|Coverage Day: Monday, January 26th|
Schools Visited: Kindergarten
Today was one of those only-kinda-awesome days. Not much in particular worth noting occurred. This was my one full-day of the month working at the kindergarten. All the kids were equally-fun today, so no one event really sticks out. I did find it quite strange, however, that they had me teach the Red Class (4 year-olds) AND the Yellow Class (5 year-olds) today. I guess this system makes more sense anyway since I'm there all day... might as well make use of my presence. Of course, I didn't have anything planned for EITHER of them... they just got more drilling on their ABCs.
Since I'm short on time this evening (left school at 5:30pm, then had to go grocery shopping, plus I still have to clean this messy apartment), I'm going to skip over the part about the little-kids. They all love xeno-sensei, and the random attempts at punching me in the groin are their way of showing affection... I think.
After kindergarten dismissal-time, where I played Japanese RPS with a group using my legs (yes, you can do that here, apparently), a small contingent of ES kids came in right around then. I very very rarely ever come to the ES after-school program on Mondays (this may only be my second-time), so I wasn't sure what to expect as far as attendance. I was kinda disappointed that the first group to enter didn't contain Cuteness-chan, nor Semi-chan. In fact, it was just 3 girls (Cabinet-chan1 and two others who've only recently wandered onto my radar) and 2 boys (both ichinensei who have become xeno-fans as of late). Of course, being super-sensei, I can't play favorites, so I made the best of this situation where the usual stars weren't around to steal me away.
We didn't do anything special, though I thought it was adorable how they all had a "ceremony" for me where all they did was serve me fake donuts (that really did look delicious... made me yearn for some Dunkin' Donuts oh so bad). The entertainment-factor of this didn't last too long though, so luckily one of the boys had started bugging me to go play jump-rope. I still hate jump-rope, plus it was unbarably freezing in the rotunda, but meh, it was something to do. After about 15 minutes of this, I was saved!! Cue the arrival of both the Ball of Cuteness and Semi-chan!!
Immediately Cuteness-chan passed by screaming "me too! me too!" (yes, in English), so after she dropped off her stuff, she came back with one of the other girls in-tow. Semi-chan ran off to go do crafts or something. I still hate jump-rope, but at least Cuteness-chan was in an unbelievably happy mood today; constant smiles and laughter, plus goofy-faces for xeno-sensei the whole entire time... even when she messed up. Normally a mess-up leads to tears, but today she would just lay on the ground and laugh about it. She was aware of her situation and the effect she has on others though, as one of the times she messed up, she still huddled on the ground and hid her face, refusing to move for like 30 seconds; the signs of a Tears-Mode Meltdown. However, when she knew I was near, she sprung up, looked right at me, held out a thumbs-up to my direction, and shouted "good job!!"
I don't know what super-sugary additives fell into her morning bowl of rice, but at least it was nice to see her... not... crying. I wonder if the joy of seeing xeno-sensei on a mysterious Monday might have been an overbearing surprise for her. One can only hope.
There isn't much more to say about the jumping-rope experience except that it lasted about half-an-hour and was full of happiness. I was also full of painful numbness from the bitter cold, so I was happy when the kids decided to go back into the activity-rooms. I found Semi-chan doing some crafts with some of the other kids over on the floor. I sat down after I saw that Cuteness-chan sat down in the same area. Being in proximity to both of them, this was an opportunity for both of them to be adorable again. Semi-chan took the lead by making some little paper goat-snake-salamander-squirrel thing and then having it crawl all up and down my arm, making cute little critter-noises the whole time. Then she was in Amusement Heaven when I held out my jacket flap to have it slide down the zipper track.
Cuteness-chan was watching, but she didn't have any input until Silent-kun came up behind me to jump on my back. That's when Semi-chan told him he had to get off and wasn't allowed back on until he paid the toll, i.e. "asked in English," hahaha. Nothing more touching in the world than seeing one of your worst students actually pushing others into doing the subject material, heeheehee. But yeah... of course this was shortly followed by Cuteness-chan once again wanting to take the English-ball back into her court, so she ran up to me to try to ask in English, too. She was struggling, but at least she was determined. She did get it eventually. So cute~
So yeah, the jist of my afternoon was jumping-rope, piggyback rides, and mutant squirrel-salamanders. I never did figure out what Cuteness-chan was making in the corner (I went off to play Balloon Dodgeball or whatever with Silent-kun and Semi-chan). There were some doings going about during snack-break to mention. The kids were all crowded around the main table eating some kind of vegetable chips that I'm sure have Japanese mind-control chemicals baked in. Smash-kun offered me one of the red ones that I guess was like carrots, tomatoes, and peppers... oh, tasty*. I guess a few people were surprised when I actually ate it. Not wanting to pass up a chance for some xeno-points, Semi-chan immediately offered me one as well, except she was holding out one of the green ones. I immediately went into "green? no, thank you"-mode, which I guess in hindsight was serving a bad example since the schools really emphasize eating everything in front of you (I watched a KS kid break into tears after being forced to eat an orange during lunch).
* that's SARCASM!!!
Seeing how I wasn't a fan of the green ones, immediately everyone went fishing in their bags for the red ones. Well, except Semi-chan who was now determined to get me to eat a green one... by trickery, mostly. She would hold a red one in her hand, then tell me to close my eyes. Of course, I could easily predict what would come next, especially since I could see a green one pressed into the deep part of her palm. Nice try... but I'm too wise for those sneaky tactics.
The afternoon concluded with soccer. Initially it was just me and the Ball with a ball. Two kindergarteners joined us. Of course, this lead to the "need" for teams; I don't know why kids can't just kick the ball around for the hell of it. Oh well, I basically just followed Cuteness-chan around and kicked the ball whenever it came near me. She's pretty good at dribbling the ball. Semi-chan joined in later.
When Cuteness-chan's mother arrived, I made special point in going over to talk to her. This was actually the first time we've interacted with more than a bow and a "konnichiwa." Considering how I am sure Cuteness-chan has spoken about me at least a couple times at home, I'm sure her mom knows that her daughter has been getting some special attention. I used this opportunity to tell her that her daughter's English is quite good. She laughed and said "arigatou." I don't think she knows much English herself... everything she said was all Japanese. Other parents at least try to break things down for me. Oh well, I did at least figure out that she was asking me how my Japanese was... my answer was my typical "sukoshi desu" (a little) while making that pinching motion with my fingers. heehee.
Forget winning the lottery... I would be the happiest person on the planet just to have the opportunity to take the Ball of Cuteness to like the zoo or the aquarium. When I have a daughter of my own, she's gonna be a super-genius since I'll be taking her someplace cool like every weekend, haha. Maybe if I become friends with her mom, she'll trust me enough to hand over the Cuteness for a day, heehee... or at least we could all go together (that would be the less-skeevy plan, of course).
After I left the yochien, I went to the department store in Takahashi since I have like no food in my kitchen. I stopped at McDonald's, which I haven't been to in a while. In fact, I haven't been there in so long that they've changed the layout of the menu. WTF? And even more confusing, the meal set I used to get (#3) doesn't even show up anymore... like literally. The menu has 1, 2, 4, 5, etc... but no 3. W? T? F?
I think some progress is being made with one of the Ice Cream Princesses. I approached the counter and saw the two younger ones working. I can't decide which one I like more, but I'm starting to think that one of them has something for me... or at least she's definitely more xeno-friendly. She ran over (or actually, she skipped over) to see me. I started with "good evening," but she just smiled and kinda gave me a "???" expression. Heehee, cute. I kinda bailed on my plan to teach her English... well, for tonight anyway. Gimme a break... love is a slow process, haha. But yeah, I ordered my "number 51" to which she was trying to do the numbers-translation in her head by staring at the ceiling and counting on her fingers. When I was given my delicious treat, I thanked her by saying "arigatou ojousan" (thank you, miss). Just had to show that I at least know a little Japanese.
I don't know if this is a new way of making it, or if she just loves me, but at the bottom of my ice cream sundae was made of not only corn-flakes (the usual base), but also crushed sugar-cone. Oishii~
As I was checking my phone messages from the day, I saw that my region-supervisor called me and left a voicemail asking me to call her regarding some company business. When I returned her call, I found out that she wanted to discuss the video that was taken of my class with the 4th-graders back in November (Xeno Under the Microscope). Luckily my supervisor is a cool person my age who likes to tell us things as they are... none of that corporate sugar-coating. She started off by telling me that the quality of the video that was taken of my lesson wasn't all that great. It was mostly focused on me, so it was hard to tell what the students in the class were doing. I hope she could at least see the kids all franctically waving their arms, hoping to get called on when I started the lesson.
I got the typical "compliment-sandwich:"
- good: lesson was lively and energetic
- bad: when I wasn't talking, I wasn't smiling
- good: I appear to get along very well with my students
- bad: I say "hai!" too much
- good: games were well-constructed and included excellent use of English
So... yay!! Good review!! All is well in the Land of Xeno.
Thanks for reading. Until next time...
|Chip companies are funny...|
Just down the hall from my office are some vending machines. The typical American kind where one brand name tends to take up the whole thing. But in there I've noticed a trend towards more healthy choices lately. One of which is a bag of "chips". In that one bag are an assortment of 'tomato', 'spinach' and of 'potato' chips. Potato? Yeah, I guess someone at that company couldn't figure out what other kind to put in there so they went with the good old standard potato. Now the funny thing is that the other types of chips are actually made out of potatos too! They're just flavored and colored to be healthy. Good thing I make a mean Orange & Ginger deep fried beef and noodle dish (I don't deep fry the noodles!) so I stay comfortably full and don't have to rely on too many snacks.
It's good to see you got a chance to talk to Cuteness' mom. Now she can see you are a hard working and well mannered gaijin.
Speaking of taking a child to the aquarium, when is the next scheduled school trip? I know the school my little one attends likes to take the kids to a pumpkin farm in the fall. Hay rides, corn maze, petting zoo and pick your own pumpkin! Yay! The teachers take lots of pictures and post them on the wall for all to see. It's a very nice thing, those pictures. Helps make me feel more a part of her life when I see them and can better talk about her day. So go take more pictures!
You talked to Icecream-chan?! Yay! But next time post a picture of #51 for us. And when the girls ask what you're doing, just tell them you're taking a picture of the prettiest parfait made by the prettiest icecream-chan. And there will be lots of giggling by all!
And "Cheer of 100 times!" for your good review by your reginal supervisor! Bansai! Bansai! Bansai!
Now back to my Orange and Ginger deep fried beef with noodle bento! MMMmmMMMmmMM!
|Xeno's escapade with Baskin Robbins|
Xeno you totally need to be whacked with a bat if you think Ball-chan's mother is gonna "lend" her daughter for any occasion involving a teacher she hardly knows. Although if her parents also owns a bakery then it would be quite creepy...especially if they simultaneously cry out "guu"...and if Ball-chan suddenly decides that she wants to be an actress...hell will truly freeze over for such a twist of fate...
It's rather funny that you are trying to flirt with the part-timer at the ice cream parlor. My suggestion is to romance her with poems in english and a generous tip. If your life goes anymore moe then chances are the ice cream chick is actually part of the local Yakuza that lives under the sea and will turn into a mermaid if splashed with water.
@1 - whoa, new commenter. Welcome to the GTX blogs (heh heh heh)
My assumption is that all the chips taste the same regardless of color... it's just against my "no-greens" policy to eat anything, you know, green.
I hope so... hopefully Cuteness-chan has been saying all sorts of wonderful things about me.
No clue about the next trip. Apparently April is the big field trip month in Japan. I know they go to Kyoto and they go hiking in the mountains near the village, though I'm not sure when that will be or if I'm allowed to join. Knowing my school, they will tell me the day before.
oh god... even I can't help but make odd faces at the corniness of that line. I'd have to learn to rehearse that in Japanese, which I will totally fail at since no matter how many times I say it, I still can't fluently speak "watashi wa yochien de shougakkousei to asonde mo ii desu ka?" without having to stop to think after every 2 or 3 words.
Cheer of a million times!!!
@2 - haha, true true... half of my life is fantasy afterall... but keep in mind that a lot of ALTs usually become friends with the families of students and get invited to all sorts of private events, so it's probably not as farfetched as you would think. Probably going just me and her would be a stretch, but keep in mind that this is Japan, where teachers are closer to students than the parents are. Granted I'm not her homeroom teacher, but I do interact with her for about 8 hours a week. Like I said though, it would be nice if it happened, but it would have to an offering from their side. I can't walk up and be all like "heh heh... can I... uhhh... heh heh.... have your daughter.... for a... heh heh... day? I'll take good care of her... heh heh... and bring her back all nice and... heh heh... pretty." Creepiness Factor: +50
No clue if she's PT or FT. I don't think she's in school, so she's probably there all day. There is no tipping in Japan. Tips are insults that say "you don't make enough money, so I have to help you, you po'-ass bastard."
hmmmmm... funny that you mention mafia-mermaids since I just resumed Seto no Hanayome this past weekend. Man... dating a mermaid would be a pain... it would make trips to the beach so awkward.
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