Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Domino Effect

Friday the 16th was an unusual day at Ye Olde Academy. Since the next day was to be one of the various entrance exams, only morning classes were scheduled. The students had to clear the junior and senior high buildings by early afternoon so we could set everything up for the exams. It looked to be a fairly easy day, and it was a given that I'd be able to go home early for a change.

As it turned out, it was even easier, and I got to go home even earlier, than I'd expected. My son woke up in the morning looking languid and flushed and complaining of chills. We checked his temperature and found it to be 38.8 degrees Centigrade (101.8 Fahrenheit). A flu has been going around recently, and a couple of my son's classmates had already been down with it, so we feared the worst. I went ahead and called the school, explained the situation, and told them I'd be coming late. I then rushed to the Namegata General Hospital (the only "real" hospital in our area), made an appointment, and came back home to relax a bit while waiting.

My son and I wound up arriving a few minutes late for his appointment, found out that we'd been skipped, and were then made to wait for about two and a half hours before we could see a doctor. The doctor said it was too early to tell whether it was the flu or not, especially since my son wasn't showing any symptoms besides a fever and runny nose. We were given a one-day prescription, told to come back the next day if he got any worse, and sent on our way. I brought my son home and sent him straight to bed. It was already too late for my morning classes, so I just grabbed a kip, waited for others to come home, and then headed off to the school to take my turn at "day duty" (which actually meant taking a quick patrol of the campus and then locking up when everyone was gone).

On Saturday my son's fever was already pretty much gone, and he was raring to go. That was a good thing, because not only was I on duty at the school all day because of the entrance exams, but my daughter was also there taking the exam. (Yes, she's that age now.) My wife was also there so she could cart my daughter to and from the school. That just left my son with my father-in-law, who was out of the house doing whatever most of the day. He was fine, though, and by evening his fever was completely gone.

So naturally my daughter got sick on Sunday. Her bug seemed milder than my son's, since her temperature was hovering just a little over 37.3 degrees C (99 degrees F) all day. However, at night it shot up to 38.6 degrees C (101.5 degrees F). This morning (Monday) it got up to 39.4 C (102.9 F). My wife took her to the hospital, where the doctor prescribed her a whole pile of medicine. I was able to come home in the afternoon since there was a staff meeting to discuss the exam results; since my daughter was an examinee, rules forbade my being there. The problem is that her fever is still in the high 38s even now, meaning she'll be home sick tomorrow too. Since my wife took the day off today, I guess it's my turn. I'm sure my daughter isn't very happy right now, but at least I'm getting a couple of extra days off...with nothing to do!

Maybe it's just what the doctor ordered, a little off-time windfall...except for the fact that my schedule is now totally screwed up. I could also do without the flu right now, thank you!


  • I am sorry about all the sickness. I hope you avoid the bug!

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 4:00 AM  

  • Drink a lot vitamin C! Keep warm!

    Hope that your daughter is getting better soon.

    By Blogger Selba, at 10:37 AM  

  • Everyone's getting sick or what?

    I'm home too... sick! And with nothing to do. It sux =(

    By Anonymous Ă…nGe|e, at 3:12 PM  

  • Selba is right. But don't wait until you feel ill, take it every day.

    Geeze, we went to see the eye doctor the other day and I expected to be home before 11 am. Ha ha ha. We waited and waited and waited like sheep in a slaughter house. I've been to see a doctor three or four time in Japan (all for the same condition and I never thought any of them knew what the hell they were doing) but I never had to wait more than 30 minutes. These eye doctor guys had making people wait down to a science with mindless Tee Vee in the main waiting room and then when they call your name you go into a back room with not even a magazine to distract you to wait some more. After a couple of hours, K was allowed to start, and I got fed up with the whole thing and walked out. Bad enough they over charge for glasses by a factor of ten, but then to add insult to injury one must wait half a day for the privilege of helping the SOB make his Mercedes payment. Arrrggg! Grouchy Panda!

    Hope you are all well now.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 6:41 PM  

  • Over here, people are falling sick (and coughing) partly contributed by the mandarin oranges.

    Hope everyone is well now.

    LOL about PandaB's rant.

    By Blogger HappySurfer, at 8:19 PM  

  • Well, now my daughter has an even more serious ache to deal with. Last year her teacher said it was pointless for her to try to enter Ye Olde Academy, claiming that passing the entrance exam had nothing whatsoever to do with intelligence or ability, only whether or not one took a specialized prep course at a cram school. There wasn't much chance of my daughter attending such a course, so she worked very hard on her own to prove him wrong.

    It turned out he was right. I see what kind of useless idiots somehow manage to enter the school every year. My daughter still didn't pass despite being top of her class. And there were definitely some "WTF?" issues with this year's admissions (to put it mildly). She's devastated, and my wife is about ready to torch the school. And I have to continue working there with some semblance of pride. This is not going to be an easy year.

    And right now I don't really give a flying f*** whether someone from the school reads this or not.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:34 AM  

  • bastards

    By Anonymous The Intrepid Adventurer, at 7:57 AM  

  • Oops, can I say that on TV?

    By Anonymous The Intrepid Adventurer, at 7:59 AM  

  • Too late now!

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 8:51 AM  

  • Bloody hell, what's the deal with those silly cram classes? Merit shmerit. A private academy ought to be proud to accept a pupil who is at the top of her class!

    I'm hoping you don't have the flu! As it's Wednesday morning for you by now, you would know if you were going to have it or not.

    Hehe, my word verification is "bless".

    By Blogger Olivia, at 10:07 AM  

  • Does that mean I should sneeze, m'lady?

    As was the case with my son, my daughter got over her fever after only a day or two. Hers peaked higher than his (39.8 as opposed to 38.8 C), but it went down the next day, and by the following morning she was back to her normal, low-average temperature. She had the same other symptoms my son did only worse (sore throat, coughing, sluggishness).

    Today I'm coughing, my throat is a bit sore, and I'm feeling listless, though some of it may have to do with frustration over my daughter's exam result. I don't seem to have a fever.

    A lot of teachers at my school are very much against cram schools, but they're too much a part of the culture. And as long as our entrance exams continue to follow the same, predictable pattern with largely similar content every year, the local cram schools will continue to crank out test machines without any real mettle.

    Still, the competition for my daughter was unusually tough this year, especially because she's a girl. There are some things I shouldn't talk about, obviously, but I knew the odds were probably against her.

    The plus side of this is that her going to a public junior high will definitely cost a lot less...and she can try for a high-level senior high later.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:57 PM  

  • I don't know if I should put any comment here or not, but I'm so sorry for your daughter's illness and the result of the exams. I also heard about the "WTF" issues that you're talking about from ... um, you know who that is. =) I'm totally against the unfair idea of accepting the students, too, and I
    strongly hope that she'll enter the school whenever she becomes a highschool girl.

    Hope you don't catch the flu.

    P.S. You can delete this comment if you find any impropriety in it.

    By Anonymous Sanshiro, at 5:14 PM  

  • Well JC&SFF! (meaning not suitable for public display). Seems impossible that your daughter would not be admitted. Outrageous.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 7:38 PM  

  • Sanshiro
    You're totally welcome to comment here any time you like. I appreciate it!

    Are you enjoying your time off? ;-)

    Well, at least the second round of testing seems to have been by the book with no "WTF" issues. As I mentioned, competition was unusually intense this year, particularly for girls. Not only was there an unusually high number of female applicants, but their average score was extremely high (or so I've been told). My daughter got beaten fair and square. I could say it was sheer dumb luck...and a result of the cram-school system...but there's probably not much point. We just have to accept life and deal with it.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 9:04 PM  

  • Sorry about the sickness...glad we don't have "cram school" to worry about here...our daughter is certainly enjoying public school, and we sure like that's less than a mile away!

    By Blogger ladybug, at 11:26 AM  

  • Insert machavelion theme music.

    The real reason your daughter was not allowed to enter the acadamey is because...

    is because...

    she would be able to report back to her father all the outrageous gossip!!!

    Best at hand, ready your sabre.

    I am sure your daughter would do fine under other circumstances.


    By Anonymous Dave, at 8:20 AM  

  • Actually, I admit that, for a number of reasons, it's probably for the better that she didn't pass. Ye Olde Academy would certainly offer more and better opportunities than the local public junior high (and would probably have fewer problem kids)(Notice I said "probably", not "certainly"), but since the school is only about a mile away, whereas the Academy is sixteen miles away, it's much more convenient. I'll also be shoveling out a lot less money for it. There's also the no small matter that all her current classmates are going there, which will make things a lot easier.

    She might be able to do a good deed there, too. The "concert band" at the local public junior high school is currently down to only three members. Yes, that's right. Three. They all wound up retraining on clarinet so they could at least perform as a clarinet ensemble. My daughter and her friend both promised to join the concert band if my daughter didn't enter Ye Olde Academy. In other words, they could be saving the band from being disbanded (no pun intended). And if they do, as a clarinetist, I can help train them.

    I doubt there was any foul play involved with her entrance exam. Yes, I had teachers come to me and express concern that her coming to Ye Olde Academy would create hassles for both of us, but other teachers have had and do have children attending our school without any trouble. I don't know about the first round of testing, but in the second one it looks like she simply got outperformed by kids who received specialized training for the exam. That's life. Life isn't always just. She just wasn't meant to come to this school, and things might just be better because of it.

    I'll try to do better with my son.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 11:46 AM  

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