Food Quest: The RPG of Edible Heroes

One of the elementary schools has this weird photo series in the hallway. It has five RPG heroes based on food. They have some questionably-named attacks.


He can eat anything and has a special attack called “Yellow Hole”.

Quickshot 2011 04 21 at 11 32 56 5770


He’s really good at soccer and has an attack called “Meat Kick”.

Quickshot 2011 04 21 at 11 33 04 8830


He’s good at all sports and has an attack called “Boney Sword”.

Quickshot 2011 04 21 at 11 33 12 9850


He likes gardening and attacks his enemies with the “Vegi-Aura”.

Quickshot 2011 04 21 at 11 33 19 4490


He likes singing and attacks with the “Fruits Pachinko”.

Quickshot 2011 04 21 at 11 33 27 2620

This is the End.

I’m closing in on the end at my current job. I’ve only got two working days left, Friday and Tuesday. Tomorrow (Friday) is the last day at the junior high that I work at. I’m super excited about being done with it. It’s the worst school I’ve ever worked at, mainly because the teachers are all so cold. The friendliest person I’ve known there is the handyman! A couple of the English teachers are great, but over the course of the three years I’ve been there, the teachers I really got on with have left, and their replacements have all been pretty terrible. They’re not mean. They just all seem to ignore me. The male gym teacher being the worst. This guy stonewalls me when I say “Hello.” I’ll be standing three feet in front of him, we’re making eye contact, and when I say “Good morning.”, the ass wipe just walks on by.

It’s not only me too. He never talked to the other foreign English teacher who worked at this school sometimes. He knows I speak Japanese; doesn’t matter. He’ll come into the restroom, piss next to me, and look at me while he does it. It’s creepy. But he never says a word.

So…I only have another 23 hours before I never have to go there again. The sad side of never having to go to this junior high again is that I don’t get to go to the awesome elementary schools that I’ve been going to for three years. I’m glad I can end my time in this city with one of the elementary schools that I love.

I’m gonna be working at all elementary schools come April in a city that’s even closer to my home. I’m switching employers, but I’m hoping that the switch will pay off and that I’ll be happier with these new schools. I’ll let you know in a couple weeks how it’s going.

But What About the Children!?

So one of the Japanese teachers I work with opens class by saying, “So, there was an earthquake the other day. Many people’s homes were swept away by the tsunami.”

The kids responded by asking, “When is the tsunami going to be over? I want to watch variety shows. Every time I turn on the TV, it’s just earthquakes and tsunamis.”

I don’t think kids in Gifu get the severity of the problems in Tohoku. Maybe it’s too much for me to expect 14 year olds to grasp what kind of damage this earthquake (and subsequent tsunami) did to Eastern Japan. I also know college-aged kids who have been pretty blase about the whole thing as well. And the most the working adults I know can muster up about it is, “Oh that’s scary.” So I’m gonna imagine the kids who aren’t too concerned with the well-being of their countrymen to the East are getting their disposition from their parents, who probably also just want to watch variety TV shows and go back to life as it was last week. So I don’t blame the kids. Nurture beats nature in this instance. If your parents are dicks, you’ll probably be a dick too.

What’s left of my sanity

Part of me definitely feels wasted. Not in the “Alex is drunk again” kind of way, but in the “I’m not being used efficiently at work” kind of way. Being an assistant English teacher in Japan comes with little to no responsibility, and that’s fine sometimes, but there is a severe problem with this junior high that I work at. They ask nothing of me, want none of my suggestions, and then every non-English teacher seems to despise me cause it looks like I never do any work.

I was scheduled to teach three lessons today, but due to the 3rd graders practicing their graduation ceremony (a month in advance!) and the 1st and 2nd graders have finals (a month before the semester’s over!) I was left with nothing to do. So I whip out the MacBook Air and start typing away on a blog post, tinkering with I Don’t Know If You Know This and looking for tax forms so that my government back in America can keep an eye on me no matter what country I live in or where I’m earning my living.

If anyone should happen to stroll by my desk and catch a glimpse of my monitor, they’d probably think I’m goofing off. It’s true, I’m not working, but when no one will give you any kind of work to do, it’s damn near impossible to sit here staring at my thumbs for three hours. Also, there’s no point in drafting lesson plans that’ll never get used either.

This doesn’t happen at the elementary schools I work at. For one, they don’t cancel classes like this. Two, they seem to value my input and welcome suggestions for lesson material. Three, they’re just always nice and don’t appear to have it in for me the way the dick gym teacher does here at the junior high. I’ve only got another 13 days or so at this school, so if I can just bare with it a little longer, I might make it out with my sanity intact.

Read more like this in my newsletter