It's days like this that make me remember what I like about this job...
I only had one class scheduled for today seeing as there is only one grade in school today, so I was (not) looking forward to a slow day spent sitting at my desk. Class itself was fun -- this year's first grade class is a lot better now that they've had the shit scared out of them by the scary* Junior High teachers. They haven't once had a classroom brawl since they've been in Junior High.
The rest of the morning, the students had calligraphy class. I had my stuff (brushes, ink, etc.) with me so I sat in and learned me some calligraphy. It still cracks me up to hear people say that I'm just as good at writing as a Japanese person. One of the kids said he couldn't tell it wasn't done be a nihonjin. I decided to take it as a compliment, but it's kind of insulting. And I hear it more than I like to think about. A little sad... believe it or not, non-Japanese people can do Japanese things too!
Anyways. Class was fun, and way better than desk jockeying.
After lunch, I tagged along to go pick up one of the second grade students who was doing a job shadow with a group of young women from China who are here to learn agricultural techniques. I guess so he too can someday be a foreign agricultural student**.
What a genki group of girls! It was raining so they were stuck inside. When we got there, they were all playing cards. Then the teacher*** suggested I teach them some English. It was amazing. In a split-second, they had all run back to their rooms to get pens, pencils and notebooks so they could learn some English. If only all of my students were so keen to learn!
We practiced some easy stuff, which was kind of difficult. I didn't realize how much I rely on understanding Japanese to teach English here until I met these girls who only understood Chinese. We had a lot of fun (or at least I did) and I hope I can meet up with them again. They even taught me a little Chinese, which I am hopeless at. Wo jiao Maryna.
So yeah. Today, fun.
Tomorrow is my birthday party, which should also be fun. Sunday is the Elementary School Sports day, which will probably be fun too, if I'm not too tired and/or futsukayoi. Which I'm pretty sure I will be.
*They aren't really that scary. Except for their homeroom teacher. I'd hate to be yelled at by him... he's the baseball coach too. Even scarier.
** Which is only slightly less funny than my ALT friend who every year has a student who shadows him. The requirements of being a JET Programme ALT being that you are foreign and fluent in English, preferably as your first language. So basically, it would be impossible for any Japanese person to hold my friend's job. Seeing as they're Japanese.
*** This guy is awesome. He and his wife are my neighbors and they both rock. They travel, like new things and are just fun overall. This is the same teacher who invited me to eat lunch with his students who are going to Canada so they can practice their English. You'd think the English teacher would be doing things like that... and you'd be wrong.