How old were you when you first learned how to use chopsticks?
But the real kind, not the cheater kind that have the ends tied together. The kind where you can hold one in each hand and stab the food — which I’ve since learned is a big no no. I think I was somewhere in the mid-teens range. (Did I guess right Dad?) And then even after learning, I hardly used them on a daily basis. Maybe they got used when we had Chinese take out at home or when we went out to Asian restaurants. But even then, forks were always on the table as a viable second option.
Its different here.
The witching hour.
Regardless of when this gets published, I began typing this at 3:30 am on a Saturday night (Sunday morning?)
For the months of July and August, the preschool sets up a small collapsable pool every year in the corner of the front yard, under the awning, for the kids to play in. Instead of our daily treks to the park each morning, each of the four classes takes turns having an hour in the swimming pool instead. It’s a nice break to get outside and feel the sun, but oh my goodness, helping a room full of 3 year olds get changed into their swim suits is like herding kittens with short attention spans.
Challenging to say the least. But also highly entertaining.
When you’re three, each day is filled with extreme heartbreaking, melt down inducing, world ending drama.
Or more precisely, shit happens.
Excuse the profanity, but last week was a three day week that started with plenty of excitement (and not the good, fun kind.)
Monday morning, I’m told I have a trial student coming in for the first few hours of the day to test out how she reacts to being in an English speaking environment. This little girl’s father will be in Toyohashi for the next two years on a contract for work and it will be her first time in Japan for an extended amount of time (I can relate.) She was a cute little thing though, quiet and followed the crowd of my tiny hurricanes around the room. She was visibly disoriented though, but who wouldn’t be when you’re freshly transplanted from Vietnam and don’t speak a lick of English or Japanese?
Listening to a room full of three year olds singing (or trying to sing) The Hokey Pokey and Five Little Monkey’s is both hysterical and terrifying.
These little monsters are still learning their left from right (although to be fair, sometimes I struggle with that too) so I have to keep my expectations in check when they are singing along to anything. They like to either shout all the words, because they think that means they are singing faster; or they will whisper while doing the hand motions because they are focusing so hard on learning the “choreography”. There is a very very very small in between those two reactions.
For those of you who know me, you might know that sharing isn’t one of my strong points. But in my defense, I have gotten better at it! Let me rewind though, this train of thought was brought on by our daily park time.
I’ve been doing it all along without even realizing it.
I’ve been watching my kiddos for about a month (holy cow, didn’t think I’d last that long) and its fascinating watching them pick up connector toys, stick them together, and proclaim loudly, “its a bullet train!!” and take off pushing the thing across the floor, dodging kids and tables in their mad dash. It’s astounding and so genuinely pure and simple I can’t help but smile. That is, until the bullet train and its driver accidentally run over my feet/legs/fingers…
You will survive the weeks you think you can’t.
This week was a tough one. I know it’s only my second full week here, but it was a doozy. Emotions ran high from the start and continued through the week, each day seeming longer than the previous. I had one toe on the ledge and had to be talked down multiple times.
There is a lot of talking involved in being a teacher.
My vocal-cords aren’t used to keeping up with the amount of talking that’s required on a daily basis. I woke up Tuesday morning (or rather I hardly slept at all that before because my throat hurt so badly), but when I turned my alarm off, it was a nasty surprise when I opened my mouth and no sound came out.