The following week was my Wednesday’s kansougeikai. I was met up with Kimoto-sensei and a couple of others and headed our way to the party’s location. Surprisingly enough, it was the same location as my Thursday’s school. What are the odds of that? Needless to say, we were in the same room as last week. One of the staff members recognized me and asked “Weren’t you here last year?”
“Wow, do you have a lot of schools?”
“I suppose so. I have 5.”
He gave me this shocked look until I reassured him I don’t go to all of their parties. If I did, I would be flat out broke as these parties are pretty expensive. I only go to my favorite schools because otherwise it really isn’t worth your time or money.
Unlike my Thursday school’s party, we were chosen to sit wherever we wanted to except for one specific table that was designated for the transferred staff. Kimoto-sensei and I sat down together while we waited for people to arrive. He and I have been getting along really well and talk about random things. For some reason, he loves to sing “Shots” by LMFAO whenever he talks about drinking. I don’t know whether to be amused or worried for him. Eventually, everyone made their way in and we finally allowed all the transferred staff to come in; we applauded heavily as they walked in the door.
I talked to the people around me for a bit, until I noticed someone waving at me from afar. I noticed it was Aiko-sensei, who was trying to get my attention. We chatted very briefly as it is impossible to have a conversation when you’re tables away from each other. Unfortunately, nobody really moved for awhile, meaning I was stuck in my table. Finally, towards the end of the evening, people started to move. I quickly made my way through the other tables; first stopping at my vice principal’s table; my former 3rd grade teacher was there. We chatted for a little bit and I also talked to my VP, who was already pretty drunk. He told me he was very happy to see me always showing up to their events and asked if I was going to stick around their school next year.
“I’m not sure, I hope so. We’ll be getting new people soon and we might be switching around during that time…”
“No way! I’ll make sure you stay with us. I’ll just talk to your boss. You also have to meet my family some day! We should have dinner together.” I was taken aback at the invitation, I didn’t realize he liked me that much. Whether or not he had the power to keep me at is school was irrelevant, just hearing him have my back made me happy. I also briefly talked to the student teacher that I nearly forgot about; we both started at my Wednesday school at the same time. However, he was only around for a month or so, so I didn’t see him often.
I made my way to the transferred worker’s table. The awesome math teacher, Shota-sensei and Aiko-sensei were looking at their parting booklet that had a bunch of pictures of them. Shota-sensei was remarking that half the pictures of Aiko looked rather awkward but I quickly turned the tables and told him his pictures looked silly in English. We ended up practicing some silly English phrases together and had a lot of fun. It didn’t last too long though because my principal came back and I apparently was sitting in her seat. Oops.
The final activity of the dinner was the current staff had to draw a picture of the transferred teachers. Each person would draw one part of their face and give it to someone else (for example, one would draw their ears, another their nose, etc.). I ended up starting up with my 3rd grade teacher. I told her in advance, “Sorry, I’m awful at drawing,” to which she replied “Oh It’s okay! Don’t worry about it.” I totally butchered her eyes and eventually everyone saw the final picture saying “Wow, that’s…not great.” She quickly said “Oh it’s Diego’s fault! He totally sucks at drawing!” Way to flip flop, teacher! It was really funny either way.
Finally, we had to part. Of course there was a nijikai but I knew not everyone was going to join us. Aiko-sensei said goodbye to me one last time before she left. I finally got the opportunity that I thought I wouldn’t have and thanked her for everything and that I learned a lot from her classes. She seemed really happy to hear it. I also brought up that one of my JTEs wanted to have lunch with both of us some day. She seemed happy to hear that and told me she only lived one station away from me. I’m glad that we’ll talk again eventually. I’ll make sure that my JTE keeps her end of the promise! I wish I had more time to talk to everyone but that’s how those events go. I was happy to at least have that final opportunity though. The nijikai was karaoke and we did our fair share of singing. Kimoto-sensei kept punching my arm playfully throughout the entire night; he was pretty drunk. The songs they made me sing were all oldies, which are a hit with my older staff members.
Thus ended this year’s kansougeikais. I’m glad they have a sendoff party for all the staff and that I was invited to them. It’s sad to see them go, but like Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it happened.”