Today was ordinary.
I taught classes; I graded papers; I played dress-up in my weekly kimono lesson; I worked late.
Today was extraordinary.
I was given a fat slice of maple cream cake as I chatted with colleagues around the staff room’s kerosene heater; I had a good hearty laugh with my co-teacher as we were grading papers — one student declared “My dream is becoming medical technician to SAVE MANY ANCIENTS” ; I kept falling out of my slippers as I rushed across the school in my pale yellow kimono, and two of my third-year students (and fellow kimono classmates), giggling at my ineptitude, finally dared to break the barrier of silence by seeing how receptive I was to some mixed Japanese-English questions; the gym teachers cheered me into saying “Otsukare” (“You worked hard”) to a very dedicated, very shy soccer club student after a difficult practice.
A very ordinary day.
A very extraordinary day.
It’s not the picture-worthiness of the scenery you live in; it’s not the fame of the place you now call home. It’s the people. People make all the difference.
*Originally written December 3rd, 2015.