The Saturday before last I had to go to work. It was a day for the parents to come in and see how their children were doing and what the classes were like. I didn't like it. One, because I had to go to work on a Saturday. Two, because I had to go to work on a Saturday. Three, because instead of having Monday as a holiday like everyone else did at the school, I had an elementary school visit. Four, because I had to go to school on a Saturday. And five, because I could tell the teachers were nervous too which made them a little bit snappy. They didn't use me as much as they normally did, so that made the balance uneven and unnerved me. I guess only one teacher. He seemed on a power trip that day. But oh well. I met the mother of a girl that is half American, though, and she spoke really good English and said she was divorced but lived in Indiana for a few years. Then she invited me to her English school speech contest/holiday party, so I feel awesome because now I have an in. But to what, I don't know.
Last week there was also a demonstration class. I don't know why, really. Nobody from the Board of Education came, just other teachers. On one hand, that makes it better because I know them already and it's easier than strangers, on the other, if I embarassed myself at all or did something they think I could have done better, those impressions will be with them the rest of the year. The other teacher and I went over the lesson plan before hand, but I always have the same problem with him:
T: "Ok, everyone, now, repeat after Kim." [Ok, everyone, now, repeat after Kim.] "Kim, will you please, this word, one time, please."
So between the English to Japanese translation of instructions, and every comma which means there's a pause in what he's saying, I open my mouth to speak, and almost utter a sound and then he starts speaking again. Every time. A hundred times a day. And if I try to beat him to it we're both talking at once, which creates a disruption, and if I don't go, he wonders why I'm not telepathic in knowing when I'm supposed to start talking because he's done with the instructions. All he has to do is hold up the flashcards and give me a look, but he has this whole introduction every time. Also, every time it's a sentence I'm supposed to read, instead of just pointing to the sentence and saying, "Ok, Kim, will you please read this sentence, ok? Go, please." he tacks on the whole sentence I'm supposed to read in the middle of it. Then after every time he says "Thank you very much." Am I supposed to say "You're welcome" every time he says that? Usually I just give a little nod, but it's tiring just to hear him thank me all the time. I got it! You don't even have to thank me, you're my boss! Just all of these create little disruptions in the flow of the class that I'm sure everyone can see, and because he's the leader I feel like it looks like my fault. I know that these are really minor. He's a really nice guy, and when I'm not annoyed at him, I really like him and think he's hilarious. He's like fat jolly elf. But when I'm in a bad mood and have to keep smiling and there's someone's annoying tick going off all the time it gets tiring.
In conclusion, I hope I still look good to the other teachers.
Oh but then one of the other teachers told me I absolutely had to be back by 1:30 after the elementary school visit, so that means I had to skip my trip to the photo studio to get my picture taken for the yearbook, but then I got back to school and the teacher didn't even use me. And I still don't have my picture taken. Grumble.
I have had so many elementary school visits. I used to only have them a couple of times a month, but the last few weeks I've had two a week. On Monday a second grader asked me if I was going back to America after lunch. I told her, no, I'm going back to my normal job after lunch.
Today it was really funny because right when I was leaving one of the elementary schools a couple of girls came up to me and said, [Kim Sensei, what does 'fuck' mean in Japanese?] At first I didn't know what I should do. Remember how when you're a sixth grader learning a foreign language and you just really really want to know what all the bad words are, and remember how the teachers were always so reluctant to tell you even though it didn't seem like a big deal? Also, these girls were already in sixth grade, which by that time we were already seeing gang fights at school. But they were at an elementary school in Japan, not a middle school in America. And they didn't have any idea that what they were saying was a bad word. What to do, tell them and be Awesome Teacher, or play it safe? So I told them it has a lot of meanings, and if you go to America don't say it to anybody because they might get mad. And they pressed me for meanings and I said it was too many to be able to explain, but it's just a generic bad word, but it's ok that you guys said it now because it's adorable. I hope they got that last part, because I could easily see them thinking that it was a bad thing that they asked me, if I wouldn't tell them what it means.
Today I saw a line of luggage on sale today. It was hard case in neon colors. I've been thinking about buying it ever since I got home from the mall. I really really want it. Especially since international travel requires such large luggage to bring souvenirs around in. The luggage I have now that I bought in Tokyo is small-medium, and this line has all sizes. Ugh, what to do?
Oh, well, retail therapy has been going well! A couple of weeks ago I bought this bed from MUJI:
Then today bought this comforter cover:This was, of course, after I had bought a comforter, and a Sarah Palin-esque wool coat. I'm never going to be able to afford that Thai vacation.
But I am oh so nervous about my trip in a week. I really need to get my ticket to Tokyo, but I don't know if I'm going to spend the night at a friend's house before going to the airport or not.