|Coverage Day: Wednesday, January 28th|
Schools Visited: Junior High School
I haven't been told when the presentation ceremony will be, but I'm sure A-sensei will giving the toast or making the dedication speech highlighting my awesomeness. Okay, well that's an exaggeration obviously, but speaking truthfully, he really did use the words "you are a great teacher" after he read the letter to the elementary school administrators that I asked him to translate for me. Since some ground needs to be covered, let me explain what that was all about.
As evidenced numerous times throughout this blog, I can't help but sense that there is some concern coming from O-sensei and the principals at the ES any time I ask to skip off to the kindergarten every afternoon to go play with the kids in the after-school program. I decided a few days ago that I better have A-sensei translate a crisp and clear letter to save me from having to explain my position using broken English and bad Japanese. I used the lunch-period to write my letter. Out of interest of reporting on truthful facts, I braved the chilly night and ran out to my car to retrieve the original letter. The important parts to realize are my reasons for why I even find interest in running off to play with little kids (moeness, aside, of course). Those reasons are:
- I have opportunities to teach them "real-world" English
- I can get a feel of how much English the students already understand
- I can provide help for some of the struggling students with extra help
- by being with the students and doing what they want to do, I can get a better sense of their interests as well as their personailities.
"All of this adds up to better in-class performance. I have noticed a markable increase in the confidence and ability during lessons in the students who I see after school. This effect spreads to the rest of the class, making for more successful classtime and more love for the material."
At the conclusion of the letter, I also pointed out how I don't mind staying later than scheduled if it means I can play with the kids more during after-school free-time. I mean, it's not like I'm in a rush to come home and do anything. I go where the fun and cuteness is... who cares if it's not paid? I think it was because of this sentiment that A-sensei was all misty-eyed over my awesomeness... to the point where he was embarrassing me, haha. He told me that he's never seen an ALT voluntarily offer to stay late and do extra work. Apparently all of my predecessors would always try to go home as early as they could.
Oddly enough, a problem did arise from my letter... a very very strange problem. After A-sensei finished translating the letter and printed out a copy for me, I ran outside to play soccer with the ichinensei. During this time while I was away, he printed out another copy and did a "trial-run" using our own kyoto-sensei. He handed the letter to him and said "what would you think if a situation like this were happening here and you received a letter like this?"
His response: he would think of it as my way of telling the admins that I want to leave early.
Hahahahaha... talk about reverse-psychology!!! He explained this to me as the way in which Asians are indirect about their requests. I thought I was being indirect by having A-sensei in on my plan and translating the letter, but I guess the effect I was looking for wasn't being made. All I want is an extra hour of cuteness!!!! No hidden tricks!!
So yeah, it wasn't my intention at all to get A-sensei all worked-up over my dedication to teaching. This was the whole drunken pep-talk from Friday-night all over again. Haha, though I did find it funny that anytime I tried to make a point exemplified in the letter, he just interrupted me and was like "yeah yeah, it was in the letter." I guess in this country, not only is "tooting your own horn" frowned upon, but paying attention to every detail and keeping it close to heart is also of the utmost importance. Haha, he'd probably think I'm the biggest narcissist on the planet for talking about this in my blog. Ah well... I just report the facts... and give inspiration to those who wish to teach. Oh, and sometimes I talk about funny and cute students.
Speaking of which... let's do that last one now. As I was walking into the school building, I was praying that I wouldn't have any morning classes. I just wanted to sit in the teachers' room and shut my brain off. When I read the schedule, I saw that I wasn't so lucky. Little did I realize that this would actually be better for me, since the phys. ed. periods were later in the day and I would FINALLY have a chance to play with the ichinensei again.
The sport-of-the-week is still soccer. I didn't get to play with the ninensei since their P.E. was during one of my English classes, but I did get to play with the sannensei right after their 3rd-period English class was over. So funny when I ended the lesson with "see you... in 10 minutes." I didn't even have to explain what I meant for them to all be happy and smiling. Today probably wasn't the best day for soccer... or maybe I should say, the field wasn't in the best condition for soccer. It had been a rainy night, but despite the bright, glaring sunshine above us at 11:50am, the field was incredibly muddy. And not the thick, sticky kind, but the thin-layed slick kind. Luckily for me, the area where I was playing defense was a little more dry, but I had to move with caution the whole time.
The two games with the sannensei went well for us. I think the scores were like 3-0 and then 5-2. Sounds about right. During 6th-period, this was the aforementioned soccertime with the ichinensei. This was the second time I've ever played with this class (disappointing since they are my favorite class), and the first time I've ever played with them outside. These games were a little tighter-matched. I think we lost the first game 0-2 and lost the second one maybe 0-1. The defense was good on both sides. Shining moment of the period goes to me... I was on my usual defense, but during one charge made by the opposing-team, they advanced pretty far into our territory. One kid was about to make a shot, so I ran over, and not even thinking, I screamed real loud, much like I do with the sannensei boys. I had forgot that this was the first time the ichinensei had seen me do this, so I was surprised when I turned around after the boy missed the goal and saw all the students laughing hysterically. Two of them were on the ground and more were hunched over holding their stomachs. To me it was a "yeah yeah, been there before"-moment, but to them it was entirely new and definitely a moment to remember.
Cleaning-time was spent in the teachers' room. I was going to walk off to go see what the other groups were up to, but then I noticed the two girls from last week were still assigned to this area, so I wanted to hang with them for a bit. One of them really likes English, so we made a little chit-chat... mostly pointing at objects and trading words for them (broom = honki, rag = ummmmmm... I forget).
After cleaning-time, A-sensei bombarded me with stuff he wanted me to prepare for Friday's lessons. Ugh... he told me this at 3:45pm and we both had club to attend at 4pm. Of course, after his spending the whole afternoon talking about how wonderfully-dedicated I am, what else could I do besides graciously agree to do everything he requested?
I glanced up at the clock every other minute to make sure I was finishing on time before club started. I hadn't been to a Tennis Club practice in over a week, plus it was absolutely gorgeous outside. I managed to smear a few worksheets together, then ran out just as the girls were assembling. I encountered the two Sticker-chans first... both were drawing in the sand. Then they started writing random English words... and of course, asking for stickers everytime they finished a word. I hate words that are hard to pronounce as you are trying to spell them; like "Wednesday"... it's obviously pronounced "wensday", but you can't sound out the syllables for students without sounding like you don't know what you're talking about.
I was saved by the girls needing to start their jogging and stretching. I don't bother with the jogging, but I do do the stretching... and with this I get to bear witness to another anime staple; something you see (err, hear) in EVERY school-series: the athletic clubs chanting in the background "ich, ni, san, shi" "go, ro, shich, hach" (I could never understand what they were saying in those anime, but having been to so many sports clubs now, I finally understood that it's some strange way of counting to 8).
When we started, no one came up to offer me a racket. This was fine... I didn't want to get in the way, so I just fielded balls with my hands. This lead to some comedy, of course... as well as a few amazing pop-fly catches. Often times, I would run after balls that flew past me; sometimes the other girls who were also on retrieval-duty would try to race me to get them before me. In one particular instance, DollDream-chan and I were having a brutal deathmatch over one ball, except she had a racket and I didn't, so she had the upperhand. Keep in mind that she is one of the most timid, quietest girls in the school... anytime she says anything, it's a moment of pure-moe. So yeah, when she won her prize, she was gloating over her victory while balancing the ball on the wire-netting of her racket. She wasn't thinking at the time, but what she was doing was just leaving herself wide-open, so I did the obvious thing not having a racket: I just plucked the ball off her racket and walked away. She did her famous pretend-crying thing while sobbing "ohh noo!!" Oh, the moe~
I wish my encounter with Tenisu-san was moefull, but moreso it was just weirdness. She was talking to another girl in English and saying "I am Mister (her last name)." I wasn't sure if she knew what she was saying, so I asked her "mister?" She nodded. I said "otoko?" (male). She nodded, then repeated herself again... "I am Mister (her last name)." I forget what happened next, but I'm sure it included strange looks from me.
And as it has become the norm anytime I go to the Tennis Club, Blue-san always comes up to me for random conversation... and as her infatuation for me increases, the distance between us decreases. Sooner or later, we're going to be standing in the same pair of shoes. She was commenting on how "tall" I am... which being only 5' 7" (167cm), isn't that tall by American-standards. In fact, she's almost taller me, if not as tall. She was trying to grill me on more things, but two of the other girls came up and wanted to know my age. I told them that they had to guess. First guess was "20", second guess was "25"... one of the other ninensei girls got it right on the third guess. This became a good exercise in using the word "older." They were impressed with my age for some reason... though I still feel old. Watashi wa ojisan desu.
As we were walking away after doing our finishing pep-talk complete with bowing to the captains, bowing to the court, and bowing to the handsome gaijin-sensei, Blue-san of course wanted more talk-time. She was asking me if I would be coming to the JHS tomorrow, which is strange since I have NEVER come to the JHS on a Thursday. Maybe the students don't have English on Thursdays, so she's not sure if I'm just hiding elsewhere in the building. You'd think with how often I talk about being at the elementary school that she could put 2-and-2 together and assume that the days I don't see her are the days that I'm at the other school. Sigh~ Poor girl, I know she's just making idle chit-chat, haha. It's sweet.
And thus concludes my day. I have no closing remarks since I feel gross after running around so much today and just want to hop in the shower right now. I hope you enjoyed this entry... and please post comments!! I love hearing from everyone!!
Reminder: the second pool of the GTX Favorite Episode Survey is still running on the front page. The polls will be open until the end of the week, so if you haven't voted yet, check out the front page for more information, as well as this entry to see the nominees (GTX Pool 2).
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New to this blog? Missed a few entries over the last few weeks? Need to catch up on some details? Check out the last update-entry for the recap on what's been happening lately.
December 22nd: GTX Season 1 - Halftime Commentary
|I Must Have Been Japanese in a Previous Life.|
I too am a stickler for details and both reading, and listening, to what another person says. Also when I send a confirmation that I'll do a job (And explain exactly how it'll get done) I take offense when I'm contacted two or three times to confirm whether-or-not I'm doing the job. If I make a mistake, I take responsibility and try to make it right. If someone else came up with a good idea, then I give that person the credit for it. Unfortunately I'm stuck behind a boss that neither reads whole sentances, comprehends what a person is saying, understands time contraints or believes anything anyone says. (Insert "Baby Finster" fowl language here. From Bugs Bunny fame.)
But I do tend to take what I'm told at face value. Such as your letter. I read it as you liking what you're doing and enjoy staying a little longer for your own benefit. If I was your supervisor I'd double-check to make sure you're not expecting more pay and that you're not sticking around doing anything wrong. Then if all was well, thank you for being dedicated and run interference for you should anyone else try to prove otherwise.
You made DollDream-chan cry! Shame on you, you big bully! NOT! That's so funny! And I saw the whole thing in anime! No, really, I saw DollDream-chan as the purple-haired quiet one just starting to crack the shell of shynessand you as the... well actually I saw you in a big Panda Bear suit for some reason. Still, it was funny!
Tenisu-chan is a boy? Maybe she meant something along the lines of Tom-boy? Or does she play the male role in her yuri-type encounters? O_O^
And then there is Blue-chan. DokiDokiDoki. Ah, beware the wiles of young Japanese women and their crushes. I'm hoping that she will get to a point where she, or her friends, realize that she's better off with a nice college boy and she halts her progression towards total Xeno-sensei domination. Right now I can see just how frustrating it is not to speak the language better. But, until she really goes over the 'line', or you really feel uncomfortable, you should be Okay to enjoy the attention. You did tell _-sensei about your concerns, right?
Well, time for you to get ready for another day at school. (Unless you're up really late reading this!) Go, have fun. Fill little heads with English goodness and our heads with Japanese moe-ness.
Oh! And see what happens when Xeno-sensei's task of watching A-sensei's house goes horribly awry. XenoSaurus
I find it slightly disturbing how you didn't mention teh Cuteness. Because even if you do an entry about the other school, you almost ALWAYS mention her somewhere. O_O
|Great Teacher Onizuka is gonna be mad at you for stealing his title!|
I agree with Possum, Xeno you NEED to atleast add something about Cuteness-Chan in the comments or we will face her wrath, I like this world I dont want it to be destroyed!
A thing to note, 5'7 is 173 cm not 167cm. 167cm is closer to 5'4 and then you probably would be shorter then Blue-san!
Another thing to note, I wonder how many Lord of the Rings sized books we would get if we put together all xeno-blog posts? :P
|Mountain Training Camp|
Whilst reading today, I can't help but wonder what happened to the other clubs you'd so briefly written about (namely the Kendo Club). DO you still go there at times or have I missed something and you explained all that already? If so then I humbly apologize.
On another note: I think that is so wierd how indirectly they took that letter. Mou~ So what do you have to do to make them understand? Maybe you should type a letter explaining the exact opposite of how you feel...? Nah, It would be bad if that one was taken at face value...Well, good luck with that one GTX! And Omedetto on the official title! Kyaaa!!!!!
|oh Xeno sensei don't worry!!!|
You don't need that letter for actions speak louder than words and I'm sure everyone at the school will come to see your awesomness :)
that was proly the best entry, I almost missed my class reading it....
oh and way to go making dolldream-chan fake cry, it must have been so kawaiiiiiii
@1 - I'm the same way... if someone gives me a responsibility, I devote myself completely to it until it's finished. If only more people in this world could be like that.
Baby Finster... I'm totally blanking on who that is. I do need to go back and watch some of those classic Looney Tunes. Growing up, I never understood that those were made like in the 30s and 40s. What a great way to experience history first-hand. Heehee, plus, there is so much rampant racism... as someone who took a course in discussing racism in history and modern-society, I'm interested in looking back to see what thoughts were subconsciously beemed into my little child-sized brains.
Nah, they have no control over my pay whatsoever. I'm a contracted-worker... my salary goes through some office-slave 200 miles away. And speaking of... payday is Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The best thing about getting paid only once a month is that when you eventually DO get paid, it's so beautiful.
hahahahahahhahaaha... DollDream-chan cries EVERY day. It's her trademark. I've talked about her before, but she didn't have a nickname then, so her stories probably got burried. I can make her cry just by walking up to her and saying "really?" or "Maruhado?"
yeah, I really wish I understood what her meaning behind claiming she was a boy meant. Sigh... my students are just... strange
bah... no college-guys for my girls. They should all be admiring me (from a distance) and focusing on their English homework!!! But no, I haven't spoken to T-sensei yet because she's been out all week due to family-issues.
Nice work on the manga... though I'm wondering why A-sensei is stockpiling cute girls and not giving any hand-outs. ^____^
@2 - haha... well, I am trying not to make this blog about Cuteness-chan... I'm sure there are a decent number of people who are more interested in the JHS students. I plan on running a "favorite character" poll on the front page once the "favorite episode" survey is done.
@3 - heh heh... you guys are going to be disappointed with the newest entry posted today then. Well... she did at least get a mention, so I guess that's enough to keep the universe from being reset.
Are sure about those measurements? We all had a calculator and rulers out the other day when we were talking about my height at the after-school program and it came out to 167.5, IIRC. Or maybe I'm thinking I'm 67 inches... bah, don't make me do math at 11:26pm, haha
Haha... well, this is the 115th entry... so I guess if the average entry is 2 print-pages, then we're up to 230 pages. Of course, publication isn't as easily done as we would hope... some entries have photos and getting permission to print photos would take a LOT of paperwork.
@4 - ah yeah... the Kendo Club. I do drop in from time-to-time, but the JHS kids haven't been attending lately and everytime I go see the ES kids, they're always doing the SAME EXACT DRILLS... EVERY TIME. The magic and wonderment is gone. I went last Friday, but I didn't stay long since it was absolutely freezing in the gym.
heeheehee... yeah, imagine if I had to leave early every afternoon and was asking for permission to do so... then they'd read that as "aw, how nice, he wants to work more. Let's keep him here until 6pm everyday."
@5 - hehheh, well, the problem is that they can't see my actions. For all they know, I go over there and read manga all day or harrass the little boys.
haha, I'm glad that you really enjoyed this entry. There are lots of other entries that (in my opinion) are even better. See the list of my nominations for the top-entries here:
GTX Pool 1
GTX Pool 2 (voting still active on the front page)
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