Warning: drunken blog alert! (but there is a happy ending)
I've just returned from a friend's party where we were supposed to celebrate the christening of a new child. And you know what, not everything that is posted at this site is going to be gumdrops and sugarplums.
I was happy to party with new friends and old; Congrats to Ed and Ayako(?) to their kid and super congrats to the latest edition of the Ando household, but that's not the crux of this blog.
I had the opportunity to converse with an infrequent acquaintance (Ringo) in whom I see a bit of my past self. (For those who don't know me well, prior to setting up shop as a happy go lucky teacher in Japan, I put in 15-20 years in the social work field. I worked in a correctional facility (met my first psychotic, don't you know, but also prevented my first suicide), then moved onto a homeless shelter where for 5 years, I kept the needy and the not so needy off the streets of Toronto. (As an aside, all of my social work had been met with corruption at some point...in this case, the Director embezzled several thousand dollars, on the pretense of opening a new shelter). Hey, this is where I met my second, (plus...) of many verified psychos, but worst of all I met the victims of some of the most hideous individuals on the planet. But it gets worse. I then moved on to working in Children's Aid assessment homes for another half a decade, again meeting the spawn of some truly warped wackos. Then after most of my lack of trust in humanity had been personified, I moved on to work in Welfare for another 5 years, where I met some of the biggest liars and manipulators on the planet.

Ok enough of that. I quit the life of a social worker and went back to school to become a teacher of English as a Second Language. After a year or two of teaching in Toronto in various ESL schools, I decided to make the big leap and plunged into the scene, teaching in Japan.
This is where the good news seeps into this blog. Many collegues have lamented over the state of teaching here (myself included), but compared to how bad it COULD be, teaching here is a piece of the proverbial cake. For the most part, the students are a joy to behold and I have NEVER regretted coming here in the least. Even when I worked at NOVA (not the best place to have a positive teaching experience), I was happy. Then when an old friend got me a job at a high school in Sendai, I reached the pinnacle of my life...the best job ever (to date). Unfortunately, it only lasted 2 years (financial reasons for the school) and I had to work in a small Eikawa-Juku school for THREE years. But then fortune smiled upon me again and I am starting my second year at another High School, here in my favourite city of Sendai.

Now here is where the happy ending takes place...I spent the night talking about my social work past (not the really nasty bits-nobody needs to hear that crap) and I realised that I have done a lot of good in my past. Now I am working in a field where I am truly happy and damn good at my job! And you know what, I fully expect that one of these days, my personal life will improve and I'll become the recipient of some of the happiness that I know I richly deserve. (Come on KARMA has to work out for me someday.)
Here is where the HAPPY ENDING comes in to play.
The music tonight consisted of "Baila Baila" which is some kind of mutant Latin-Salsa-Samba combination. I tried dancing with a potential paramour earlier in the evening to no avail, but the best part of the night was dancing with my friend's beautiful fiancee in my inimitably bizarre fashion, where for a few minutes, I was swept away in a moment of true happiness.
And you know what, it wasn't such a bad night after all!

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