So, yesterday, something was out to get me. In one day I crashed my bike, fell down the stairs and was hit by a car. All three times I emerged unharmed (nothing injured and no pain), so something was also watching out for me. Allow me to explain. I was walking up the stairs at school when I slipped on the stairs and fell down. My knee hurt for 10 seconds and then was fine. Then when I was riding home from school, one of my more enthusiastic students thought it would be a good idea to grab the back of my bike as I went by. As I maneuvered so as not to hurt them, I ended up hitting a fence. Both of us were unhurt. The most amazing though was during my run. Despite the fact that I was wearing a reflective shit and bright orange pants in a well lit area, and that I was crossing at a crosswalk where I had a green light, a speeding car still came so close to hitting me that it's mirror actually hit my right hand on it's forward swing. Again, I miraculously emerged completely unharmed.
So whatever has been causing me problems lately seems to have used the last of it's energy on those three attempts, because today was the turning point for the week. From the beginning of this week I have been trying to break out of the doldrums that being sick gets you stuck in. Today, I successfully broke out. I wore my fluorescent orange track pants at school, which was a big hit since no other teachers would think of wearing something that stands out that much. I already stand out, and am already fluorescent, so no big deal. Another fun thing that happened today was I taught the 6th graders again. Now these are the same 6th graders that had the bad luck of being the first class I ever taught, so they had a bad experience with me and haven't really had much to do with me since then. I say hello to them, and most them just shuffle off without responding. My first class was that bad. Since my first class 2 months ago, I have not had another class with them. Well, I went into class today, and there were about 5 girls that were reading letters and crying. No, sobbing. "Oh no, they aren't going to have any fun today." I thought to myself. But I tried my best to make it a fantastic class, and half way through the 5 girls were all smiling through their tears, and when the class ended they actually shouted "encore". Cool.
So I also went to the library at school today to help tape the pages of ripped books, as I am apt to do in my spare time since it gives me the chance to be useful to the school (and earning my salary) and learn Japanese at the same time. I there had the wonderful experience of kids coming up to me and actually making a serious effort to learn English from me it their spare time. First time that has happened at grammar school (it happens all the time at preschool).
And also today, as I was walking around I happened upon some of the 5th grade teachers and members of the PTA learning how to make traditional Japanese rope with grass from a professional rope maker. I watched for a while, and then was invited to try it. My first rope was a total failure, but the second rope wasn't half bad. It wasn't as good as the professional, but it was better than all of the members of the PTA, some of whom have done this before. Thre truth is it was a total fluke, but what followed was both flattering and embarrassing, as the teachers began to brag to the PTA about how well adapted I was to Japan.
So the last really fun thing that happened today was that I went running. But this time it was with a partner. So there is one teacher in the school who is a huge runner. He does marathons all of the time and is in charge of the marathon practice that the whole student body is currently doing (by the way, marathon in Japan just means race, and I have begun to use it to mean the same). Anyway, I had expressed an interest to go running with this teacher last week, and this week he invited me to go running with him. Luckily I was prepared. Well, while my partner was getting dressed all the other teachers wished me good luck and then started talking among themselves. Apparently other teachers have gone running with him in the past, and he has been way too fast for them. Having been warned, I decided to go running anyway. Long story short, while I also got very tired, at one point he was so exhausted by our pace that he had to let me take an extra lap so he could catch his breath. Basically, though, he is a really good running partner. He has stamina, which is the thing that I don't have, but want, and knows about running in Japan. Where to go, what foods to eat, etc. I hope he'll invite me to come with him again.
So, basically, this blog entry seems like it is mostly me bragging about how awesome I am. I think I'll go slap myself now for being so full of myself today. But hey, when you've spent 3 weeks feeling pathetic because of all the people you are letting down, it is nice to feel good about yourself again.
Oh, and this weekend will likely be tons of fun, so be sure to check in again next Monday!