Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Smooth and Rocky Wednesday

Toyoko Line Platform
at Shibuya Station
Wednesday May 23, 8:41 p.m.

Got free reign over the household today since the parentals are off in Niagara Falls for the night. It's been nice staying home all day just relaxing and cooking and watching sports since I had another sub teaching gig over at the school yesterday.

I think I know what's been eating me about this job. Although I do need it for the money, it hasn't been much fun. The night before any gig there, I toss and turn like a Mexican Jumping Bean. The stress just builds up as I go through breakfast, the commute and the lesson planning before the lessons. After I get through them, I head on home and feel exhausted. Then the next morning that I don't work, I feel like a plank of sequoia...just like this morning. But at least, I got a good night's sleep and even dreamed.

The problem is the nature of my job. Obvious thing to say, but when I'm teaching these guys, I know I'm not teaching MY guys. These aren't the classes that I'm personally and professionally responsible for. I feel like I'm invading their airspace. Having been on the other side of the situation back in elementary school, I know what it feels like when a sub teacher comes in. First question: "Who the hell are you?" Second question: "What the hell did you do with my real teacher?"

Not to say that any of my students have been brats or anything like that, but that initial tension is there. Plus, some of the logistics involved in my school don't exactly chime in with me; it's made my job that much more difficult. The teachers I have been subbing for have been good about telling me what needs to be done, but as much as I plan for teaching a good, fun class, I'm increasingly of the opinion that my way of teaching seems to be more suited for the audience that I had been teaching for several years. Now that I'm teaching multicultural lessons, I know that perhaps my somewhat humourous approach isn't rubbing off too well on other non-Japanese students. And every night I get home from school, I end up just wondering about whether my reputation is simply preceding me as a sub. That's my stress.

But, along with the fact that the school is one of my few sources of income and that I've been told that the busy season is coming, I just can't up and leave. Perhaps I can do something about it once Fall comes around, but that leaves the question about how to supplement my income. Mr. Moriya has been fine with me, but that's just one student twice a month, and the translation season with Cozy is over for another year.

Anyways, I'm glad that I'm having a nice day today. Plus, I'm gonna be meeting with my old students, The Beehive ladies, tomorrow up at Pearson and then we head out for a round of dim sum. I actually got an e-mail from Mrs. Travel who had to pull out at the last minute due to a family emergency. Looks like her husband is on the mend, happily.

It seems like the Tokyo Sky Tree has overall had a good start. But even the opening was pre-empted a few days ago by this news of a stabbing in Shibuya Station. It happened on the Fukutoshin Line escalator, an area that I have passed through during my days in Japan. Apparently, a middle-aged man got skewered by a younger fellow after they bumped shoulders and had a brief, intense exchange of words before the incident happened. The cops arrested the guy this morning thanks to the subway security cameras. Just one of those guys who simply snapped. Earlier this year, there was a similar incident at the station when an unhinged woman stabbed a younger woman for merely staring at her.