I could feel the love between everyone concerned and it was a bit overwhelming. I asked one of the teachers that I’m tight with:
“Why are they leaving?”
“It’s Japanese custom.”
“Sounds pretty cruel if you ask me…”
“Well,” she said. “Kinda, I guess, but it’s the Japanese way of sharing creativity.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Well, we send good teachers and their ideas to other schools and other schools send theirs to ours.”
“I…” I began.And then I stopped, scratched my head, and thought about what she’d said and the implications of it and reflected briefly on my experience in the NYC Public School System…then I said, “That’s not a bad idea at all!”
Anyway, back to my iiwake (excuse)…in addition to transfers, the office arrangements gets a makeover as well. Last year I was blessed with a desk with a PC atop it. And thus during down-times I was a writing fool. But, now, if I want to get my write on I have to commit the conspicuous act of leaving my PC free desk and going to one with a PC. I’m not comfortable doing that…yet.
So please forgive me…when I crawl in the house at 10 or 11 pm, I have just enough energy to stuff my face, do a little Internet surfing, maybe watch a ball game and crash.
Loco Lighter than ever