The faculty has one big office that they all work in at my school. This includes the teachers, the counselor, the lunch lady, the principals, the nurse. Well, the students often have to come find a teacher before and after school and between classes. There’s a set protocol for announcing themselves and asking for who or what they need. Sometimes, it’s just to get a key off the rack in which case they only have to say “Excuse me (Literally, I’m being rude). I’m taking the key for such and such room. I’m leaving (Literally, I was rude. [the past tense of the first thing they said]).” If they need a teacher, they have to do the same thing and ask if the teacher is there.
Today, a student came to the door and said, “Excuse me. I’ve forgotten the name of the teacher I need.” Needless to say, everyone started cracking up. Poor kid. It’s understandable though, since it’s the beginning of the school year. I still don’t know the names of all the teachers that I work with.
Anyway, what was awesome for me was that I was finally able to enjoy something funny WITH all the teachers. I didn’t have to hear everyone laugh, and then ask “What is so funny?” And it’s all the more impressive (to myself anyway) since I was sitting at my desk on the other side of the room working on something and only overheard the Japanese. I wasn’t paying special attention or anything. Anyway, with the constant reminders that my Japanese still sucks (ie, not understanding what’s going on EVER), I have to relish the moments when I have hard evidence of improvement.