About Me

My photo
I'm currently teaching English in Japan and traveling when I can. I don't want to forget anything. So, I try to blog. This is my life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

I don't even know where to start to catch you up since the last time I blogged. I can't even remember everything to be honest. I know one weekend I went and saw the new Harry Potter movie. Except when they say it in Japanese it sounds like "Harry Potato" haha.

Let's see, I had parent interviews (basically parent-teacher conferences) a few weeks ago. Overall they went pretty well. I was nervous about a couple. I don't like telling parents the bad things about their kids. Sometimes I still feel like, "who am I to tell them about their kids." But, then I have to remember that I am their teacher, that's who I am. I may not know as much as I'd like to know, but I do spend the time with them and I do see what's going on. Two moms inparticular were really hard for me. I mean, they are really nice moms, it was just hard to say the things that I needed to say. One because of behavior issues both at school and at home, and the other because her kid is pretty far behind where he should be. But, on the flip side, I loved telling parents how great their kids are doing. I loved telling those same two moms all of the amazing things about their kids. The kids in my class are so awesome!

Last week was a work week, no kids. It was filled with meetings and making up a pom pom and parachute dance. If I ever wanted to be a cheerleader (I didn't) I am definitely getting my fill of it now. K-4 does a parachute dance while K-5 uses pom poms and dances around them. We are doing it to The Circle of Life from the Lion King. It's going to be really stinking cute when the kids do it. We do this for Field Day which is sometime in September. The parents and families come and we do our dance, and some other outdoor activities which I have yet to learn.

This weekend starts our camp and summer school. K-5 has camp Friday and Saturday. The kids come at 9am Friday and we do three different crafts, 7 different fun activities around the campus, and then have water play. Then we have a campfire and stuff at night and the kids all sleep over in tents that are set up in the gym. Then we get up bright and early, eat breakfast, play some more games, and send the kids home right before lunch. That will be a long two days for sure! But, it will be so much fun. Then we have Sunday off and come back and have summer school Monday through Wednesday. Summer school is kinda just a longer more fun version of regular school. The kids are there a few hours longer and we do special snacks and stuff everyday. Then, one work day to get things ready for the next level and then I am off to Australia! I can't believe it, it hasn't sunk in at all yet!

This past weekend was an amazing weekend. I actually felt like a real person for the first time in a long time to be honest. It seems like my entire life is my job. I live at my job, hang out with people from my job- it's like a bubble really. Well, Friday night Sarah and I went out to dinner and then borrowed DDR (Dance, Dance Revolution) from a friend and played that for quite a while. Then Saturday night we met up with Aki (one of the girls we work with) and one of her friends. We went with them to a park and watched this incredible band play. Aki was friends with some of the people in the band. I had so much fun. We met a bunch of people and even though they didn't speak much English it was so nice to be out and be social. The band was kind of a jazz-type band. Kind of a little bit like ska music, really. But, they played some songs that I actually knew, and they really were just quite good. The concert was outside, and it was pouring down rain before the band went on. We were soaked, and it rained off and on througout their set, but nobody really seemed to mind. I haven't had that much fun in a while.

On Sunday, I went to the beach. One of my little girls, Mary, does hula dancing and she had a show on the beach. She was so cute in her little outfit and she did such a great job! After her dance we just hung out with her family. They are the cutest family ever. She has a younger brother and a baby sister. Her mom is young and hip and so sweet. Her grandmother was so nice and kept offering us food and drinks and places to sit. We went out and played in the ocean with the kids and sat and talked to the family as much as we could. Luckily, Aki was with us so we could talk a little bit more since they don't know much English. I loved hanging out with that family though.

10 days until Australia. It will be much needed after the next 10 days! I can't wait.

I know this wasn't the most interesting blog ever, and it was pretty jumbled, but I just wanted to get down some of what's been going on with me. Partly for you, if anyone even reads this anymore, and partly for me. I want to remember this stuff, and if I don't write it down I am going to forget so much. So, I really am going to try to be better at being a bit more consistent in my blogging habits. Until next time..

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thankful for the weekend

I am so thankful for weekends. Without them, I would go crazy! Ha. It's like the week is just long enough to put you on the edge of crazy and then the weekend just swoops in and brings you back a few feet. Today was mix and match day for us. It was also special snack day, which was kind of disastrous. The original plan was for each kid to make a word using cookie cutters out of sugar cookie dough. But, the dough was way too sticky and the letters were too small that it was not working. We quickly switched gears (thanks to my co-teacher Anne) and decided to use a round cookie cutter and then have the kids write words with toothpicks on the top. Not as exciting, but I think the kids still enjoyed it.
Mix and match day was so cute. I wore two different shoes, two different socks, one pant leg rolled up, a skirt over my jeans, a polo shirt, a polka dot shirt over that, and then a Cards jersey unbuttoned over that. My hair was in a high pig tail and a low one. I was looking pretty amazing if I do say so myself. :) Some of my kids went all out as well. It's awesome how much parents get into this stuff. My kids always look so great for all of our special days.

Speaking of parents, sometimes they are a bit too involved. We have had more drama and issues because of the parents than the kids. They get into the kids problems, they don't let things go, and they gossip. So bad. There are nights I leave work at 5:30, sometimes even 6 and I still have moms standing outside talking. The kids go home at 2:15! It really makes an impact on the kids, they start treating certain kids differently. Yesterday we got both of the classes together and my boss came in and talked to them all in Japanese about how they should treat each other, and about forgiveness and what it really means. I hope it sunk in with them, because things have gone a little too far.

We only have two more weeks of class. Then almost two weeks of work days, then summer camp and summer school and then we are finished with the first trimester! Crazy. Australia is only a little over a month away! I was just talking to Sarah tonight about all of the tickets I have bought since I have been here. Airplane ticket to South Korea, bus tickets to Tokyo, airline ticket to Australia, airline ticket home for Christmas. That's a lot of tickets for only being here 5 months. I'm thankful that I am able to though, that's for sure!