I am taking the day off tomorrow and will be spending the day in Tokyo. My friend Louise and I will be doing our " 4 Times a Year Afternoon Tea Tradition" at an expensive tea lounge in Ginza. She probably doesn't realize that this is also kind of birthday gift to myself - a day off, with tea and a friend, in Ginza.
I kind of dreaded having to work today because it is my birthday and in Japan, school is still in session. In fact, today is our deadline for turning in 1st semester grades, so all the teachers are rushing about, correcting a gazillion projects and papers, calculating the grades on our excel spreadsheets, and then inputting the final grades into our intra-net computers. I thought it would be a stressful day especially since yesterday was so bad. I lost my grade book at 2pm and then spent about 4 hours searching everywhere for it. Without my grade book, I was unable to continue my grading, obviously. Luckily, it was found and returned to me so I didn't have to go through yet another sleepless night.
Speaking of sleepless nights, I have had many of those lately. Why, just the other night, I couldn't sleep because I was so nervous about having to yell at one of my classes for doing so poorly on their exam! I even got out of bed and went to the living room and wrote down everything I wanted to say to them. I thought it would allow me to relax and go to sleep, but it didn't help that much. I was still really upset about it.
Back to birthdays and having to work on them. I was so annoyed because Yusuke didn't mention my birthday today and because he didn't say anything, Ailin didn't either. Then, it began pouring (more than the usual cats and dogs) rain just as we were about to leave for work, so I got soaked trying to get the kids out to the car and loaded up.
When I arrived at school, several people immediately wished me a happy birthday. Then, I went to one of my classes to return their exams and the entire class sang happy birthday to me. Thanks to Facebook, I have already received several birthday messages. Adie, my co-worker, gave me a card with a message about going to Starbucks to drink coffee together soon. I immediately invited her to have a quick lunch and coffee with me today, and we took along one of our students' computer projects to grade while there. It took us about 20 minutes to grade all of them. (Funny that Shannon also gives me birthday cards with cups of coffee on them! Some people know how much I love the coffee culture.) Finally, and most surprising of all, the entire English department had a meeting at 4pm to discuss all the grades, and at the end of the meeting, they sang happy birthday and then pulled out firecrackers right at the end of the song. I was really touched.
Now, if only Yusuke will come home early tonight and share with me that $30 bottle of German wine that I insisted we buy for my birthday. Wouldn't want to drink that alone.