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And teachers...

   Most of your time as an ALT will be spent in the Teacher's office.  The teachers
 have all their desks in one office, so they have someplace to hide from the kids 
 between classes. This is where the fun really starts.  Its like one big coffee break. 
 Really.  The trick is just persuading someone else to keep you company... 

meemiakama.JPG (45410 bytes)  Try making a pot of tea or coffee.  Its hard for 
teachers to resist the aroma of caffeine. 

smoking.JPG (64328 bytes)  This will become a familiar scene.  Its how the male
 teachers spend a lot of their time.  Actually, its how a lot of male Japanese spend
 their time.  Women don't get to smoke in school.  Some schools actually have a 
 rule about this, though the females will probably act as though they really enjoy 
 going all day without a cigarette fix.   Try asking them about this.  They love 
 when foreigners challenge the system.

lounge.JPG (48326 bytes)   Some schools are lucky enough to have couches in their 
break rooms.  Its a nice comfortable variation for your bum, and if you bring some 
papers or a book, it actually looks like your working.

me and kazuko.JPG (44782 bytes)  This is me with the school dentist. hehe.  NO, not really.  
Many of the teachers do get to wear these fancy lab coats all day, though.  I bet 
if you asked, you could get one for yourself.  You could pretend you're a real dentist,
instead of someone who just feels like they're pulling teeth.  There may be some 
initiation right involved though.  I'm kind of dressed up here, since it was my last 
day and I had to make a speech where everyone cried.

kyotosensei.JPG (54584 bytes)   This is the Vice-principal, whose desk is always at 
the head of the office.  I was lucky enough to have my desk right across from his.  
(The one with the flowers from my wonderful students on it.)  My desk used to be 
on the other end of the room,  making it much easier to sneak in late without anyone
noticing.  The board behind the desks is where they post the daily schedule and any
announcements or changes.  Its written in Korean or something though, so you 
probably won't be able to read it.


office.JPG (47364 bytes)  You may be operating under the assumption that 
Japanese people are anal and neat.  Hahaha!!  Most teachers have built themselves 
a paper fortress around their desks, which also spills over to the floor and neighboring
shelves.  I recommend building your own.  Its fun, and can keep you busy.  
Plus, if no one can actually see you when your at your desk, they won't be able
to see if your sleeping or reading those dirty manga....I mean..nature magazines.... 
Really though, teachers love to peak over at you and see what your doing, or 
ask you what your doing.  Or maybe my teachers just ask out of surprise at 
seeing me doing real work.  This can be a little annoying though when you're
writing lessons or making games for your after school, under the table, private 
tutoring lessons.  Not that I would do that.  But if you build your own impenetrable 
wall of useless files and books and papers, you can operate under the illusion of privacy.

rumiko and hats.JPG (37305 bytes)  This is my friend Rumiko, she's an office worker.  
Sometimes we like to dress up.  Hurrah! for social studies teachers and funny props!




  Hey! What time is it in Japan?

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