I have to tell this story about my day at junior high school.
A million note-able things happen each day.
The girl in the back of the room who waves and smiles every time i look in that direction, for ex.
But! This is about my encounter with the math teacher.
My desk is next to the computer.
So often people have to sit next to me when they use it.
I chat with the English teachers in English, but I don't have many chances to talk to the other teachers, yet.
And they feel nervous around me, because they think I don't understand Japanese, and/or they think they should be able to speak English and I am proof of their English failure.
There is a math teacher that often makes me happy.
Now, in schools, I often get really hungry, but the times that I have eaten food at a time outside of lunchtime, other japanese staff make comments and I feel like "oh, i'm not supposed to do this, erm." But, I'm hungry, it's 5pm, and there is a snack! It's a dilemma.
I was wondering what my new school is like. It seemed kind of formal at first- can I eat snacks?
This is a very big question for me.
I was wondering this and walked by the math teacher in the staff room, at his desk, slowly eating a jumbo size pudding cup, enjoying each bite at 10 in the morning. He's a man in his 20's, rather normal looking, yet mannerisms a bit like a grandpa. In a tie eating a giant cup of pudding.
Another morning, morning meeting. In front of the vice-principal's desk, he pulls out a huge white oblong of bread in plastic packaging. He carefully reads the label, appreciating the ingredients and calorie information. He unfurls it and takes a big bite. Mmmm.
Today at 5 pm I had nothing to do at school and was hungry so I started eating a big piece of mochi. The math teacher sits beside me to use the computer. I continue eating the mochi, alternating between pulling off pieces and putting them in my mouth, and biting the mochi directly, gauging which way gets less rice flour on my fingers, but both ways get a lot of rice flour on my fingers. He carefully speaks to me in japanese, slowly and generously:
Math teacher: "What are you eating?"
Math: "Wow, that must be nice."
Me: "It is. Do you want some? you can pull some off."
"Do you like japanese sweets?"
Eventually the intimacy of the moment struck me and i had to go and wash my cup and drink some tea. Also, Sitting next to someone and saying nothing is a special thing, but there is a tension when one person thinks they have to say something and i was thinking that kind of moment had come up.