Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The end of the Scotto period in Utsunomiya

Yes, it has finally happened. After a glorious 18 months at the helm in Utsunomiya, the Scotto legacy has ended. Historians may note in the future that the Scotto Period may have marked the people of the region just as much as the Edo or Meiji Periods, we will simply have to wait and see how time judges our beloved Scotto.

The first round of goodbyes occurred of course at the school with students from his final class saying their farewells, and eventually the staff had a go at it.

It was hard to believe that our wandering wanderer of an Eigo teacher was finally leaving us. I guess it sort of snuck up on all of us, even though the indicators have been there for months. After class, we ended up at the Lion's Head as is our Wednesday night custom, a great way to end one's tenure here in Utsunomiya. If I had the choice on which day to leave, Wednesday night beer night would have to be it. Here are the last few survivors of the eveningu out.

So that's pretty much that. In a matter of hours, Scott will have embarked on his final journey in Japan, that from Utsunomiya to Narita airport. It's been a hell of a ride for the ol' boy and I know we all greatly value his friendship. His realism and down-to-earthism (leave me alone, I've been drinking) have helped keep me sane and will certainly be missed. He has been an invaluable part of my time here in Japan as one of the few people actually involved in my life on a personal level. You don't realize just how isolated you are out here until a major building block of your social life disappears. My social circle here has essentially extended to Yoshiko, Scott and Matt, as well as to a select few students whom I see socially. Scott's departure will leave a gaping hole where there was once a good friend. I do expect we'll be seeing our young traveller again, if not here in Japan then at some point in our future travels. He has led a hell of a life so far, and I wish him all the best in the next leg of his journey.

As a final tribute to the Scottmeister, here is a retrospective of his final year in Japan, to the tune of Green Day's "Time of your life". The most difficult part of it was finding the right tune to put this to. I didn't want anything too somber, and most goodbye songs are definitely geared towards lovers... but Green Day's song about forks in the road and life being unpredictable seemed particularly fitting here.

Goodbye Scotto, fare thee well. May your keel be straight, your compass be true and may the wind always be at your back.

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