Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quote of the Day, "Body odor. Is that right, Rachel? Masaru, you have body odor."

A new classic Rachel moment... fresh from Chatan.

I walked into my bedroom and saw some sort of blob under my mirror. I gave a quick glance and saw a centipede type bug with little tiny legs. I walked calmly to grab a shoe to smash it and some paper towels to clean up the aftermath. I got it under the shoe and pressed down to suck all of the life out of the little critter. I looked at the wreckage and saw --- I kid you not --- a feather. Oh, my.

For those of you worrying about my bathroom light, it's all solved. I risked life and limb and hung off of my washer and managed to reach the light... I was a bit worried about cracking my head open on the urinal. And as far as naming my little shrine guy, it was a tough choice, but I have made my decision. So, little urinal man is now Splinky P.P. Koko-san.

Speaking of bathroom matters, check out this photo that I see numerous times on my way to school. I love it. I laugh every time but then I wonder why no one follows the rules. There is dog poo everywhere. You cannot walk at night.

Today was my first real official day of school. The end of my anonymity walking around the neighborhood. I had to give a speech that was supposed to be five minutes long today at the opening assembly. I asked Takako-sensei how much Japanese I had to speak and she said maybe 4 lines was enough. So we worked on a couple of things, but then Ken was a great sensei himself and taught me some more Japanese lines last night. I boosted my Japanese to eight lines, including a tongue-twister word I could never pronounce. I tested it this morning on two teachers and they said they understood me fine. And then the assembly...

Imagine a Japanese school. Uniforms. Extreme respect for authority. Proper behavior. Great grades.

Now throw that out the window and picture one kid with one pantleg rolled up, towels on their heads, boys with earrings and an utter disregard for being quiet during an assembly. Even when the principal is speaking. Teachers tried to get them to quiet down by counting to 20. They counted to 20 five times. I kid you not. They have no concept of glaring or yelling. Or punishment in general. So, I realized that the students could care less about me, except the few students who have already talked to me. I gave my speech (8 lines in Japanese and the rest translated) and only heard a few snickers. Probably because everyone else was discussing their summer break.

After the assembly, I had my first class with Masaru. I was warned about this class. When I got there, there were thankfully only 20 students. The thing that is striking to me is that these students just lounge around. I was giving my self-introduction information and a couple of kids got up and switched desks across the room. I'm not allowed to use discipline. The English teacher is "supposed to be genki all the time!" So I started my activity. Despite heavy nodding, I realized that Masaru really did not get the concept of the game. But as a teacher, I can adapt. It ended up that it worked out nicely with both of us rotating around the room. I wish I could say that these students are eager to soak in English like a sponge, but in reality, it's a class they have to take two times a week in order to graduate and most could care less about speaking another language. Apathy is international!

Tomorrow I teach three classes and then the teachers are throwing me a welcome party, which should be interesting. I guess they really let their hair down at these things, although I can't really picture it as of yet. But it could be absolutely hilarious and I can't wait. Here's to teaching in Japan---


1 comment:

LueyFufu said...

Oops, I guess I should catch up on all the posts before I comment. Forget the "yellow drops" thing. ;)