Hisashiburi desu ne

Meaning: Long time no see (-:

The reasons are several. The main reason being I haven’t had the time.

Since I’ve been living in Japan, many Japanese traits have rubbed off on me. One of them is the work ethic pervasive here. Most people work at a rate unthinkable back in NY. It’s cultural. People are expected to work long and hard and thus they do. I’m, however, not expected (by Japanese) to work long and hard, but nevertheless I do. In addition to my full-time teaching job I have no less that 16 private man-to-man students that take up most of the remainder of my free time. At 4000 yen a pop it’s a lovely compliment to the teacher’s salary.

This is not new. I’ve been living this way for going on 3 years. So you’re probably wondering how I was able to write pretty regularly before. Well, I’ll tell you.  I did most of writing at work during my free time in the office of which I have quite a bit. Has that changed? No. So why has the output decreased? There’s an answer for that too.

In Japanese schools, and I believe at Japanese companies as well, every year around this time, people get shuffled around. For example, 3 teachers who had been working here at this school for several years were suddenly transferred to other schools. They did not want to go. They loved it here. It was not a punishment. They were all exemplary educators.

At the goodbye ceremony, everyone was in tears, students, staff and faculty. Even former graduates came back to visit and brought flowers and gifts for their previous teachers who’d they’d heard through the grapevine were moving on. I even squirted out a couple. I could feel the love between everyone concerned and it was a bit overwhelming. I asked one of the teachers that I’m tight with:

“Why are they leaving?”

“It’s Japanese custom.”

“Sounds pretty cruel if you ask me…”

“Well,” she said. “Kinda, I guess, but it’s the Japanese way of sharing creativity.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Well, we send good teachers and their ideas to other schools and other schools send theirs to ours.”

“I…” I began.And then I stopped, scratched my head, and thought about what she’d said and the implications of it and reflected briefly on my experience in the NYC Public School System…then I said, “That’s not a bad idea at all!”

Anyway, back to my iiwake (excuse)…in addition to transfers, the office arrangements gets a makeover as well. Last year I was blessed with a desk with a PC atop it. And thus during down-times I was a writing fool. But, now, if I want to get my write on I have to commit the conspicuous act of leaving my PC free desk and going to one with a PC. I’m not comfortable doing that…yet.

So please forgive me…when I crawl in the house at 10 or 11 pm, I have just enough energy to stuff my face, do a little Internet surfing, maybe  watch a ball game and crash.

Loco Lighter than ever

17 Responses to “Hisashiburi desu ne”

  1. 1 TLR
    April 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Good to hear from you I have been wondering what you were up too.



    BTW check out the new blog I made for my teacher http://www.curtissensei.com

  2. April 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    oh no Loco – use the desk with the pc! 😎

  3. 5 Rune
    April 11, 2009 at 1:21 am

    I think that everyone understands that your job(s) have first priority, just be careful of karoshi, Loco ^_^ But couldn’t you bringing a laptop to work and write on that at your new desk? Just a suggestion.


    • April 11, 2009 at 9:44 am

      Hey Rune,
      Good idea but they don’t allow teachers to use their laptops in this office. They’re very paranoid about everything…can hardly blame them though
      oh well

  4. 7 Rune
    April 12, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Strange, I would think that educators would be encouraged to use IT in planning lessons and it is relatively easy to make sure only wanted machines access a network. But I am not surprised, I have run into all kinds of foolishness from employers in my days. Anyhoo, keep up the good work.


  5. 8 XYD
    April 14, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Heh, I am glad I found your blogs.

    Reading your blogs feel like quite an experience living in another country and having to witness so many things. Anyways take your time with your work as it is probably the best way to keep you from having to move back.

    Somewhat out of topic: I originally wanted to do some research on Matsuyama (my sister city which is in Shikoku) and the feel of that city, but your blogs are just too fascinating to resist not reading.

  6. April 14, 2009 at 10:39 am

    XYD San, thanks for the shout…it’s good to know my blog is irresistable…(-;
    One of my readers once said it’s like watching a car crash LOL
    Please come again and again


  7. 10 XYD
    April 21, 2009 at 5:28 am

    It might be XD, after all you did say Japan is like a love and hate relationship ^^. Some stuff you just can’t stand while some stuff you just love a lot. I want to experience other cultures outside of the U.S. And maybe, just maybe, head to Matsuyama and Yokohama in the process. So reading perspectives from people during their visit (or their current lives) are in a country just gives me a heads up on what to expect. It also gives me something to ponder about. Would love to see more random pictures though hehe.

  8. April 23, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Respect the work ethic but have to say, what good’s making all that money if you don’t have time to spend it? Unless you’re saving for something big, which I totally understand.

    Just don’t become one of those guys who has such little free time that he runs and pushes past people just to be the first person in line for the next train, due to arrive in 10 minutes. 😐

  9. 13 jturningpin
    April 26, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I hear you, Loco. Used to do, ahem, quite a bit of posting at the old job. Things are pretty busy (and tight, security-wise) at the new job, which has led to a bit of dropoff in the ol’ blog postings…

  10. 15 Hiero/fudgepudge
    April 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    i find this enlightening.

    “The reason he asked the question wasn’t to reveal contemporary American attitudes toward the war, nor to uncover how Japanese visitors to that country are treated. It wasn’t about raising awareness of events of the rapidly receding past, nor to seek truth and justice.

    The Japanese who frequently read this website might not believe this, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with Japan, either. Repeatedly dredging up selected parts of Japan’s history is just one of many means to the same end.

    Instead, it has everything to do with using the event as a pretext to steal the spotlight. It has everything to do using that spotlight to indulge a vain and condescending elitism derived from his sociopolitical views, and to bask in the approval of an audience of foreign journalists that he assumes—probably correctly—shares those views. It has everything to do with humiliating anyone who might have other ideas, even a teenager too young, too far removed from what for her is the distant past, and too involved with living today to care. It has everything to do with mounting the stairway to what he assumes is a higher moral plane than the unthinking, uncaring rabble.”

    source: http://ampontan.wordpress.com/2009/04/28/personality-disorder-or-genetic-disposition/

  11. 17 LostXcausE
    May 4, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Loco-sama. What’s up? I’ve seen your stuff and it’s quite amazing. I recently joined and left a comment on your blog concerning “Charisma-man” check it out and reply if you can. Arigatou gozaiasu.

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