Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy New (School) Year!

Last week, here in Japan, the new school year began. As an Aussie, having grown up with the school year starting in line with the new calendar year, I find an April start a little strange. Having just come out of a horribly depressing Japanese winter however, I find the starting of a new chapter with the new signs of life a lovely idea.

I've only met a few of my classes so far. It's great seeing all the fresh new faces, especially the first grade junior high kids. They are so excited and so open to being entertained. The boys are looking swamped in their new school jackets, jackets bought in a size for them the grow into. In class, the blurting out of "My name is ..." is a thrill and an achievement to get excited about.

For me though, I'm starting this new year with mixed feelings. I know that I have one more year here. Part of me is excited and planning all the things I want to do and see in that time. The other part of me feels a bit like I'm trapped in a Groundhog Day moment.

Let me go back for a moment. My trip to Australia in spring holidays was great. Brisbane was really quiet as I was there over the Easter long weekend, a time when most Brisbanites get out of the city. Most of my time there was spent sorting out some business stuff and catching up with friends. One of my friends even had her baby while I was there, so I got a chance of seeing the new mum and meeting the gorgeous new arrival before flying out. Another friend is pregnant, and has just moved into her new house. Others have bought new properties, have new children, or children have grown up since I saw them last. There's a great sense of momentum in the lives of my friends and family.

Now I've come back to Japan. I'm teaching exactly the same lessons I taught last year and the year before that. Last year, when I was teaching them, I told myself it was the last time. Not in a bad way, but this time last year, we thought that we'd still be in Japan, but I wouldn't be working and would be starting a family. Now, one year later, I'm back doing the same thing, telling myself that my family will begin next year. You know those scenes they have in movies sometimes where someone stands really still and everything around them is rushing by. That's a bit how I feel right now.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to be excited about. There are festivals coming up, seasons that will change, lots of inspiration to soak up and preparations to do before the starting of a family. It's just that today, I'm having a little trouble remembering those things.


Fuji Mama said...

I have confidence that you will find joy in repeating those same lessons somehow--you seem like the type that would. :-) I always love your photography. This was a particularly good shot I thought for this post.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Thank you! You're so sweet ;)