As I mentioned previously, we’ve been having scheduled Rolling Blackouts as part of the post-Earthquake situation. Reducing energy is important in these difficult times, and if it’s one more thing to help the relief efforts, then we’re all for it.
Unfortunately, the implementation has been confusing, complicated, and stressful. There are 5 groups which are scheduled to loose power for one or two 3 hour blocks each day, and it’s slated to go possibly until the end of April. At first the groups were unclear, then the schedules were wrong, and redone, and redone, and redone.
The first day, we turned off all the lights and computers in the staff room, then gathered around the windows to see if the traffic signals would drop at the appointed time. 5 minutes passed, then 10. Someone tried the overhead lights and they worked. Then someone checked, and the blackout had been rescheduled for 4 PM. Then 5 PM. Then canceled.
The next morning’s was canceled, except then, it wasn’t. Instead it showed up about 20 minutes late, once we were sure it wasn’t coming. We sat in the dark for a few hours, worrying as to whether or not things would resume as normal when it was over. Amazingly enough, they did.
The staff room gets a little chilly, and I’m not looking forward to teaching in the dark–yes, the show must go on! It was a bit nerve-wracking coming home today with no traffic signals, but no one hit me, and there were police directing traffic at the biggest intersection near our house, so it was fine.
To ease the confusion, there’s this handy little Wheel of Fortune to show when your group’s turn is up! The little guy is a caricature of one of the teachers at my school, drawn by another teacher who constantly draws hilarious cartoons of our coworkers and then uses them in various school publications (signs for the recycling, bathrooms, shoe area, etc.) I’m waiting for the day he makes one of me! Isn’t it adorable? And so helpful, too!
Schedule available (in Japanese, of course) here!