Kansougeikai: Part 1

May has been a busy month, hence the lack of posts.  But I’ve been writing whenever I have free time!  I just lack a lot of that time nowadays though.  Anyways..

When I heard that all of my old teachers were leaving, I was really sad.  I really hated that I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to them.  However, that all changed when the nurse of my Thursday school gave me a flyer:

“What’s this?”

“Oh, this is an invitation to the kansougeikai.”

“Huh?  What’s that?”

“It’s the party where we will say goodbye to our transferred staff and welcome our new staff members.”

That, in a nutshell, is kansougeikai.  The school has one last hurrah with our old teachers and gets acquainted with our new ones.  I immediately agreed, having one more opportunity to talk to Mr. Aoki, Mr. Shiba and my former vice principal would be a lot of fun.  One week later, I was invited to my Wednesday’s school kansougeikai.   I was really psyched for this because there was so many of my favorite staff members that left this year, including Aiko-sensei.  Naturally, I agreed to this as well.

The first party was at a fancy hotel.  I felt a little underdressed because I had no time to change in between work and the party.  No one seemed to care though.  The party room itself was really swanky and had a great view of the city.  Like most work parties, you draw a number from a bowl and go to your assigned seating; that way you can’t pick your favorite people to sit next to.   I ended up sitting next to the nurse, my JTEs, the new vice principal and some other teachers.  It was really awkward sitting next to my vice principal because I could tell he really didn’t want to talk to me.  Compared to my former VP, this guy was too shy and assumed I spoke no Japanese.  Whenever he tried and I made a tiny mistake, he would run to my JTEs for assistance.  It was really annoying.  I did feel fortunate to sit with my JTEs though because they could translate anything I said.  Sitting next to my older JTE felt a bit strange though, mainly because I didn’t want to drink alcohol in front of her.

By the time we had our second beer, my vice principal was already drunk.  He poured beer into my glass every time it emptied out saying “Drink, drink!”  The custom here is that you never pour your own drink here; someone else will do it for you.  Whenever your glass goes more than half empty, it will magically be refilled by someone.  In other words, if you don’t’ want to get too drunk, you want to make sure not to keep downing your glass.

I eventually made my way to the other tables.  I talked to Mr. Aoki for a little while.  As I mentioned on an earlier post, if you’re a young teacher, the chances of you transferring out are very high compared to older ones.  He had arrived at that school not too longer than I did and was already leaving!  I did find out some fun facts about him, like how he used to be a cashier person at a karaoke bar.  I talked to Mr. Shiba as well and found out he is now working at the junior high school next to my Tuesday’s school.   He  also told me had been working at my school for 17 years!  How random that he’s just getting a transfer now…

Eventually, someone pulled out the karaoke machine from the room and we all started singing songs.  Staff members prepared specialized fans to wave out whenever a specific teacher sang.  Mr. Shiba pulled me up for a couple of songs and we had a blast; the rest of the school loved it as well.  I took a few pictures:

 

 

 

Eventually, it was time to go but we headed to the nijikai, the afterparty.  This usually involves karaoke and that’s exactly where we went.  We stayed out veeeery late, around 1:30 AM just singing song after song after song.  I was amazed to see how many people came to the nijikai; we had around 15 people.  We were all fairly drunk by the end of it and they kept making me sing a ton of songs.  I took a few pictures of Mr. Aoki and Mr. Shiba having way too much fun singing, haha:

And some other pics:

 

Finally, it was time to part for real.  Mr. Shiba gave me his number and told me we had to go drink sometimes.  I also got Mr. Aoki’s number.  I really hope we can go out again.  Next time:  my Wednesday’s school’s kansougeikai!

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