Help me. Please, God, help me. I have been knocked for six like an Australian bowler during this very Ashes Series. I have had scant contact with other members of the human race for 7 days now and I’ve thought about it long and hard over cups of tea, tiny bowls of cereal, plane rides, train rides, and countless capsules of Day Nurse, but I can now officially confirm for you that flu is in fact, rubbish. You want my advice? Don’t get it. Just don’t. If you see someone coughing, run a mile in the opposite direction. I realise that if you live in London, this may be a difficult rule to follow on account of every man, his dog and both sides of his conscience sneezing all over the place at the moment; go sign up for the London Marathon and consider it training. It is better than hot/cold shivers, runny noses, headaches, aching eyeballs, crawling skin, the strength of a dying ant, endless hours alone, impending insanity and the get-up-and-go mentality of a sloth smoking a spliff in a bath of cement while surrounded by a year’s supply of Jaffa Cakes.
I’m at the end of my tether. I have taken Thursday and Friday off work because I fear I may faint if I even try to muster up the energy to ride my bike to school, let alone get in front of a bunch of school kids and attempt to be inspiring and enthusiastic. Thanks to the absence of sick pay in my contract, that means 2 days of a meagre 20 days of holiday wasted on sitting at home in my pyjamas.
If nothing else, it has given me the opportunity to think. For hours. In my case this is usually not a good thing because I start poking around at every aspect of my life like sticks in some gigantic game of Ker-Plunk; you can poke around a little bit but if you get too carried away, the ball drops and you’re going to have to start setting it up all over again (which is one of the reasons I’m out here in the first place). It’s not just the flu that has brought this on of course; this particular moment in time heralds a few different milestones for me.
- Firstly, and most obviously, it’s the start of a new year; 2011 in case you weren’t paying attention. A new year traditionally forces one to think about what one’s next move is, or indeed if one even has a move, and if not, why the hell not?
- Secondly, I am very close to being half-way through my 1-year contract, and two-thirds of the way through the school year. My current 1st-year students will become 2nd-years at the end of February, and in April I will be presented with 300 new recruits fresh out of junior-high. Mwahahahahaaaaaa.
- Finally, at the beginning of February I will be expected to submit either a “YES” or a “NO” to the Shizuoka Board of Education. That submission will be in reply to the question “Will you be wanting a contract for another year?”
Hmmm. Up until December I was dead-set on staying one year, then I started teasing Ashley, a good friend of mine who has always had the intention of staying 2 years, with gradually decreasing NO/YES ratios of 95/5, 90/10, 85/15, etc. A couple of days ago I was dead-set on staying for another year. Now I’ve completely swung back to 100% NO.
Truthfully I don’t think I’ll know until we get a little closer to the date, but the last week has certainly provided time for some ideas to solidify in my mind. As and when I can forge these ideas from cuendillar I shall present them on these humble pages, but until then, you can rest happily in the knowledge that this will be the last self-indulgent post for the time-being. Back to the Japanese…