Yesterday morning, while Jen and I were at Starbucks, enjoying our respective creme brulee and gingerbread lattes, when my phone rings. And only to my small surprise, it was work calling me with my teaching assignment for the day. It was before 11, so right away, I knew that my shift couldn’t be great. Normally, they call around 1. Well, Scott told me that my shift would be 2:55-8:55, which is great because it’s a half hour earlier than normal, but then he told me that it would be in Kuwana, which is really really far away. It’s actually in a different prefecture to be exact, over an hour commute. But fortunately, I would only need to change trains once.
So, I get into Nagoya and am waiting for my train to take me to Kuwana that was supposed to arrive at 1:40. Well, 1:40 comes and goes with no train, but I wasn’t too worried. Sometimes trains can be a few minutes late. But then it hits 1:45 and I knew that something was wrong. But here’s the problem- they display messages on the board to let you know what’s happening, but it’s all in Japanese, so I have NO idea what’s going on. Finally, at 1:50, I call the office and tell them the problem. Scott looks into it and tells me that a train will come at 1:59. So, thankfully, I was able to catch the train, except for the fact that it stopped and sat for about 5 minutes when we got about 2 minutes outside the station.
Now I had to be on this train for about 30 minutes to get to Kuwana, and the school is about a 10 minute walk from the station. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be soo bad, to arrive at work with only 5-10 minutes to spare before my shift, but when you’re going to a brand-new school with two kinds classes back to back right at the beginning, it’s not so great. And also, I had to teach an adult regular lesson, which I’ve never done before, so I was supposed to have all this extra time to look over the lesson and read over the materials and notes that one of the trainers had faxed over for me. In the end, I only had about 15 minutes right before the class to prep for this 80 minute class that we had spent very little time covering in our training. Honestly, I couldn’t even remember what the text looked like. But, in the end, it was a super fun class! We laughed so hard, and had great conversation, and I didn’t even get through half of the material they had sent me (which is okay, so don’t worry).
Now, here’s the ironic thing in all of this frenzy with the adult lesson. Starting in January, I’m going to pick up two more days in my regular schedule (YES!!) and I’m teaching two adult regular lessons. So, Peter-the guy in charge of the training section- had called me the day before and we had set up a time for me to come in for training in these regular lessons on Friday. Well, I guess there’s nothing like a crash course to give you the best training of all.
And, in the end, even though my shift ended at 8:55, I didn’t get home until after 10:30. It’s kind of a bummer because I really liked the school, staff, and students, but I would never want to have a regular day there ever. The teachers who are there regularly live in Mie and usually only teach at the schools in that area. Oh, the adventures of being a sub!