Things aren't really that hectic yet. We have decided to tackle one thing at once, when it comes to wedding planning. This week has been more about family and telling people about our engagement than anything else. Next week we will probably organise things that need to be done asap, such as booking a photographer and finding out about wedding clothes.
As far as school is concerned, I have been building up my resources. Some of the A4 sheets I have laminated need to be redone, because I didn't back them properly. I can use what I have for each of those topics but by the end of Summer I should have replaced them all as well as built up some new sets.
I have also been making bingo cards, and spent some time laminating and cutting out some bingo tokens that I made to go with them. I got some stickers on the weekend that I can give out to kids. Apparently I should expect tears at some point once I start introducing stickers to my classes. Awesome!
In the last two weeks I have been late for school. And not just a few minutes late, either. I'm talking missing entire periods. And both times I have no excuse save that the schedule was different than usual and I failed to read the differences. It was simply misreading what I should have double checked.
And so on Monday I have to meet with Supreme Commander White-hair in Kubokawa (that would be the section chief "head honcho" of the Shimanto Board of Education). I guess I will get something along the lines of a lecture on punctuality and ensuring that I understand my shougakkou schedules and how important it is to abide by my contract, etc etc.
Not that I would ever excuse negligence. But this could have happened to anyone who had curve balls thrown at them when they weren't expecting them.
Let's look at what went wrong:
Ok, so my shougakkou schedules consist of a cover sheet that has periods 1-6 with the periods I will be teaching in containing summarised information regarding those lessons. Then there are individual sheets for each period with more detailed information regarding what I will be teaching.
The first time I missed a period at a school I was supposed to be at, they had omitted period 6 from the summary sheet and scheduled me to teach in periods 4 (before lunch) and 5 (after lunch). Since I failed to notice that they had anomalised the summary sheet, my brain registered the schedule as being periods 5 and 6 -- the last two periods.
Firstly, I wasn't expecting them to split classes with lunch-time. Secondly, this was the only time that the summary sheet had ever been reduced to 5 periods rather than 6; regardless of when classes are. So from that I learned to be more vigilant in double checking exactly which periods I should be teaching in at school.
The second time I was late, I didn't even realise it until the end of the lesson -- which came just 20-odd minutes after I arrived. It took me by surprise, because until that point I thought that I had somehow managed to be a couple of minutes late and the teacher had gone ahead and started without me. Not the case.
My afternoon classes always start at either 2pm or 2.05pm. This is when period 5 starts at every shougakkou. Except on Wednesday. They decided that they would begin at 1.35pm. It was written on my summary sheet, so I have no excuse for coming to school halfway through a period I was supposed to be teaching in. I once again simply failed to see the changes from the norm.
As I said: this could easily have happened to anyone. I have now learned to read and re-read my schedules before the day, on the day and before school. Any anomalies or divergence from the normal flow of events and I need to know about it -- and prepare accordingly.
But I still have to face the music on Monday morning. So be it.
Last night was intense. Mika and I met Michael's twin brothers and his auntie who are here in Japan for a holiday and currently staying with him. We also had planned to go and see Mika's parents together, for the first time. Our food took too long to come (we were at Yamagoya) and so we had to leave. But then, Mika's dad was late anyway, so we sort of rushed for nothing.
I talked to her parents about where we stand in terms of getting married. We survived; that's all I can say. And today, Mika is in a much better mood. It is as if a burden was lifted from her shoulders. Like I said: we are doing one thing at a time. And going to see her parents was the biggest hurdle so far, and I know it was weighing her down a lot. Having got that out of the way -- for now -- we are free to move onto the next step of our journey.
Still, I will definitely continue to pray for her parents, both in terms of acceptance -- that they will be assured that our getting married is very good for us and for Eddi -- and for their eventual salvation. In time they will both get to know who I am -- language barrier aside -- and will see the strength that Mika and I possess in our relationship.
Tomorrow: K-city and wedding rings?