It’s strange days and stressful times here in Japan. While the devastation in the affected areas is gut-wrenching, most of the country is trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Despite everyone’s concern (and multiple early morning phone calls) my bus trip this morning was not late, overcrowded, or impossible. Classes resumed as normal at my visit school and there was a strange mix of nervous tension and excitement as the announcement of those accepted for the new school year went live at 10 AM.
Around midday I got a call from my supervisor that classes at my main school had been canceled today, tomorrow, and even the day after. Teachers could take Nenkyuu, or Paid Time Off, and my supervisor said that she was doing so because of limited gas availability, and perhaps I would too so that I could stay inside? I decided against it, as my time off is rather limited, and I’m just as safe sitting at my desk as I am in my pajamas at home (though less cozy!)
I believe the official reason for canceling classes is not the Nuclear situation, but because my school draws students from all over the prefecture (and even the neighboring ones) so many students rely on the trains which are currently disrupted and running on limited schedules. We have yet to actually see one of the promised rolling black-outs, however, though a friend in a nearby city just slept through one.
Then when I left work for the day, they insisted that I put on a surgical mask, and bring home extra for Sean. It was really sweet, but did make me a bit nervous and if radiation levels were actually that bad, a bit of tissue on my face probably won’t help too much.
The most important thing right now is trying to keep a level head in all of this. Panic begets panic, and while Japanese media coverage is impressively level-headed, people are starting to get a bit nervous about everything. It’s a scary situation, with lots of troublesome words, but still, there’s tons of compelling evidence that WE ARE OK and will continue to be ok.
People are understandably nervous as we face some very big, intimidating topics. That being said, fear-mongering & rumor spreading helps no one, and the chances are very much in our favor that we will be fine. As my students say when facing big, scary things, “FIGHTO!”
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