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.
Finally finally finally I made it to summer break! And by break I mean we had about a week and a half off from work, which is a far cry from the summer vacations I’m used to with American schools… but I still intended to make every minute of it count!
I don’t know if its the heat, or being away for over four months, or seeing all the posts on social media about everyone’s beach trips, but I’m feeling the homesickness this month.
The initial shock has worn off by now about being here, and now that I’m more or less settled, it’s really starting to hit me: I’m still here, but everyone I know and love is there, back home.
What to do, what to do…
Wow, when they said school would get busy I believed them, but I didn’t appreciate just how busy it would get. So busy that I’ve been staying until 7pm to finish grading and prepping, walking home in the dark, eating whatever was in arms length, and staring at my computer screen in a zombified state until I got up the willpower to get into the shower, and then collapse into bed way later than I should be… Just to wake up and do it all over again the next day.
When you’re three, each day is filled with extreme heartbreaking, melt down inducing, world ending drama.
As much fun as four full days off in Toyohashi sounded, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get out and explore someplace new. And that’s what this year is al about right? Exploration and adventure and finding myself, and what better way to keep up that process than by seeing a new country?
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?
Finished month two! I was going to say conquered, but I think May conquered me more than I conquered it… Month two was better. I don’t think I needed as much coaxing off the ledges as I did in April, but I still have many doubts.
No it’s not a place.
During one of my private English lessons, I was talking with my student, playing a get to know you game since he is new and I asked a question about tea. Specifically, what’s your favorite tea?
He looked at me, clearly thinking hard about it, but said “I don’t know.” I tried asking again, rephrasing it and asking a silly question, thinking he was just nervous. Finally he responded saying that he had a favorite, but didn’t know what it was called in English. I told him that was okay, tell me in 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.