Blood and Snow


Stayed up too late on Thursday night watching American TV shows and prepping for my journey to the origin of Japanese paper making on Sunday. Woke up to my Friday morning alarm; feared the frigid temperatures outside my pile of comforters; fell asleep again; and awoke suddenly with 30 minutes until work started. Threw on some clothes; grabbed my meds and a few work related items; and ran for the door. Apparently, it had been snowing in the wee hours and I had a nice 1cm blanket of dry powder on my windshield. I brushed it off by hand and hopped behind the wheel.

In my groggy haste I hooked my stoop under the wheel well. Hopefully nothing was damaged in the process. This error helped me regain a proper perspective before entering the roadway. Wouldn’t want to catch someone’s bumper in my wheel well. Although, I was concerned if I could reach the elementary school on time, I got caught at every single traffic light. When I pulled onto the main highway, the traffic was like a parking lot. Fortunately I avoid the highway until I’m just a few blocks from my destination. I had time to put my indoor shoes on and hit the office before the 1st period bell rang.

Normally I want to arrive almost an hour early to review the teachers’ lesson plans and provide input. Today, I was processing the lesson plans in about two minutes before diving in and teaching. Fortunately each teacher has a normal pattern, so there weren’t too many surprises. My English skills are good enough that I don’t need to do much research to be up to speed. For example, I was reviewing colors with the first graders – not a big stretch there. I did get a few surprises because I was using another teacher’s color cards: one labeled “light pink” was kind of orange; another which I would have called “light green” was called “yellowish green”.

The snow continued all day long, sometimes coming down in huge flakes which we call botan yuki (牡丹雪). For the longest time, I thought this meant “button snow”, button (釦) being pronounced the same way, but eventually figured out it was “peony snow”. I’m no botanist, but I guess peony blossoms are very large. The outside temperature was above freezing and the ground was wet, so we only got accumulation on dry surfaces like windshields.

I stopped into another school which needs to hire a teacher. The owner is a friend of a friend, and I was hoping to see if there is a fit for me to do some work for them. Also, I wanted to see why my message from Tuesday hasn’t received a reply. The receptionists cleared that up when they said, “She’ll be back from Jakarta tonight.” When I left, I ran into a Filipino English teacher I know, so I chatted with her a bit.

My evening class with the rambunctious boys was a bit too energetic. I found out their mother was on a business trip to Fukuoka. Having her on a different island instead of the next room reduced their restraint. At one point a sharp nail gouged my cuticle and I lost a little blood. It made me recall some posts from the original blog with my main rules:

Rule 1: Don’t make the children cry.

Rule 2: Don’t let the children make you cry.

Rule 3: Don’t make the parents cry.

I’ll have to add:

Rule 4: Don’t participate in bloodletting during class.

Oh! This really makes me want to convert my recovered files into WordPress format. Soon! Soon, I say!


5 Responses to “Blood and Snow”

  1. Sylvia Says:

    My Rule 1: Don’t become a teacher. 😀

  2. びっくり Says:

    Too late for me… If only I started blogging in 2003, maybe you could have spared me. 😉

  3. Stefanie Says:

    Peony snow is such a beautiful description. Peony flowers are gorgeous. I love them. I have a light pink peony in my yard that blooms every spring. It’s one of my favorite spring flowers.

  4. びっくり Says:

    There we go! Thanks Stefanie. I will label you as a Japanese culture and language expert now. 🙂 Who knew it just took a little gardening to get there?

  5. Stefanie Says:

    Hunh, who knew gardening could take me so far? If global warming changes my climate enough I will get the Japanese maple tree I long for. Will that make me a black belt? 😉

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