Friday will be the official first day of classes for students throughout Yamaguchi. My school will hold its opening ceremony early that morning. There is still plenty to do until then. Teachers are busy creating spring break tests based off the homework the students had been given. While others are prepping their new classrooms and readying themselves for the new school year. The office has really started to become busy once again.
There has been one group of teachers that have been busy all week. They have been held up in the conference room not to far away from the teachers office. The group has been chatting away over a white frame that is littered with colored plastic pieces. I stumbled on this jumble of teachers early Monday morning. I was just passing by on my way to the bathroom when I got a sideways gimps into the room.
Now, at the time I didn’t really care why they had been there or what they had been doing. Often teachers use the conference room as a space to work on larger projects or put together paper leaflets for school events. I thought nothing of it, but throughout the rest of the day I noticed the same group of teachers looking at the same board. Still I thought little of it.
It was when I continued to pass by the next day, that I started to question what was really going on. Every time I passed I tried to take in something I hadn’t the last time I passed. I paid closer attention to the teachers, all the small colored plastic pieces, and the board they all have been attentive to. Anything I could possibly use to piece together what they are working on. Thus started my detective work.
With every pass I made I noticed something different. The small colored plastic pieces seemed to create a rainbow like pattern over the board. The teachers all had been from the science or math departments and they all seemed to question the board like it was a riddle they needed to solve.
My brain and it’s imagination went to work. Are they making a huge periodic table of the elements to use in the classroom? Are they trying to solve some huge scientific crisis? Are they questioning the truth behind the rock? Are they making a Lego mosaic? My mind went rapid with plenty of strange possible outcomes.
I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Every time I passed by the only real conclusion I could come to was it was a room full of concerned looking teachers playing with colored blocks.
This morning I finally got my answer. I arrived to school early as usual. I put my things at my desk, but needed to go to the restroom since I had a rather large cup of coffee with my breakfast. On the way I passed the conference room. The door was open as I passed. I could see the board and all its colored pieces upon the same table it had been the last few days. I had barely passed the door when I paused for just moment.
Norimatsu-sensei had been standing alone in the room starring down at the board like I had seen him do the last two days. I took two steps back and poked my head into the room. “What is that?” I asked him in Japanese as I walked closer to him and the board. “Ah,” he replied as he tried to find a simple way to tell me. “Class….” He paused not knowing the right way to tell me in English. “じゅぎょ.” was all he said for me to understand. I was looking down at the lessons schedule for the coming school year.
The teachers had been going in and out of that room to make sure that the schedule would not have any over lapping classes and that events would fit into the mix. Each colored piece represented a different subject and a specific type of class was written on it. The board was also split into three different groups: first, second, and third years. It was the master schedule.
My dreams of a mastermind science teachers working on a crooked project had been shattered. I am happy they are not doing anything crazy, but a little sad it wasn’t something a little more wild. Though their still is one question, why are only the science and math teachers working on the master list? Must be some crazy science equation. Good thing they are keeping me away.