5:55 am – I habitually dismiss my alarm clock and roll over.
6:00 am – I again switch off the second alarm, groaning as I reach for my Ipad to see what the world’s been up to while I’ve visited dream world. While I’m deleting useless emails and checking out how my traveling frog is doing I let the third alarm play for ten minutes before I give in and roll out of bed. By now, it’s about 6:18am.
6:40 am – I’ve managed to find an appropriate work outfit to fit my mood for the day and the temperature. After greeting my mom, husband and my writing buddy on the corresponding social media account and perhaps replying to a few messages from friends I received in the night, I turn on the kitchen light and begin preparing breakfast – the usual, fried egg with Japanese sausage and a hashbrown. Sometimes Grits. Always cheese and garlic. Typical Kayla’s lazy man’s weekday breakfast.
6:49 am – I’ve convinced my husband to call me while I continue to prepare my meal. We share pleasantries about our day/sleep and dreams. Yes, this is a normal thing we do, lol. Then we decide what morning show to watch together. Depending on the morning, if I’m at one school, I’ll watch an hour long episode. If it’s Thursday or Friday, I’m stuck with the 20 minute one. We chat and watch the show as I drink my tea. If I have energy, I do the dishes, but often I don’t.
7:40 am – I rush to brush my teeth, fic my hair all while chatting with my husband about random nonsense or my story I’m writing. I’ve sent a few messages to people saying I’m off to work, can’t talk. I rush to fill my bag with stuff for work, snacks and coffee, sometimes forgetting the coffee and regretting it later. Then I say goodbye to my husband as the clock now reads 8 am and I wanted to be out the door five minutes ago.
8:08 am – I arrive at school, loading up my arms with my bags and school shows. Maybe the students will greet me in English today, or maybe I’ve missed them again cuz I’m running late. I run in, change my shoes, say good morning to the office staff and if the Principles in, also to him then I dash up the stairs to the teachers’ room. I greet the teachers in the usual way: Ohayo Gozaimasu. The return the greeting as I take my seat, unloading my arms. I set up my desk, turning on my laptop, pulling out the 2L bottle of water and the coffee and putting them on my desk. I pull out my study books, calendar, and pencil case. I shove the bags under my desk and wait for the morning meeting to start, sometimes I have time before the meeting to place my order for lunch, but usually, I order it after the reading time after the staff meeting.
9:10 am – I don’t usually have first-period class at my main school. So I’ve opened up my laptop and made a plan for the day. Sometimes I study first after making a coffee. Other times, when I don’t have classes scheduled, I hit up my friend to write my novel! If I have notes on my desk, I ask my supervisor what they’re for. Sometimes I get homework to check or a lesson to review.
12:00 pm – If I’m not distracted with teaching, I get hungry around now, so as soon as lunch arrives I am on it like a seagull ready to ravage the lunch. I usually eat while doing something on the computer. If it’s not work, sometimes it’s an ebook or studying Japanese.
2:00 pm – I usually look up at the clock around now, wondering if the day is almost over. Once it reaches 2pm though, it usually goes pretty fast. I more often than not have a full afternoon of classes, but when I don’t I’ll hit up LINE and see if people have plans after work.
3:30 pm – Around now is cleaning time. I use this chance to bug the students, and by bug, I mean, try to engage in small talk in English with them. It’s really fun seeing how flustered they get when they try to answer my questions in English. Usually, you can find me on the balcony or in the hallway outside the office. Sometimes I help in the office, holding out the dust bin for students. My go to is cleaning the windows. I don’t know why that is, maybe it’s because I want to see out at the school grounds and I can’t do that with all the sand stuck to them from the salty wind.
3:45 pm – Cleaning time is over and the students all have long home room. If I don’t plan on going to club, I usually start packing up around now, washing my mug, bagging my books and pens, saving a few files I’ve been working on and shutting down the computer.
4:02 pm – By now I’m packed up and standing at the front! ‘Osaki ni shitsureshimasu!’ I call to the staff at their desks. ‘Ostukaresamadeshita!’ the call back. ‘Mata ashita!’, see you tomorrow, or sometimes, on Wednesday and Friday it’s ‘Mata raishuu!’, see you next week. I leave the office, and pass by the office staff and a few teachers on their way back from homeroom. We exchange ostukare sama’s and then I change my shoes at the cubbys. I load up the car and from there I either hit the Aeon for food or the gas station for gasoline, or the bank for money. I usually have to time make a stop at home if I need anything for after work.
4:45 pm – In the winter and spring, I change into gym clothes and go for a walk, playing pokemon Go. Gotta catch ‘em all! Chuckles to self. I usually bring a camera ‘cause catching the sunset or other wildlife I might see is really fun to send home or post on Instagram. I want others to see how beautiful Iki is. I the summer I’m too hot to do this, so I stay home and listen to music. Sometimes I start dinner early because I have lessons after school.
Monday – I have Taiko 2 times a month in Gonoura, unless there’s a concert coming and then we meet more often. We meet from 7pm to 9pm. Thee group is attended by 5 Japanese people and usually the ALT’s! They speak only Japanese so this is a real chance to practice our Japanese with them.
Tuesday – I have Koto lessons 3 times a month, In Ashibe from 6pm to 7pm. My teacher here also speaks only Japanese but we have fun trying to figure out what each other is saying when we don’t understand.
Wednesday – I have Shodou/Shuji – calligraphy, from 7;30pm to 9pm in Gonoura. We meet 4 times a month and submit our monthly kanji for grading. I attend this class with 3 Japanese people and 2 other ALT’s. We have a lot of fun switch back and forth between English and Japanese in this class. Afterword, we often have sweets and tea. Lately we’ve also been going to local restaurants after class for a group dinner. It’s late, but it’s fun.
Thursday – I don’t always have anything on Thursday, which is nice, because by now, I’m tired. I usually stay late at the senior high school because I help with the English club. We stay at club till around 5:30 pm in the spring and 6:30 pm in the fall because of the debate preparation.
Friday – On this day, after English club, I meet up with all the ALT’s on Iki for Curry at our favourite fish restaurant on Iki, Yoshitomi’s! The place is fun by the Yoshitomi family and we’re friends with both the chef and his father. This is a weekly event as long as you’re on the island, you pretty much come, because his marine style curry is to die for. We often will bring guests who are visiting us on the island to join in, or sometimes we invite our coworkers or local Japanese friends.
9 pm – Once I’m home from all my lessons and life stuff, I try to watch something, or read. Sometimes I text home to see who’s awake. I’ll send pictures home and then start getting ready for bed. The goal is, futon by 10pm, because waking up at 6am is rough when you go to bed late. More often than not though, I end up hitting the hay around 11pm.
And that’s a day in the life of Kayla!
Hope you enjoyed!
Stay tuned for my next post!