It is rainy season currently in Japan. Most days the weather is mild and there are not many full on rain storms, just misty, cloudy, and humid weather. Yesterday didn’t happen to be one of those days.
The other night was a rather strong rain storm. The wind was strong and the rain came down with heavy force against everything and anything. There was some thunder and lighting as well. While the stormed raged on outside my window I was lulled off to sleep, but it kept the more jumpy country of Japan awake. Well, at least most of the kids and teachers at my school anyway.
Waking to sun and humid temperatures, I started my day with a shower and fresh change of clothes. With no TV to inform me any local news or weather updates I looked to the sky to decide what I should wear and bring with me to school. I went with light and thin. Then off to school I went.
It wasn`t until the morning teachers meeting the I realize that something was really off. The phone was constantly ringing and many teachers, when they weren’t busy with a phone, was highlighting students names. What was going on?
Turns out the trains had not been running much, if at all, that morning. Students who did arrive either got a ride from a family member by car, rode a bike, or lived close enough to school to travel as they always did. Still the number of students was low.
The interesting part about all this is I was reminded of Minnesota snow days or the late starts due to heavy fog or snow while I was in Elementary and High School.
After a interesting teachers meeting and a quick short morning home room with the students to count the accuracy number in attendance, teachers and staff decided that school would not start until 9:30 am. We would wait for the 90 or so missing students to arrive, since trains had slowly started moving again.
The entertaining part about all this was how impressed the teachers were by that low number of missing students in each grade/class. Several times I heard “the second years only four missing from two classes. That’s impressive!” Teachers are funny with how simple things like this can be impressive. But I guess I’m impressed by even sillier things, like my kids actually talking to me even it it’s a”Yay!” mixed with a high five.
Still, I could help remembering being charged with anticipation as I waited for my schools name to appear on the canceled or late start list. Ready to explode at any given moment with shouts of joy or disappointment. Though this situation is not actually the same as a snow day, it was similar enough for me. Though I do feel bad for the students who had made it to school on time then had to wait in their classrooms all morning. Either way they must have enjoyed waiting and chatting with friends better than sitting in class for their lessons. But who really knows, Japan is a strange place.