Day TEN of THIRTEEN and fading fast
It's been TEN days since I last had a day off and I have THREE more to go. I'm knackered. I'm tetchy. My patience is running very thin and my caffeine levels are running very high.
In the midst of doing my course I was given an extra days work and my whole schedule this week has been pretty heavy and demanding. On top of all this I have ANOTHER special needs student. Aren't I lucky?
On the plus side though, in six days it's Obon holiday, which means nine days of holiday - although the first and last of those I'll be doing the course.
My students wear me out sometimes. As a teacher it's my job to be as lively and enthusiastic as I can muster. Can you imagine how hard this is when, upon asking students this week what they've been up to since the last lesson, the responses included (and you couldn't make this up):
- My hairdryer broke and I had to buy a new one
- My bag broke
- I telephoned my friend
- My dog hurt it's foot
On another note: let's talk holidays. Not mine. Mine are great. But the holidays the Japanese get. So many of my students have recently told me they don't actually take their holiday allowance.
For some this is because they company doesn't actually allow them to as they're too busy. And I've had this from several students.
Another student told me she's taking leave BUT she'll be popping into the office every couple of days to work so there's not so much flooding over when she returns. And the stories just continue with a few variations of these.
Students don't fare much better. Some of the younger ones, whose parents are working, are being thrown into school all day every day over the holidays.
Of the older ones, I have one young teen, a very bright, sparky kid who I love teaching, who is spending at least two hours at juku (cram school) every day of the holidays. For six days each week! And I'm not even sure what she's being taught because the English she gets at juku baffles her - and takes me about 5 minutes to get her to understand.
Other students, who DO get to travel abroad, and don't go to some Japaneefied country like Hawaii or Guam or Saipan often seem terrified at doing so. One of my advanced students is currently in New York for five days. Of which I am insanely jealous as I adore New York. She's going to eat Japanese food for every meal. She's travelled before. She's just scared shitless to try anything new.
This country is truly nuts.