Thursday, May 15, 2008

ich, ni, san!

Right.  So my life isn't all black party dresses and men in uniform (none of them were even smart enough to get my phone number - sigh.).  ANYWAY, I was flipping through the images on my phone and found this one.  I just wanted to show that, for one night a year, it seems, my colleagues shake loose a little.  This is a shot from our end of the school year enkai (dinner party) back in March.  Apparently it is a tradition to toss the transferring teachers up in the air after they've been feasting for 2 hours.  Don't worry - there was a mound of pillows underneath.  I just thought this little tradition - following the group rendition of the school song and several individual cheers for the folks that were moving on - was...kind of...charming.  
And for the record - as I may have mentioned before - I really think the secret to such harmonious work relations may well have to do with enkai...We have several parties (at about $50 a pop) - several times a year.  We have them for the opening and closing of school years, the end and then again in the beginning of the calendar year, before the seniors take their entrance exams, after/before major school-wide and prefecture-wide sports events.  Many of these are basically in triplicate, since there are different parties for the whole staff, the grade level teachers (I'm with the teachers who teach first years), and then each of the subject areas, too.  Oh, wait - we had one at a fantastic tofu restaurant for all the women on staff, too (I can only imagine where the men's party was!). Whew.  It's expensive, and kind of annoying because it's 'all you can drink' - but that only means beer and sake (neither of which appeal to me).  It's also difficult because - well, it's a party, and who wants to try to speak English?  Well, the beer DOES make some folks much more apt to have a go at English, and I know I need to practice my Japanese, but it's sometimes a little exhausting. 
BUT, at the end of the day, I'm usually happy to attend.  What other school events provide fish so fresh it's still twitching?

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