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Chronicles of a (former) Academy Teacher

Sake, ramen and ramblings...

8/10/06 12:14 am - Home sweet home?

Went out for ramen with Iwashi-san, had a good time, got some insight into being a jounin and caught up on the ever-ongoing situation with his house. Again I feel lucky that my building wasn't hit.

I'm remembering what family life is like more and more all the time. Yes, there is the plus of when you're home you don't have to cook your own meal, but then there is the downside of lack of floorspace, lack of quiet and lack of hot water by the time the bathroom is free. And I still don't think there is any way it can take twenty minutes to wash your hair, even if you have longer hair, Shinsei! And clean your hair out of the drain after you're done. It's disgusting! And I know it's you, because you're the only person in the apartment with long light brown hair!

So today I got back from my training and volunteer work at the Academy where some people apparently think I _still_ teach. and we had dinner, only Shinsei was complaining that Genji was putting an elbow on _his_ side of the table. It was ridiculous. Two chuunin, both over twenty, squabbling like five year olds about who was on whose side of the table. When I pointed out that it was my table and I wouldn't mind cutting it in half to demonstrate who had which side, everyone shut up quickly. I found that it's more effective to say such things quietly with adults. With my students I shouted sometimes. But being a little quieter seems to have put the fear of the Kami into my fellow apartment dwellers. There was relative peace and quiet for the rest of the evening. Relative meaning like you'd expect with relatives- someone will eventually bring up a contraversial subject and all hell breaks loose.

Mostly good times...

7/18/06 11:53 pm - Tents, floorspace and ramen

Been very busy, what with the rebuilding going on. I actually suggested that we completely start over in some places instead of even attempting to salvage. No one really listened though and I don't blame them. It's natural to want to save whatever you can. Someone was listening though when I said it would save time and effort if we gave up on houses entirely and went to collapsable nomad-style tents. I still think it's not entirely a bad idea... but I got all sorts of comments about how badly it would reflect on the stability of our village. It was a joke, people. Well, mostly a joke.

Speaking of stability in the village, due to this most recent crisis, I've opened my own undamaged apartment to those who weren't so fortunate so now an apartment that comfortably would hold two or three is holding five. It's very strange and very lived-in feeling. In that I can't always find my own things, someone keeps leaving the hot-tap on and I don't have to water the flowers on the window sill. Or cook dinner. People keep pitching in to do things in exchange for floor space even when I tell them they don't have to. My apartment's never felt this way before. But home used to.

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5/16/06 05:50 pm - All right.

We're all alive. Shinsei's in hospital, Hiroko didn't even get scratched and Michiaki is being very quiet, but is fine. I'm... I don't know. There isn't anything physically wrong with me- except for my shoulder, but it doesn't hurt that much. I just feel like there's something tightening inside of me. I don't even know what it is... I'm fine though I keep having to remind myself what day it is, and of everything that's happened. Practice really pays off, it really does.

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I'm fine. I should see what I can do to help those who aren't. I should stop thinking so much. There has to be something else I can do now. I haven't slept at all for a day or two, I think. Time is doing strange things.

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3/25/06 12:16 pm - Slipping on the edge

Heheh… There is something seriously wrong with me, only I’m not sure what it is yet... I feel as though I’m running on the edge of a knife- maybe not even running, maybe dancing. And if I trip and fall, I’ll die, but if I can just keep going as I am, I’ll be fine. Like running on a pane of glass. I’m moving without trying- or that’s what it feels like. I don’t feel sick any more. I don’t feel too much of anything, except this strange enthusiasm for the fight to come to me again. We’ve given up on keeping them out, too many got past in other places. We’ve been redeployed, basically told to scatter and attack as we see fit. And I have been.
Six down, more to go. Good thing my chakra control’s pretty decent or I’d be tired around now. Still nearly untouched, my right shoulder caught the edge of a blade and it’s throbbing a bit, but other than that, I’m fine. Even though… there’s lots of blood. But it’s not mine. I can’t help but laugh at the thought, but I don’t know why. Something inside of me is changing, it feels strange, but it doesn’t hurt. I still feel I ought to know what it is, but I don’t. But I’m issuing a challenge to anyone/thing who can sense it. To those who have attacked my village: I am your death!

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2/24/06 03:11 pm - In Media Res...

It's true about war being 9/10s boredom and 1/10 nail-biting action. Speaking of which, my team was deployed for advanced action. Even though we're holding a defensive position, as soon as we know the enemy's out there, there's no reason not to attack. At least that's Shinsei-san's assessment and as he's our team leader I'm not about to disagree except if I absolutely have to... We're fortunate enough to have a Hyuuga as part of our team, I believe she's one of Hinata's cousins (?)Aunts? Nieces? Her name is Hiroko anyway... and we were able to spot an enemy team moving into position well before they found us. We split up, with Michiaki and Shinsei attacking first. Hiroko kept watching for more and I got the one who thought he was going to avoid the whole question of fighting altogether.
He also liked using swords. Past tense is being used deliberately, and this whole missive is being jotted down in a free moment- of which we won't have too many more. Hiroko's just spotted a few new incoming. If we can stop them before they ever get to the village, I will be very happy.

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2/1/06 02:36 pm - Waiting...

...and for the first time in a long time, I'm not guarding the students. And I'm all right with that. Really. I know that their usual teachers are very competant individuals. So I shouldn't worry. But I always do. Worrying is one of those things that everyone finds a way of dealing with after a while. It's easiest, for me anyway, when I only have a short period of time in which to react. This longer wait, this impending attack... it's harder. And I'm sure he knows that... But patience is a virtue, even if every day that we're not attacked makes some people think we won't ever be.

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To everyone- I was trying to think of something profound to say, but I'm at a loss. All I can think to say is this.
Live to see our victory.
That's not very profound, but it will have to do.

1/6/06 11:32 pm

Talked to the parents yesterday. Something of a onesided conversation as usual, but sometimes I wonder if they're disappointed in me. I realize I'm doing something useful as a substitute-teacher, but I'm getting to the point where I think I need to either go back to the Academy full time, or really start asking about missions. I think I'm up for it.
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In other news, my plants are starting to grow- I think. I put them in a planter by the window and when they actually bloom, they should look nice! I also sorted through a small filefolder today and trimmed its size down considerably by throwing out papers I don't need any more. I have this irrational fear of throwing out something very important so I try to avoid sorting my stuff as much as possible. But I was looking for something today and it got more complicated as time passed. When I finally gave up on finding what I was looking for, I headed out for some more training. I actually got in a good sparring match today!

12/20/05 05:06 pm - Finals Finally Over... even for the teachers!

Students are really lucky. I don't think they realize how lucky they are sometimes. Their teachers not only have to create practical and theoretical finals, but they also have to proctor and grade them. Due to my current status with the Academy, I didn't actually have to create finals, just proctor several and grade more than I want to think about. But I finished and I'm still sober and mostly sane. And really, really tired... It's encouraging to grade good tests, but when I get to bad ones, or ones where people pass by the narrowest of margins, I really have to remind myself that tests can only measure so much.

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11/29/05 06:29 pm - Celebrating, Volunteering etc

Just like everyone else here I'm so glad that Ino's back safe and sound! Reports of her death however greatly exaggerated they were, certainly made most of us reflect on mortality. Yet I wonder if despite the aspect of death, or because of it, some of us just can't see any other way of life than this one... Deep philosophical thoughts that I'll save for another day...

In more mundane news, I've been busy today, I proctored a test and substituted for a teacher on sick leave, in addition to my usual tutorials and I'm going to reward myself with some ramen tonight. At the rate I'm going I think that I may end up being a desk shinobi for the rest of my career and I'm really sick of that already. If I don't get a chance to take the next jounin exam or do something remotely challenging I think I'll die of boredom.

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11/19/05 01:55 pm - This is hard to write...

I just heard the news at the grocery store...

As a teacher I have had so many students enter and exit the classes I’ve taught, that I’ve had moments where an apparently random person will come up and start talking to me. After a few quietly panic-filled moments, I usually remember their name, but it doesn’t seem to belong to the genin, chuunin or jounin in front of me. They were shorter to start with… If I think long enough I’ll remember what sort of grades they pulled, if they were trouble or quiet, that sort of thing. But every year there are some students who simply refuse to be forgotten- kids who are too familiar Naruto, too shy Hinata or too bubbly Ino. I watch their careers with interest, and sometimes with regret.

I’ve seen plenty of death and every year that passes inevitably brings more deaths of people I know. Somehow it’s different though, when it’s a student who dies. After a certain point after their graduation, a year or so depending on the individual, I can tell myself that it wasn’t something they failed to learn from me. I gave them the basics and they did their best.

I’ve dealt with this before, but somehow every time is different. I have to go to the funeral, it’s part of my duty as her former teacher. Just the way I have to talk to Inoshi-san. That’s going to be very difficult. If anyone needs someone to talk to, remember we do have counselors for that purpose, right Shizune?

If on the other hand, you also dislike hospitals/grief counseling intensely, but would just like to talk about Ino- and possibly have some sake- please don’t hesitate to drop by.

Ino-san, I will remember you. I don't think anyone who knew you could possibly forget you.
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