Wednesday was my elementary day, and that’s always a day for laughs and crazy things to happen! My schedule was a bit different this week, and I’m never a fan of that. I’m good at normal. When things are different, if there’s an assembly, or all of a sudden I’m the only person in the teacher’s room, that’s when I have a problem. I felt awkward the whole day I was at the ES. The schedule had me off because I kept showing up to classes fifteen minutes early. I normally have classes all morning. However, I had the first two periods free. I noticed that the schedule was running about fifteen minutes behind because teachers would come back to the teacher’s room in between classes about fifteen minutes after the normally scheduled class should have started. During one of the breaks, I caught the first grade teacher to tell her that fourth period was English class. I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to her last week about it, so I thought I would then. I’m not sure if I read too much into it or what, but it almost seemed like she gave me a “well, duh” response. Usually, all of the elementary teachers are very nice, so maybe I really did read too much into it. I don’t know. Then, during class, we went over fruits and played fruits basket. She kept telling the kids NOT to run and to be quiet. Telling kids that while playing a game in which they are required to run around and change chairs kind of kills the mood.
I also ate lunch with the first graders. Everyone was silent for most of the time, and I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t know if we were SUPPOSED to be silent. I hate those kind of lunches because my elementary kids, unlike my JHS kids, will actually talk to me! I said before how ALL of the food at school lunch MUST be eaten. Since a lot of kids have been sick with the flu, there have been remaining shares of food leftover which must be eaten. I watched one kid drink five, yes FIVE milks. Those bottles are 200 mL EACH. That’s 1,000 mL of milk!! I’m almost certain some one had a tummy ache later!
Since it was raining, we couldn’t go outside and play. At first, we were running around, but I think one of the teachers got on to some of the kids about being too loud, so we had to quiet down. I started braiding one of the girl’s hair, and then everyone descended on my own hair and wanted to play with it. Ha, ha. I took it down, and I was really beautiful after they finished with me….let me tell you! Check it out:
I also had a kid try to pull a judo move on me during recess. He pulled my shirt and wrapped his leg around mine. If he wasn’t only a first grader and six years old, he probably would have knocked me flat on my feet. He’s kind of a trouble maker, but I need to watch out for that!!!
On Thursday, I had big plans for my eikaiwa (night class). Since it’s mostly 6th graders in that class, I have been wanting to do a pen pal lesson for a while. Two of Ian’s cousins and one of mine said that they’d like pen pals, so I went for it. I made a cool power point presentation to show my students a few pictures of the cousins. I typed up a form for them to write in English (even with Japanese instructions!). It was easy stuff that they already know like “Hello. My name is _____. I am _____ years old.” and daily schedule things like “I get up at _____. I go to school at ______.” What I underestimated was my class. A couple of them did a good job but the rest just goofed off. They started writing it in kanji. (To be fair, I didn’t tell them to write in romanji. I ASSUMED they would write an English letter to American pen pals in romanji.) The first half of class was dedicated to getting them to fill out the paper. We took a short break and then they had to copy the paper onto two letters, one for my cousin and one for Ian’s cousins. While I know it could have gone much worse, they were still a little rowdy about it. Plus, they were supposed to draw a picture of themselves to accompany the letter. Apparently, one of the boys has a green and yellow face with pointy elf ears. Another one has a square head, buck teeth, and spikey hair. Another one has a fat freckled baby face and only has a single gray hair coming out of his head. At least, these are the pictures of themselves that they drew. Do you now see the maturity level that I have to put up with!?!?!
Unfortunately, I had to deal with all of that on my own because Ian was sick last night. Usually when I get home from work, I call out, “hey sweetie!” when I walk in the door, and Ian will say something back to me. When he didn’t say anything back to me yesterday afternoon, I went into our bed/living/dining/multi-purpose/rec room and found Ian curled up in bed with a baseball hat covering his face. I asked if he was okay, but he said that he had a horrible sinus migraine. For the rest of the night, we had to dim the lights waaaaay down. I feel like both of us have been trading germs back and forth all week. I started out with a runny nose and cough, then Ian got it…which turned into a sinus migraine, and now I have congestion again. Arg! Spring, please hurry up and get here!