The good, the bad, and the Wii

Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 06, 2009

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Flag of Japan  , Tohoku,
Sunday, November 16, 2008

Clearly I've lost my mind.  I missed the bus two days in a row!  On Thursday, it was coming home.  I read the wrong time on the time table, and I didn't double check because I was too wrapped up in my NaNoWriMo story (and the teachers weren't around to remind me).  Suzuki-san was in Sendai today, but fortunately, her daughter was home.   I am eternally indebted to them.

Thursday was a good lesson day, as it usually is at Elementary School #3.  Both the 5th and 6th graders asked me about the election.  They like Obama (though they couldn't really explain why...blame the media).  I had lunch with the 4th graders, who asked some interesting new questions: where did you get your glasses?  What's your type?   What's your favorite hairstyle?  How many Kanji characters do you know?

Things were a little bit more difficult at Elementary #1 on Friday because I had my 39-student 3rd grade class.  It's hard coming up with activities to keep them occupied and under control.  Some of the kids have started calling me "Onee-san", which is weird (see glossary).  It was apparently Blue Shirt Day because my 5th graders pointed out that I was wearing the same thing as their homeroom teacher: a blue dress shirt and black pants. ^^;;  Then I saw one of the 6th grade homeroom teachers in something similar.   There was a lot more lesson planning that I needed to do because I would only be there for half a day next week due to the Tome Block Meeting.  I have to give mad props to one of the 2nd grade teachers for already coming up with a lesson plan-- one that I totally support too.

I've concluded that 3rd graders can't sit still.  Even at Elementary #3, they're a tough crowd.  They've lost their enthusiasm for learning English but they're not disciplined enough to endure a class.  I've also noticed that some students in elementary and junior high are more interested in me than in English.  They'll talk to me outside of class (sometimes in Japanese, sometimes in English), but they won't answer questions in class. While it's not something I want to encourage, at least they're interested in something.  It's better than the crickets I hear whenever I have to eat lunch with the 6th graders at Elementary #1.  Talking in Japanese doesn't even work with them.

After our usual routine of karaoke and dinner, Kavita, Rachelle, and I went to Michael X's house to play on Super Smash Brothers on the Wii.  There was a lot of cursing from Kavita and random shouting from the rest of us.  Then Yohei came, but he didn't add to the noise (he's a man of few words).  After Kavita left, we started messing around with the Miis.  Michael and Anna had made the ALTs and friends earlier in the week, and they did a pretty good job.  I'm definitely recognizable though my glasses always give me away.  Anna and Seiko-san came, and we started looking at Mii contests.  Each contest has a type of person you have to get your Mii to look like, such as someone who makes you happy or a popular person.  The current one is a mean-looking wizard.  We wound up making this odd satyr-looking dude that Rachelle named "Kimoi NattoMan" after her story about how her principal came up with a Spider Man-like character for the teacher who enjoyed eating natto a lot.  The stickiness of natto does remind me of spiderwebs.

Today I watched Boys Love, which was not as...pornographic as the trailer made it out to be.  It was a good movie except for the ending, which tried to be tragic but appeared more silly (kind of like House of Flying Daggers).  The plot was pretty standard for a gay romance-drama; what really got me was the acting.  I'm not just saying that because I have a mad crush on Saito Takumi, who plays one of the leads.  He had the best breakdown I've ever seen an Asian actor pull off, and he did an excellent of conveying how falling in love changed his character without being too obvious.  Anyway, Boys Love is probably not a movie most people would watch, but it's worth checking out.  Just forget the ending ever existed.

Onee-san - "Older sister"; it's also used for an older woman you are familiar with (similar to jiejie in Chinese).  Even though the "san" makes it more formal, the term still strikes me as casual, i.e. not something you'd usually say to your sensei.
kimoi - gross, creepy, weird
natto - fermented soy beans, a popular school lunch dish
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