I’ve sort of added singing to my musical indulgences. This bit came only recently in addition to my guitar playing, which has gone on since people were still learning the opening chords to Plush. I’ve wished I could do it for a while but only in the last few years taken my meager voice out in public, dusted it off, and quickly shelved it again, only to repeat the experience after I’ve forgotten how traumatic the last time was.
It was in this spirit that I played half a show/half background music at a special flea market day at our local dog park. Luckily this time the performance lasted long enough to get over the traumatic bit and enjoy myself eventually.
Last month we started telling our students that we would be closing our school at the end of May. We had a few teary eyes and some expressions of shock, and most surprisingly to me, some (non-sarcastic) rounds of applause. Most of this month has felt pretty normal. I also wrote our final newsletter this week, which reminded me a bit more of just how much we’re giving up.
We started our school back in 2005. By “started” I mean we put some signs up, bought furniture, painted the walls, made a new gmail address, and started answering the phone with something other than “moshi moshi”. It takes very little overhead if you’re set on making your own materials (a habit I continued throughout the life of our school) and are satisfied with letting word of mouth build your student base. Somehow we got ourselves to the point where people consider us a school and trust us with their or their kids’ educations. At our highest point I believe we had more than 80 students – very small potatoes for some of the people I’ve met in the JALT School Owners SIG, but big for one full-time teacher.
So we’re giving up that achievement, as well as the obvious income, and finally the routine that’s defined our Tuesdays to Saturdays (and sometimes Mondays) for the past 12 years.
Not to mention some incongruously professional-looking mascots