March Time Now that it is March, I can see a lot of plum trees have bloomed. The parks are looking very pretty and the weather is getting a small bit warmer. It’s always nice to go for a stroll around and take in all the pretty pink and white colors. The graduation ceremonies are also in March and I will be very sad to say goodbye to the students. It’s always a pleasure to teach 3rd year students and it’s always difficult when they leave. I wish them the best of luck on their new journeys and hope that they will remember their junior and high school years fondly. The years go by so fast and it’s important to cherish every moment. These past few months have gone by so fast, it’s hard to believe that it is March already! It’s good to take one day at a time and enjoy the small things in life.
Regular classes are over, and the students are studying hard for their final exams. Some of them, though, are preparing for their graduation ceremony. The third-year seniors in high school will soon go on to pursue their degrees in the college or university of their choice. I’m very proud for them and happy for all that they have achieved in high school. I know that they will do well in college, and I’m excited on their behalf! I’m excited, too, for the warmer weather as spring starts making its appearance. Spring is my favorite season, and I’m looking forward to seeing more plum blossoms and eventually cherry blossoms all over Tokyo.
We only have a few weeks to go before the end of classes, and the entire school is busy preparing for exams and tests. A few weeks ago, it snowed in Tokyo! During this time, we had online classes, and one of the students mentioned the snowfall. After the class, I hurriedly got outside my apartment and enjoyed the snow. Since we had online classes for a couple of weeks, I was able to save a lot of money since I mostly stayed indoors. I can only count on one hand the total number of times I went outside my apartment. It was also a great chance for the students to see us teachers without our masks on! Now that we’re back, I’m excited to read the students’ essays and watch their speaking performances. Graduation is just around the corner, and I know I’m going to miss the students leaving Fujimura. But before that, we’ve still got a lot of things to do! がんばりましょう!
During the state of emergency in Tokyo, it was important to keep busy and pro-active. I made sure to sleep, eat and exercise well when I could. There is a lovely little forest, close to my apartment, that has a small walkway. I usually jog along this walkway, past the tall trees towards the riverbank. It’s such a nice place to jog and de-stress and I try to do this nearly every second day. There is a black and white cat, who usually hangs out in the little forest, making sure people know just how important he is. Sometimes I try to pet him but he never comes over to me. There are always people crouching down around him, trying to take his photo, like some celebrity cat! He sits there with his head held high and a smug look on his face. Hopefully, someday he’ll stroll over to me and let me get a bit closer to him. I’ll just have to keep jogging through my little forest until he gets used to me.
It’s the new year, and many people are hopeful and optimistic. The year 2020 was challenging, with many unexpected things happening around the world. Hopefully, this year will be marked by successful innovation and solutions. Since the pandemic is still around, it’s important to keep safe and to refrain from going out unless if it’s for important errands. I have found that it’s a good time to brush up on my reading. I’m currently reading “The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction,” an anthology of short stories from different writers about the strange and beautiful faces of Japan’s capital city. I think that this year, we’ll see more people starting new hobbies and developing new skills. I’m also excited to start the online classes this month! When there are things we can’t control, it’s helpful to focus on the things that we can. And every day is the perfect day for learning something new!
During winter vacation, I stayed in and made sure to speak with friends and family back home. The time difference makes it difficult sometimes, as there is a nine-hour time difference between Japan and Ireland. This can be tricky and usually means I can only speak with them during the night-time. My family sent me a box called the ‘Paddy Box’ full of Irish snacks and goodies for Christmas, which I have been nibbling on throughout the winter break. It’s full of all types of chocolates and crisps I have been missing and helped me to feel a little bit Christmassy this year. Winter break was also a good time for me to catch up on sleep and get cozy with an interesting book. I usually read thrillers or true crime books but I’m a pretty slow reader. This means I have a stack of books sitting in the corner of my room, waiting for me to read them. As long as the weather stays cold, I know I’ll slowly get through them. They’ll keep me company during the long winter days. What book are you reading to get you through the winter?