jikoshoukai

To those of you who don't know me and haven't yet read my autobiography, I'll give you a brief introduction. For more detail I highly recommend "Richard, So Much In So Little Time", it's a good read. I'm a second year. I was in Osaka prior to JET for 2 years. I requested Osaka, Yokohama or an urban setting for my JET placement, so was very pleased to be allocated Saga. I work at Saga Nishi High School which is the top high school in the Ken. I have been here since I arrived and from August last year, everyday.

I seem to be in the seemingly rather small group of people who like their job and school. I am fortunate to have a great group of JTEs and other teachers at my school. The students here are also very good. Some people may have some misconception that I'm have amazing, fluent discussions on politics with them, which I can assure you is not the case.

My day generally starts with the usual greetings from all the teachers of "ohio" or "good morning" or "hey punk" and the very special "bad morning Richard, you are lazy gaijin always late", from my very entertaing and non-PC supervisor (more on him later). No one seems put out that I arrive a full 2 hours later than them (at Nishi the teachers are expected to teach supplementary classes before school starts) but still look very tired and flop on my desk at the injustice of being up so early.

I have 9 classes a week. That's right 9. I only teach 1 and 2 nensei. The 3 nensei aren't allowed contact with me. They are basically chained to their desks with a collar that sends electric currents through them if they leave the school boundaries before 7. Say what you will about education here but the effort these kids make and the dedication shown by the 3 nensei teachers, is exceptional.

Anyway back to my supervisor. Let's call him "supervisor". On a daily basis I am reminded of my place by S...that is under Japanese people.

S: "Bad moring Richard/gaijin"
R: "Bad morning S, how are you?"
S: "Hmm I am very tired as I am dedicated to my job and arrived to school on time and started working. Not like you sitting at desk reading Harry Potter, drinking coffee" When I first arrived I read Harry Potter at my desk and have never been allowed to forget it.
R: " Wow you're great. Japanese people are so wonderful"
S: " Yes not like gaijin. Just sitting and doing no work, reading e-mail on school computer and getting large salary."
R: "Yeah being a gaijin is great, oh how's your baby?"
S: "Good, yesterday he said his first word"
R: "Oh really!? What did he say?"
S: "Ahh he said 'I hate gaijin...oh but don't tell this to the Board of Education' ".

Ahhh, let's enjoy discrimination.