Friday, December 15, 2006


it's officially the "samui" season in Okinawa. さむい means "cold" and as some of my adult students have told me recently, there are only two seasons in Okinawa, winter and summer. I've translated that into, "samui" and "atsui" seasons. So now it is officially ok to walk around and say "samui, desu, ne" to everyone in the school.

yesterday i was so frustrated and angry with a certain co-worker that i thought my fists were going to involuntarily punch something while in class. i even seriously considered switching to elementary school position next year (if i stay that is), and if you don't know, that means serious business...i'm not a fan of little kids in large numbers. well, that's not true. but it's quite a change and to consider it means that i was pushed to a very dark place. what did my wonderful co-worker do, you ask?
well. just be his usual self, really, just 10x worse for some reason on that particular day in that particular class. anyways. i spoke up. said my piece about what i found frustrating, yet again, but as politely as possible. we'll see how long that sticks.

had a Block Gift Exchange party on Wednesday at a pasta place in Nago. Most of the block were able to attend and it was great. We played "white elephant" for gift exchange, and funnily enough i ended up with my own present because Ben M. decided to steal a wonderful stirfrying pan from me and grabbed a gift from pile in exchange. was mine. no worries, though. i wanted the cute pig looking chip clip i bought, and i shared the gummy bears at the table.

1st graders are singing a song with me in class. My first attempt at singing with students. Going well so far. We started with a song in their textbook, Beatles' "Hello, Goodbye". It's easy enough and uses words they know, so they're getting into it. Hopefully most of them will sing in two or three more lessons. We're only doing it during the beginning of class. Good times. Ms. Kitty told me that she does it at her school months ago and i've wanted to try it since then. I suggested and he actually agreed to try. So am gonna try and push for it to be a regular thing. 1st graders are genki enough to get into it if we do it every lesson.

English Club girls showed off their pics from 3rd grade school trip to Kyushu. They went to 3 cities in 4 days, including an amusement park, a national museum, and a trip to the Aso volcano. Japanese style bus touring. Fantastic.
We also wrote Christmas Cards to their new penpals in Wisconsin. There was one card that i had to veto, however, because on front, in classic Engrish style it said, "Hey Ho!! Merry Christmas. Wishing you good time with family, lover, and friends."
Didn't think it would convey the correct spirit to the 8th grade catholic school students. ha ha

Speaking of Christmas. It's all over Okinawa. There are decorated trees everywhere. Houses are lighted up, stores are filled with new, Christmassy merchandise, and ALTs are having Christmas parties and holiday lessons.
I'm not, but no one's asked, and also, there doesn't seem to be a good time for it in any of my classes. Might do a new bulletin about it and New Year's for next week.

Thanx to Shelley, am wearing Hanukkah socks today, on the 1st day of the holiday. She sent them to me last year for New Year's present. They're great; blue with golden stars of David, minoras and dreidels. Used them today to explain to Akino what Hanukkah was during lunch. So, Happy Hanukkah!
and if you never knew but always wondered what this holiday is, here's a a wiki link
Also, it is quite a testament to how overbearing the Christmas/Hanukkah season is when a non-practicing Jew is wishing you a Happy Hanukkah.

Here's a question for ALTs that might be reading this. Do you brush your teeth at school when all the teachers do? My teachers brush their teeth in the office, next to their desks, by the kitchen sink, while walking around teacher's office, while talking to each other, while reading a newspaper. I haven't brushed my teeth at school yet and don't see myself doing it. I do, sometimes, feel a bit of pressure to conform and bring a school toothbrush and paste and join the "clean teeth army". When that feeling comes over me, i pour myself a cup of coffee and grab a cookie or candy from the kitchen. But seriously. Do you brush?
I just sort of feel odd seeing people brush their teeth in front of me. It's been a year and a half and i still feel odd about it. but maybe that's just me.

in the news:
we have a new UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon from South Korea. Goodluck to him, but here's another question. How much power does UN have when it deals with issues unfavorable to the White House? right.

A 2-day Holocaust conference just finished in Iran. The conference was called by the Iranian president to shed light on the historical facts of Holocaust. Experts from different countries flew in to discuss the thick web of lies Jews have been spinning for 60 years about the extermination of 6 million of their people. I wonder if they discussed whether gassing of Catholics, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally and physically disabled, and political prisoners also took place. Or are Jews also responsible falsifying those deaths?

and to link the two stories, here's a link from



Chiye said...

I brush my teeth at school with my teachers after lunch, but we have a locker room to do that sort of thing...I have yet to see any teacher in all 3 of the schools that I teach at walking around brushing their teeth...

Anonymous said...

I clean my teeth at lunch, here's why: we always have milk with kyushokku and milk gives you stinky breath if you don't brush after. Also Japan doesn't put flourine in the tap water (not that they drink that) so you need to be extra careful with your teeth. I think the flourine thing probably explains why they have such AWFUL teeth here, that and the terrible tooth brushes they have.
Craig out!

Anonymous said...

Oh but my teachers sometimes do walk around and brush teeth, or do it at their desks!

Kevin Thomas Hurley said...

I brush my teeth at school. At my desk, in the bathroom, while walking down the hall. Not everday though. Mostly it is on days when I have eaten something that makes it more necessary. Plus, I think it is kind of being a good role model for the kids. They won't brush their teeth more, but they will think I am nuttier for doing it.

keldog22 said...

Sometime I do it. If I feel I have stinky breath (esspecially on fridays if I have to meet a certain someone) But my teachers dont do it in front of everyone usually in the bathroom. I do it in a smaller teachers office and we have fun trying to conversate while brushing. Nice post.

Anonymous said...

I used to brush my teeth at school. Depending on the school I would either brush in the teachers' bathroom, in the hallway, or next to the Vice principal's desk.
Go to elementary school teaching, IT ROCKS!

Liz Brooks said...

No brushing at school for me, unless I feel like it. And I use the bathroom. All other teachers are discreet about their teeth brushing; I'm not even sure they do it. Vice principal sometimes uses his electric toothbrush in teachers' room, and it annoys me. Probably annoys others, too. He also likes to suck the food out of his teeth very loudly. Ssssssmack, ssssssmack, sssssmack! Thank goodness for headphones!!!