my mp3 player is on full shuffle. something i don't think i've attempted before. i've shuffled folders before but recently been on a kick of listening to albums or folders straight through. so two days ago i put it on random play and it's been great. it just went from Reservoir Dogs soundtrack to a song by Vissotsky i haven't heard in ages to Radiohead's Lucky. random is right and i'm liking it.
but that's not why today is good. it helps having the music though as i write about the reasons.
i don't share details often; i give out snippets and stories and sometimes observations, but to have a full day deserve a blog is a rarity mostly because i'm too lazy to write everything down.
so today started out with me snoozing for nearly an hour. i meant to get up at 6am--am starting to do this whole "running in Okinawa" thing that has suckered in a bunch of JETs i know. of course, i don't foresee myself running marathons, but it would be nice to run the 10km in my village. but at 6am it was too cold and too dark and i was not convinced that it was a good time for me to get up. so i postponed the waking 'til 7:15 and told myself i'd run after school.
on the way to school was thinking of how lame a couple of my classes might be a) because one of them will be a repeat of a hair pulling experience from Friday, albeit this class is way genkier and so the repeat at least promised to be livelier and b) because you all know my feelings about my co-worker and some days i'm more pessimistic about the prospects of working with him than others.
but the clouds were gorgeous, the sun was climbing and making the blue of the sea sparkle and so i was disinclined to be truly down as i pulled into the school's parking lot.
i walk into the teacher's office, smile and "ohayo gozaimasu" whoever happens to be in my line of sight and go to my desk on which a faxed note from my JTE greets me and my day is immediately not what i expected.
the note says to expect a two hour delay and to teach at least one, mayhap all three classes on my own because he might be late for 2nd and 4th period and during 5th period he'd like to finish up the "checking of files" and so he'll be present but i'll do "activities" and entertain 1st graders.
am a bit upset at first because it's not what i expected my day to be, and then i give myself a good mental thrashing because my day just went from me being potentially frustrated in the classroom to me being able to lead the classroom and thus control my level of frustration. and so i get into the planning; i refuse with 3 weeks of school left and us being behind in the textbook in 1st and 2nd grade (3rd graders are already finished but in the most hurried fashion towards the end) to play games during classes. So i plan out how to move the classes forward and yet not having to "teach grammar." For 2nd graders it involves some silly acting out on my part and some writing of dialogues on theirs and for 1st graders it involves an introduction to "can you" grammar through a bingo game i found months earlier on a KitaKyushu JETs' website.
my coworker comes back before my 2nd class of the day and wants to join me just to hang out and make sure there's no behavior problems. i somehow manage to convince him that he need not bother because i feel that the lesson i have planned for this class relies greatly on the fact that i'm on my own with no Japanese backing and them having to do a lot of guessing. During the 1st graders' lesson he does join in to hand back some papers and files and then i'm on my own with him at the back of the room. The kids are unclear about the bingo instructions and instead of prolonging their torture of having to figure out what the highly animated Elina is trying to say, i turn to him and he prodes the kids with hints in Japanese to figuring out the game, and i appreciated that instead of a full out translation. progress!
so three classes with prep between them and i'm done around 2:35 and i haven't had time to study japanese yet, but had three good classes and hang around a bit after the 1st graders' class and chatted about Donald and Daisy Duck.
and with this "i can do things" mood i get into writing down new kanji to study for the week and it's a bit after 4pm when i go home ... and oh my! go for a run. well. it's a half walk/half run deal but i'm happy about it.
after the run, a salad with tofu for dinner, then some reading time and up the stairs to Gabrielle's at 6:30 for our Monday night yoga session. Tonight i had a really good session--broke a sweat and everything and with Gabrielle's assistance attempted a headstand, though am nowhere close to doing it on my own.
at 9pm back to my apartment and reading for about an hour before i decided to write it all down because i'm feeling good about today and about where i'm at right now and that's not always the case but i don't ever feel like describing the days when i'm down and it's gray and all my plans have been rained out by weather or mood. but i think it's good to remember the good days in detail, 'cause they're possible and possible to replicate. so here's hoping i have another good one tomorrow and wish one for you as well.
PS. am reading a great book right now thanx to Shelley. It's called "Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist" by William R. Maples, Ph.D. and Michael Browning. It's been a while since i've read anything related to my original field and even though it's a bit gory at times, it's nice recognizing some of the terminology and feeling a connection when a Marshalltown trowel is mentioned. And according to this book the belief that human hair and nails keep growing a while after death is a myth. Good to know.
Grooving to James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" as i'm finalizing this post. How appropriate.