A byte of life from the Land of Sumos and Sushi

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sayonara Sadness

I cried. In front of the whole, god damn school. It was all going well, I had just delivered my farewell speech in Japanese which went fine, but when the two students who came up to the stage starting crying as they presented me with a parting gift, try as I might, I just couldn’t hold back the tears.

I hope this to be by far the biggest audience to ever witness this rare phenomenon. Back when I was a student, making a teacher cry was one of the highest accolades a class of students could achieve and was seen as a triumph, though this was normally down to despicable and cruel behaviour, rather than the sadness of leaving the people and a place that was held so dear.

I took Shiro the school dog for our final walk today. Though she will never know it, my time spent exploring the rice paddy roads has been one of my most cherished experiences of all at my place of work. Rather than sit at my desk and surf the net during the quiet times (as many ALTs do) I have always jumped at the chance to get out and about, enjoying the simple pleasure of walking a dog.

Through heavy snow, warm tropical rain, thick sticky air and just pleasant spring sun, we have roamed the land, taking in the ever changing scenes and smells of this beautiful locale; the mist shrouded mountains, the bamboo thickets and the native fauna such as wild tortoises, lizards, snakes and eagles.

Many of my posts and pictures on this very blog have been created and captured whilst out with Shiro, as we walk by the paddies, whether covered in crisp white snow, flooded to create miniature inland lakes, or as now – bright and lush, accompanied by the sound of a billion rustling blades, as a breeze ripples the surface of a green rice sea.

I’m about to leave school for the final time.

I’ll miss it.

5 Comments:

Blogger Lewis said...

I know what you mean - I was blubbing like a girl at my closing ceremony. Why did they have to send up a student to give a speech? Gets you every time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 7:22:00 pm

 
Anonymous Kristi said...

I sobbed uncontrollably at Izumi. It probably didn't help that there were only 16 kids and I could clearly see each of their faces. At Kaisei I stared at the back wall and blurred my eyes to avoid another breakdown... and afterwards, I thought about how lucky I was to have worked at schools that made me cry only at the end. Samu mo rakki da ne... :)

Friday, July 21, 2006 5:20:00 am

 
Anonymous Shan said...

I'm almost crying just reading about all this crying and remembering back to this time last year when I was leaving and giving speeches and saygin good byes. But I'm so glad you've had such a happy experience in little Ono, Sam.

Friday, July 21, 2006 12:44:00 pm

 
Anonymous Hugh said...

You don't know me but I've been reading your blog because I have a Fukui connection. All I can say is it amazing how well you manage to convey your thoughts and emotions. You are a very talented writer, keep it up and best of luck in the future.

Saturday, July 22, 2006 3:08:00 am

 
Blogger Kristin Smith said...

You don't know me either, but I want to add my thanks for this inside view of Fukui. You write about exactly what I'm interested in. And the pictures are just what I want to see. I hope I have a chance to walk some dog through rice paddy roads if I ever get to visit Japan. I hope you keep writing cuz I wanna read about wherever you wander.

Saturday, July 22, 2006 1:59:00 pm

 

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