2010 – Iki-shi, Nagasaki-ken, Japan, Earth


The fabulous Ryoko-sensei.I teach regularly with four Japanese Teachers of English (JTEs): Kumiko-sensei (at my smallest school–under 30 students total), Fumiko-sensei (at my second smallest school–about 60 students total), and Michiko- and Ryoko-sensei (both at my largest school, and the largest middle school on the island, with about 250 students).

This is Ryoko-sensei, the last of my JTEs.  She’s the youngest of my JTEs at either 26 or 27 (I don’t remember which).  The school she teaches at was her first posting, and she’s been on Iki for six years.  As such, this will be her last year teaching on Iki, and I’m a little sad.  When I first met her, she was very reserved, but she’s since opened up to me and gotten to know my wacky style of humor.  She also gives me a ton of leeway in the class–partially that may be her just wanting to work less, though.  That’s okay with me.

You may notice that Ryoko’s wearing a mask here.  She’s not sick, but since the pig flu madness reached Japan, they’ve been doing everything they could to overreact.  I feel like, though, their precautions aren’t really working. I mean, half my school is “out” with the flu–if their siblings have it, they have to stay home, too.  Yet I never wear a mask, but so far, so not sick.  (Knock on wood.)  Maybe I’m just magically immune.  Or maybe I get enough sleep and wash my hands lots.  XD  Anyway.


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