First I would like to say that this is my second welcome party. However, due to some scheduling errors on my part, I missed the other one. I’m really glad that I was able to make it to this one, hosted by the English Department at my high school.
Sato sensei drew all the pretty pictures on the white board. Upon entering the room, my eyes immediately found this bit of awesomeness. The tables had been moved and bento boxes were placed at every seat.
Sidenote: Meats like chicken, pork, beef, etc are expensive in Japan. But take a look at this bento box! Protein! Protein! Protein!
It was a very well planned event. There was opening remarks, introductions, eating, a short speech (by yours truly), a gift of awesomeness, and lots of side conversations. I’d just finished reading Northanger Abbey and I was reminded of those formal affairs where everyone is on their best behavior.
That day, dispite my affinity for talking, I was at a loss for words. I spoke when addressed. I attempted to chit chat but mostly I sat laughing aloud at my own nerves. I realized that I’m very rarely in formal-esk situations at work. Work lunches were not a thing in AZ. If there was a meal being provided, you had options. You could be anti-social and take your food to go. (I did this quite a bit. Mostly, I took it to another teacher’s class and we ate together.) Your other option is to find a seat next to someone you know. As a teacher, there aren’t many instances where you are put on display in this fashion. Class visits, mandatory audits, coaching and visitors are totally ok but having to eat a meal and be cordial during said meal is new territory. It seemed like the whole room was waiting for me to say something. Far too much attention for my tastes.
It was a lovely meal. The food was good. And the best part was the gift. I mean, who doesn’t like recieving gifts? Getting ANY gift is cool. But what made it that much better was the thought behind the gift.
Can you guess whats inside this bag? I’m sure you can. It was a giant “costco” Jiffy peanutbutter!!!!! I whispered sweet nothings to that container. I have it squirreled away and am abstaining from openening it until I can make peanutbutter cookies. I’ve already found the oven I plan to purchase to make this happen.