Monday, October 20, 2008

Today was weird

So I was going to go to Tokyo this weekend, and then I decided against it because I didn't want to spend that much money for one night and I didn't have my bus ticket or anything yet so I just stayed in Morioka.

SO! You would think that I wouldn't have trouble getting up this morning because I hadn't even done anything this weekend! Well, I woke up 10 minutes before my bus left, so I called my teacher and let her know, then I got ready really fast and rode my bike to the bank first to get money then to the bus station and caught a cab. The cab driver was kinda neurotic and talked really really really fast and slurry and I couldn't understand him so I just said "Hai, hai." a lot. Then I asked him to drop me off a little ways off so nobody could see I was taking a cab to school, but I've only had one cab driver listen to me when I say that. So then everyone can see me getting out of a cab which is super embarrassing.

Then in the teachers' room one of the teachers remarked on how one of his problem students hadn't come home the night before and her mom was really worried.

Then at the end of class, there was an announcement that all the teachers should hurry back to the teachers' room immediately, so we did. I thought the girl had died or something, but no, it was that there was a special guest at the school to observe for a few days. Um, ok.

Then at lunch they ran out of rice. (Weird!) Then I spilled my miso soup all over my desk, my pants, my chair, and my floor, and so some other students and I had to clean it up but they all helped me a lot. But I was thinking, "What, am I in middle school, or something? Ohh...wait..."

Then during fifth period another teacher called my teacher out of the room for something and so I finished the warm up by myself, but then what should I do? ..... Teacher's still not back yet....So some of the students were staring at me waiting for instruction, and others were being really loud and obnoxious, so one of the really studious girls stood up and was like, [Ok, everyone, open your textbooks to page 54 and repeate after Kim!] And I was like, oh, alright. That's cool. So we did that a few times....Still not back.....So I asked the class questions about the text. "Is Bin Chinese?" "Is Koji from Japan?" "Are Bin and Koji friends?" "Where is Koji from?" And the students actually raised their hands and answered the questions! I was so happy!

Then the teacher came back, and apparently in the class next door some boys had bullied a girl so much she started crying and had to go to the nurse's room. That's sad. My teacher said that in Japan middle school is really hard, so I guess that's universal.

Then after school, a girl came in the teachers' room, only she didn't do the [Excuse me. So-and-so from so-and-so grade and class, coming to talk to so-and-so teacher because of so-and-so.] Then she didn't thank the teacher she came to talk to (who sits right next to me) or something, so the gym teacher yelled at her from across the room. But I didn't really have any idea what was going on, I'm just guessing.

Then a couple of boys came in from my favorite class, and I guess they broke the door while playing, or being boys or something. I couldn't really tell. Their teacher yelled at them for a while, then he did some work while they stood behind him waiting. Then other teachers asked what was going on and then they yelled at the kids too. Then I think they all went to fix the door or something. When they came back they got yelled at again, and one of them was told to come to school early the next morning to get yelled at some more, and the other one got yelled at some more right then. That was all diagonal from me. I pretended to study kanji while I tried to understand what was going on. Then the remaining kid started crying and left a little while later.

What's interesting in Japan, though, is the reasons for discipline. It seems like in America kids get disciplined because the teacher is mad at them for something and doesn't want them to disrupt class again. But in Japan, it seems more like so they can grow up to be responsible adults, and its more of an overall character development thing. So in America if a kid was yelled at for that long, it would be way overkill, but in Japan, everyone knows its for their own good and is necessary. But it's not really yelling. I'm just using that word because it's easier to type than disciplining.

So that was my weird day. I guess just a lot of stuff happened, and a lot of it I didn't understand, so I felt like I was either messing up or else was third person all day.

There's so much stuff I want to write about everyday, but I can't because this is public! Grr!!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a day you'd like to just start over, or skip. Do the teachers raise their voices, or just speak firmly? I know the kids probably understand it's for their own sake, but is it still hard for them? You are being exposed to so much. Please don't stop writing in your blog. It makes you seem closer to home. Love, Mommy

Anonymous said...

I mean, being exposed in a good way. (: Even though I'm sure sometimes it's kind of hard. It would seem really difficult to be in a different culture all the time where you can't ever relax. Thank goodness you have some American friends there so you can just be "american" and not have to worry about manners, etc.

Kimberlina!! said...

Well, it's kind've in between. But in America if a kid is disciplined, the teacher does it in a really demeaning way. Remember all those stories I told of Mrs. Walker from the 5th grade, and how little respect she had from and for the class? This is completely different. The hierarchy is clearly set, and everyone understands their place, and they don't overstep their bounds into personal territory. I feel sorry for the kids but mostly it's interesting to over analyze when I'm bored.