Monday, September 01, 2008

I like weekends.

I was so glad when the week was over. I was sooooo tired!

Friday, instead of going to the middle school, I went to the elementary school. Every now and then we are required to make guest appearances because the Japanese government has passed a new law that says English education will start in elementary school instead. So I guess this is them gearing up or something.

Thursday night I went to bed at 9 or 9:30 or something, which is crazy. I haven't gone to bed that early in a long time. Then I went to the school and ohmygosh the kids are so energetic. They were so cute, not the little shits that all American kids are. American kids are annoying and self centered and try to throw knives at you and Japanese kids are like little teddy bears you just want to squeeze because they're so nice and full of lollipops and rainbows. We did really basic games because they have a vocabulary of about three words. I had first graders, third graders, and fifth graders. But a lot of it was "uhh, ok, what should I do now?" Anyways I talked about America some more (I'm so tired of talking about America!) and played Simon Says, and sang songs about numbers, and jumped up and down, and rock paper scissors, and stuff like that. I was in the gym all day so it was hot and whenever I had a break they would give me either coffee or hot tea. Uhh, thanks for the diuretics?

In the afternoon I was supposed to go to the district wide athletic meet, but since they thought it was going to rain (even though it was nice all day) it was cancelled. So I had lunch with the fifth graders, and gave away my smelly meat, and tried not to be rude to a kid because I couldn't understand a word he was saying and he kept on asking me a lot of questions and I think he had a speech impediment or something but I felt bad asking people to translate him so I pretended I just didn't know the vocabulary he was talking about. At lunch ALL the kids had me sign their notebooks. (That happens all the time with foreigners and little kids! It's so weird! We're not famous at all, just funny looking!) So I stayed there late instead of going to the athletic meet and then I went back to my middle school.

I had to wait around until it was technically time for me to leave (just like everyday) until I was needed to practice for the speech contest. My teacher (Ishigame) said I looked tired and awful and I was "yep, those kids sure are energetic" so we practiced for an extra long time because I taught one of the girls how to do the "th" sound without making an "s" and that took a while. Then I had to rush home, take a shower, and RUN downtown to meet Ishigame so she could show me where my "Welcome Miss Kim it's the start of a new semester and we have an athletic meet soon" drinking party. The principal got really drunk and started asking me about Christianity and how come I know that I'm French and German? Does everybody in America know their heritage? Oh, how weird!! Also during the party I got the feeling some of them were trying to hook me up with the social studies teacher I sit next to or something because everyone kept on yelling things that Ishigame wouldn't translate for me, she would just laugh and shake her head, and the VP would be like "Hey you! Go sit THERE!" which was very awkward, but I had the advantage of pretending not to understand. But it was still hilarious. Then a few of us went to a sushi restaraunt afterwards and by then I don't remember that much, just that I think some of the teachers gave me funny looks because I think I went on a much too long rant about foreigner hierarchy in Japan in my decreasingly (un)skilled Japanese. Then it was raining and the VP put me in a cab and I went home.

Saturday I had to go to a SICE BBQ. I thought it was at somebody's house and very casual, but I found out on the way there it was up in the mountains. And it's not just lunch! It's an all day outdoor hang-y out time! Let's play volleyball and laugh at Kim because she's hungover! Let's all yell at her for not calling her host family yet because she wanted to get settled in and now hasn't gotten around to it...Ok, so like, seriously, I think they wanted me to call them when I was still on the plane or something to make plans for dinner, but I really did want to get the hang of speaking Japanese again, and stuff like that before I called them up. And to emotionally prepare, yada yada. So by my calculations I'm two weeks late but by theirs I'm two years late why wasn't I making plans on my way back to America from SICE? (exaggeration) But I think I had seven people ask me and then tell me I should really do that, oh my gosh, I can't believe you haven't done that yet, and lets talk about some of the ways you guys didn't get along why didn't you appreciate them again? (that's an exaggeration too, kinda) and so it put me in a bad mood. FINE, I'll call them!

So I called my host mom when I got home after 7 hours in the mountains instead of 2 hours in someone's backyard. Oh, she was suprised. She wanted me to come over right then, but I was like...uh...I'm in my bathrobe? Then the next morning she called me three times in an hour because she wanted to have lunch, only I was super busy that day and it took about five minutes to explain that our original plans of dinner really were best.

"I'm meeting somebody* at 11, and then I'm meeting somebody at 1."
"So you're free at 11?"
"No, I'm busy at 11"
"So you're free at 1?"
"No, I'm busy at 1"
"So you're free at 1?"
"No, I'm busy at 1"
"So you're free at 11?"
"No, I'm busy at 11 AND 1"
"So you're free right now?"

Oh, nostalgic.

*I was meeting Elizabeth online, but I don't think she would have gotten that.

So anyways, I got through that and then talked to people on Skype (yay!) and then met Sachiko to go to the mall and spent a lot of money buying clothes but not as much as I would have wanted because Sachiko helped me pick out clothes that were appropriate for school, and I might as well wear an FLDS dress. But I did get a funny tshirt on sale that has lots of Engrish (which I had to explain to Sachiko and she thought it was funny) and a bear whose name was Jennifer! Hi sister! Then I bought some shoes because all my shoes are dirty and smelly and here if you drop a piece of dust on them you have to throw them away and get brand new shoes oh no!

Then I met my host family, and they invited Sachiko with us to go to dinner, which was good because she helped us translate, and we talked about a lot of things. Then they took me to the house, which was very nice. It smelled the same. Then I came home. I am glad I met them though, because I really did miss them. They said I can come over for dinner anytime and that we'd play a lot. So that's good.

Then today was the athletic meet, and I had to sit in the sun all day while they would prepare the track for twenty minutes for a three second race, and we had to cheer with pompoms the whole time. But I was allowed to wear a towel on my head to block out the sun, but the kids weren't allowed anything. I was also sitting inbetween the two old lady teachers who were really strict. Like, a kid would pull out a coin, and they'd be looking at something on it, and the teacher would tell them to put it away. Or else they'd tell them not to talk. Or when they were switching clothes for the shapes/letters in the crowd, the teachers would yell at them 1000x if someone tossed a robe to someone else, even though the leaders of the cheering were throwing them to people and other teachers were pointing out kids who had their hands raised for them. So after 8 hours of this I started to feel really sorry for the kids in the immediate proximity of those ladies who were yelled at for breathing. But they're nice to me, so whatever! Although one of them kept on asking me if I had to go to the bathroom, and I was like "nooo, I'm still ok! Yes, I know where it is...ok..."

Now I'm sunburned. Gross.

Then on the way home I bought some mascara. Yay!

That reads very quick because of all the runons but actually that took me an hour to write! Wow!

OH! Also, I have an amusing anecdote. So sometime last week, one of the lessons in the English textbook is the horribly depressing story about a tree remembering a lullaby it heard when a mom sang to her child as they died after Hiroshima. At first, I whispered to the teacher while the kids were being noisy, "Um...I can leave for this part, I'm American...and..." and she just laughed. We played the cd in class, and the teacher held up picture cards with illustrations of the story and the kids were like "Aaah! Zombies!" at the pictures of injured people. But they did look like zombies! Anyways, while the cd was playing this awful story, everyone in class couldn't stop laughing because of these few rowdy boys yelling obscene comments, and I tried to stop laughing because I can't be an American and laugh at the atomic bomb, but it was hard.


applesandbananas said...

pretty new template! GD is going to find out how we can install some software to use his video camera as a webcam so next time you guys can chat face to face. awwww!

Kimberlina!! said...


Kimberlina!! said...

Elizabeth! Also, get Daddy over there! I want to talk to him, and see the new puppy! :D

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can all talk when Jen and I are there the weekend of the 19th!! That would be great!

I just read this section of your blog and I'm exhausted!! So much attention on you and you don't even like attention on you, do you? They sound very very nice, though. I'm glad you hooked up with your host family.

Are you having to take the bus everwhere? Is that hard?

Kimberlina!! said...

wait, who was that? was that you, elizabeth??

Claire said...

Hah! I finally got caught up on all your stuff, and it's hilarious! i think it's so funny that they want to know how americans know where they're from. I'll be sending you mail soon. You'd think I'd be better at it since I sit around a lot, but it makes me lazy. Glad you're having fun.
p.s. my puppy says hi