Monday, September 20, 2010

Tuesday at chugakko

I just finished teaching my only class today, which leaves me with a remaining 5 hours to sit at my desk drinking instant coffee. I am underwhelmed. I would liken this particular brew to a chalky runoff with savory undertones of mulch.

So here at my desk, I have the pleasure of sitting across from... let's call her Blinky Mumbleton. Those are two things this woman appears to be good at. I don't know what she teaches, but I assume it has something to do with her early life in a petri dish. Right now she is squeaking her shoes on the metal bar of her desk. This wouldn't be so bad if she didn't do it nonstop, every day. For a period of time I was convinced that her tendencies were symptoms of autism or turrets. Sometimes I will look up and she will be oddly gazing at nothing rolling the tips of her fingers like she's plotting. Probably about how to make puppies into a coat. I dunno.

I sense the fact that she has nothing to do is a mutual understanding between Blinky and I. So it's weird that the facade carries on when we are the only two left in the room. Seriously, lady, I am over here reading a novel, shaking out dandruff onto my desk and doodling on tiny bits of paper. Does it really look like I am about to judge you for your lack of unwavering diligence? Your uncomfortableness with yourself is making me uncomfortable. 

To be fair, it's been my experience that at work especially, Japanese people are generally nervous. Nobody wants to fart on the communal pudding. So instead they walk around with their tails between their legs and constantly apologize, often times for nothing. They stay at work until all hours of the night, simply because the others do. They act busy when they aren't.

But I digress. The truth is, there are many people in this room that I could rant for days about. The guy who smells like a wet pack of smokes, Man-Bear-Pig, Thick Neck, the list goes on. Despite their idiosyncrasies, though, some of the people I work with are fairly decent. One of my favorite teachers reminds me of a caterpillar. He wears these coke bottle glasses that amplify his google eyes telescopically. One day he collapsed at school and an ambulance came to pick him up. I worried a little because he's a sweet guy. Since the new school term started in April, we've had about 8 new teachers at the JHS. One of them is another old fella who works with the special education classes. He and the caterpillar are always laughing and talking together. Cute cute cute.

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