Sometimes working in an office can be hell on earth. Other times it is filled with silly banter. This situation happens to be one of the silly fun times.
The day started out normal. Nothing fancy going on, but it was a day when students did not have classes scheduled. Only the sports clubs had been active during regular school hours. This means the office was filled with teachers trying to make their work seem important, though some really had work to do, most didn’t. That is when it happened.
One of the science teachers walked into the teachers office with a huge rock in hand. It was pale salmon in color and about the size of a basketball. The teacher stopped near my desk to speak with the part time young science teacher who was sitting at one of three room heaters. The two started talking about where the rock had came from. The teacher with the rock mentioned something about an old man bringing it to school and claiming it was from the antarctic, the South Pole.
Now this was all being spoken in Japanese. My supervisor, bless her, is sweeter than pie but loves gossip and listening in on other peoples conversations. She got right to work helping me listen in on the conversation. I had been busy working on a few other things at the time so wasn’t paying close attention. My supervisor remained attentive to the conversation.
It was like moths to a flame. Teachers flocked in from all over the room, some even coming from outside the office door. What started with only two teachers quickly turned into a group of random teachers talking. Nothing of importance really being said. It was more along the lines of “Oh, that is a big rock.” “Yeah, an old guy dropped it off today. Says it is from the arctic.” “Oh? Interesting.” Then they all trailed off into other topics. Not going back to the rock unless a new teacher joined the group. Then they would start over again.
The whole interaction brought back memories of home and how Minnesotans converse on a daily basis. It starts with how is the weather then diverges into any direction possible after that. Though random in topics the conversations are normally warm and friendly chats. This moment in time felt the same way. From the instant the teacher had walked into the office, who would have known I would get a little glimpse of home.
I had a herd of teachers warmly chatting behind me as I sat at my desk for over an hour. Just pleasant background noise. None of it bothering me in the least and it all started with a silly salmon colored rock.