Then I had Listening. You know, I was just starting to look forward to having a solo lesson next Tuesday. I was starting to plan and list various listening activities I could try that would spice up the class a bit. And then today, my team-teacher announces in class that next Tuesday will be a self-study day. So, there goes that idea.
While reading through old teaching materials in the process of clearing out my desk to make room for my supplies, I found a note that the ALT was not originally supposed to be in the Listening class, but the current teacher requested it for the sake of pronouncing words. However, since I do not actually do any pronouncing words (there is a CD for that), it seems rather pointless.
Good news: I heard from one of my friends in Niigata that she's doing fine. Her city is farther to the southwest and didn't have any damage. She did say that aftershocks are continuing, even in the middle of the night, and that the roads still have a lot of cracks in them, but school is going on as usual.
Update: I just received a call from the library. Apparently my predecessor had checked out a library book long-term, and the librarian was calling to try to get it back because another patron wanted to read it. She told me the title, but it didn't ring any bells, and I couldn't find it among the books I kept here on the bookshelf. It was no doubt among the many stacks of books I got rid of after I moved in. <sigh> I felt really sorry for the poor woman. ...Not to mention that the incident has probably left her with a poor impression of foreigners.
I'm sure I also added to her confusion because I kept answering "no" in American style. In English, if the answer is in the negative, we answer "no"--regardless of the question. In Japanese, however, you answer "yes" if you are confirming the question, or "no" if you are contradicting the question. So, for example, we would have this exchange:
Librarian: Won't she be coming back?
<meaning "No, she won't be coming back.">
Librarian: You mean, she will be coming back?
<realizes the librarian heard "No, you are wrong that she won't be coming back.">
What's sad is that, even though I know this is a linguistic rule in Japanese, I keep doing it. It's a really hard habit to change.