I love the autumn breeze and the cool comfortable temperature. Japan really should outlaw their summer, or at least make it a mandatory 2-month vacation during August and September.
I have another 3-day long weekend this month, and this time, it's for Tokyo Citizen's Day (都民の日). Last week, it was Autum Equinox Day (秋分の日) and before that it was Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日). Japan really has the most random holidays. Despite all the holidays in September however, it feels particularly busy at work these days. The arrival of the Chinese students last week and the preparation for the cultural festival to be held next weekend are consuming a lot of everyone's time and energy. The cultural festival (文化祭 bunkasai), which is also called 秋輝祭 (Autumn Radiance Festival) at our school, is a really big deal. It will be a 2-day event during the weekend. The students will set up booths selling food and snacks and there will be performances from the teachers and the students alike. I know some teachers are going to sing, dance or play an instrument. The foreign teachers weren't asked to do anything, but even if they had asked me, I wouldn't have known what to do. I have no special talents. Sad but true. The foreign teachers aren't completely devoid of extra responsibilities though. We've been busy choosing the students to enter the English speech contest and practising with them after school. I think most teachers have had to stay late at school this past two weeks. It's a really busy time for us, so thank god for all the random holidays I guess.
Since the festival is happening on the weekend, we'll get two days off during the week, plus one more day off for Health and Sports Day (体育の日 .. no I'm not making these holidays up). I don't think the teachers are doing much during the festival either, so I'll probably be doing a lot of slacking off and not much work that week. I'm certainly not complaining, but all these disruptions have made teaching kind of difficult. I have some classes with only 3 hours of lessons in October while others with 4 to 6 hours. I have to teach the same amount of material before the midterm, so it's kind of a problem. The students themselves are also distracted by all the activities, but I guess that's the way it is, or as the Japanese would say, shoganai. I'm deciding if I should invite Robyn to come to the festival. One student, Kiriko, actually asked me on Friday if I'm bringing my boyfriend (she saw him at her concert we attended), and I said maybe. I think it'd be fun for Robyn to come see a cultural festival, but I'm not sure if I want everyone at school to see him, not that I'm ashamed of him or anything. It's just that I can imagine having to fend off all the personal questions from the students if they actually meet him. They get rather excited at this type of thing. There is no way for him to go under the radar either since he tends to stand out here in Japan. We'll see I guess. Either way, I'll be sure to take a lot of pictures next weekend. I think it's going to be an interesting experience.
Robyn has been looking for work ever since he got back, but no luck so far. The English teaching market is flooded with panicking Nova employees who are job hunting in anticipation of the company's possible demise (Nova used to be the biggest eikaiwa chain). It's really bad timing to look for a job in Japan right now. He's trying hard though, sending out as many resumes as he can. We're hoping he can get a job by the end of October, but you never know. At least we don't have to be stressed out about money as my salary is able to support both of us with a bit of extra left to pay off some of our debts every month. Of course it'd be more comfortable if we were both making money, but there is no real rush. I want him to find a job that he likes. He'd hardly be able to enjoy the time here if he hates his job. Even though we'll both be working, we want to have fun and experience Japan. Our goal is to tour around Tokyo on the weekends and travel farther during the longer holidays. In fact, we're going to Shinagawa tomorrow to catch the annual Shinagawa Shukuba Festival. There will be parades, music and samurai drama performances and other fun events like that. I'm really looking forward to it. It might rain tomorrow though. I certainly hope not. Figures crossed.