April 8, 2004 – Sprinting in a suit

Today was a chaotic day. The fun all started at 4:00am, when I was woken up by some drunk gaijins playing soccer in the street right outside my window. There is no grass anywhere nearby, so the sounds of the soccer players and the ball were bouncing off all the concrete. After about 5 minutes of listening to kicking and bouncing, I went outside and asked them very nicely to move their game, which they did. It took me about an hour to get back to sleep.

Before work I tried to get some Playstation time. While playing, I spilled a 600ml bottle of Coke on the floor. My lightning fast video game reflexes allowed me to pick it up very quickly, which caused Coke to spray everywhere in the room. I got Coke on my futon, couch, clothes, Playstation controller, CDs and stereo.

I got everything cleaned up and expected that the rest of the day would move along smoothly. WRONG. Just before leaving Hello House I got a call from work telling me that due to some scheduling issues, my first 2 lessons would be at Kawasaki NOVA and my last 3 lessons would be at Keikyu Kawasaki NOVA. There are 10 minutes between lessons, and walking from one school to the other takes about 5 minutes. To avoid a big rush, I left for work extra early, went to Keikyu Kawasaki NOVA and planned all my lessons. After that I went to Kawasaki NOVA and got those lessons ready. Everything was organized and there would be no panic.

At Kawasaki NOVA I taught one lesson then a Voice class, before quickly leaving the building and walked the 500 meters to Keikyu Kawasaki NOVA. When I arrived I saw that the schedule had changed, and I was now listed as having “break”. I asked the staff to confirm, so they called Kawasaki NOVA and found out that I was now on the schedule there, and had one minute to get back. Since we are fined for being late for lessons, rushed out the door and sprinted back to Kawasaki NOVA, wearing my suit and wondering how I was going to find out who I was teaching and how I would somehow pull a lesson out of my ass with no planning.

I dodged and weaved my way through the dense foot traffic and managed to get back in 3 minutes, panting and sweating. When I got inside I learned that I didn’t actually have a lesson after all. I got to spend the rest of the class period filing in the teachers room before once again leaving for Keikyu Kawasaki NOVA to finish my last two lessons. Good times!

(2014 Update) This is a good example of how disorganized the large NOVA schools could be, especially when they shared teachers with a nearby satellite branch. My job satisfaction increased a lot when I later transferred to smaller schools.

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