last night i got stood up on a date. i went to bed in tears, my tortured being completely crushed and not wanting to see the next sunrise. oh the misery!
so how about a weekly recap? i think it's about time i do it.. and it's almost not a coincidence that today is friday and i'm done teaching for the week.
Monday--find out that my JTE's wife gave birth to a baby girl, Riko. Everything went fine, this happened Sunday, and she's in the hospital with the baby. I team-teach one class, the other one is 2nd graders and they're getting ready for a prefectural test on Thursday, so it's just review of grammar and taking tests from last year all week for them and i'm not needed.
Tuesday--on my own! JTE had to go and hang out with his toddler because he was driving his wife nuts in the hospital. I have three classes scheduled, two of them are 2nd graders, so no real hassle, i just give them pre-tests and they quietly work on them the whole class period. Oh yeah! That's right! quietly! the 3rd class is first grade class and they're my favorite. I love their energy and pure enthusiasm. Ok, so not all of them are angels who want nothing more than to know English better today than yesterday, but most of them are, so that's enough for a really good class. I planned out a lesson for new grammar and it went reasonably well. Surprizingly enough I actually have enough Japanese now that i can eliminate most confusion when it comes to directions. Gestures, broken Japanese, and help from the advanced students and we had a good time.
Tuesday night Ben, David and I go for our first karate lesson in Nago. The sensei is great. Most students are kids ranging in age from 4 to 15 and there are three to four moms. I love it! I am in so much pain!
Wednesday--JTE is back. Classes go well. In the evening i go to the hospital to visit JTE's wife. That's right, she's still in the hospital. She's actually not due to check out until Friday and that's quite normal--she is in perfect health. The hospital is small, must be specifically for new moms. It looks like a hotel, feels nice and warm, the rooms have tatami flooring and there are Christmas decorations everywhere! The baby is tiny and adorable.
Thursday--more classes, more karate. i can barely walk, and one of the ladies at the dojo told us that she's been coming for 4 months and for the first three, her legs were in pain. Great! the only state that is good for me is the one of rest. Getting up, sitting down, standing, moving.. it all hurts. Raising arms hurts as well, but not as much.
oh, yeah. and i got stood up! I went home straight from karate (well.. excepting a stop at MaxValue for some boxed sashimi and squid salad) to meet Kelly on Skype for our well planned date. It was so well planned, in fact, that we had a pre-meeting meeting two days prior. Does she show? no! she doesn't! she breaks my heart instead.
and comes up with some lame excuse about falling asleep for 5 hours. Whatever!
Kelly and I need to start planning our lessons for India--we'll be team teaching.
Friday--on my own!! Two classes. Both classes i planned on my own. One was 2nd graders and they had just taken their tests, so games was the name of the game. First i gave back their prefectural test and they got to check it against the master sheet. They do this on their own; sometimes it's nice how completely institutionalized these kids are. Then we play a game. It's based on "hot potato"..Two objects, one is for question, the other is for answer. While the music is playing the objects are passed around, when the music stops, the kid with the "question" item gets to reach into a little bag of questions i prepared. He asks, she answers, music starts again. Worked like a charm! Of course there was cheating, and item tossing/throwing and a few kids had to be basically told what to say, but they liked it and it got them to speak ENglish at the same time.
The next period are 3rd graders. I came up with an activity for a grammar point. There are 6 cards around the room with clues written on them. Cards are big, colorful with lots of clipart. The clues are written using the grammar point, "that" pronoun. Kids team up in max groups of 3 and walk around from card to card, writing down their guesses on sheets of paper made for that purpose. Most kids were involved in it, some boys were letting their friends do most of the work, but no real problems (there never are). The game goes swimmingly, kids learn a few new things: Russia is the largest country in the world, Elina is from Russia, tiger is the biggest cat, soccer requires 11 players per team, etc. With 10 minutes left of the class, we play "hot potato" and it goes well once again. It goes so well in fact, that the very last question picked and asked is "when are you going to Kyushu?" and as the bell sounds, the student answers, "Tomorrow!"
Yeah. I know. I want to go too.
Instead I'm going to Itoman...i guess that'll do.