From this schedule, I learned further details about my Thanksgiving break.
In summary, I'll be working on Saturday, but then I'll have a three-day weekend without having to use any vacation time.
I also found out that there's some kind of sports event next week, both Thursday and Friday, so most of my classes are canceled on those days. Plus I will get a half-day off (at some as-yet-undetermined time) in compensation for the speech contest.
This is pretty far ahead, but I was told that the seniors stop coming to school at the end of January. I teach seniors for *nine* classes a week, so I'll have a much lighter schedule during February and March, it seems.
Then I heard the first news about the year-end party (bounenkai, literally "forget the year party") during announcements. It is planned to take place the evening of December 3rd. This is noteworthy because it's the first enkai I've heard about. My schools in Niigata would use every major school event (start of the term, school festival, sports day, etc.) as an excuse to throw a party--even in the middle of the week, resulting in a few teachers showing up at school the next morning with hangovers or memory loss--but here I haven't heard of any parties until now, which kind of surprised me. Maybe they're just saving it all up for the bounenkai.
During announcements, there was a request for the homeroom teachers to lecture the students about not wearing silver barrettes. Apparently this has been a problem...I guess they're only supposed to wear black ones. One of the teachers commented, "I know it seems like a bother, but if we don't nip this in the bud at an early stage, it will continue to escalate. They will start to wear more and more flashy things."
^_^; Students who wear silver barrettes. Oh, the horror. The madness. When will it end?