Friday, May 19

"La vida es buena" or "I Love the Rain"

Today was Supotsu Testo (Sports Testing) day at SS, which as of today has been upgraded to Genki School, or GS, as per M-chan's accurate description of the students. Slowly but surely the school has been growing on me, and after last night's pleasant encounter with the teachers and today's Good Times, I feel that it has earned the official upgrade.

For the first two hours of school I "helped" with the ball-throw test. And by "helped" I mean "harassed the kids, encouraged them, and joshed around in Japanglish." I took a few pictures, and if you're a Flickr Friend you can see them there as of my tonight (when I finish this posting). I love days like today because I got to interact with the kids outside of class, they got to know me a little better, kids who have wanted to speak with me got a chance, and I got to crack at the shells of the others. Chippin' away. I also got to speak with the teacher leading the task, and who's nice, but with whom I've never really spoken before.

After the testing was over, there was only one period of Free Time (for me) before lunch, but that was cool because I had some things to work on, and since I sat at M-chan's desk (she wasn't there), I chatted in Japanglish with the neighboring teachers, including the poor chap who has nothing to do all day, the friendly I-don't-know-what teacher who sits diagonal, and the new English teacher who sits next to M-chan. Pure PR Good Times.

Lunch was a redemption: Ramen, dumplings, veggies and crackers. For some reason I was forgotten or there wasn't room or I don't know what in the class where I was supposed to eat, so I was told to stay in the teachers' room. That was cool because I got to eat with my three neighbors and Good Times continued.

More PR was to be had when I gave the other new English teacher a CD of rock en espanol, as I learned last night that she learned a little Spanish, likes rock that isn't too rock and also likes Shakira. So I hooked her up with some Latin beats along those lines. She was really happy to have them, and I'm glad to strengthen those bridges between ALTs and JTEs at Genki School!

Soji was Good Times, more chipping and PRing. We invented a new term: Sugoi Soji. It's probably totally grammatically incorrect, but it was funny and even the sensei got a kick out of it.

After school I stuck around for the sports clubs, warming up with the track team girls, being chatted up by one of the girls. I really try to talk with the girls because I don't think they get enough attention in class, and I know some of them really want to talk with me. Even I am more apt to talk to the boys because they're more outgoing and it's sometimes easier to play around, but the girls need attention and encouragement too!

Once the track practice got into full swing I went over to watch the basketball "practice" which was really the ninensei and sannensei boys playing half-court and then full-court. They kept subbing in and out, so I chatted up the kids on the sideline. This one really Skinny Cutie-Pie and the Smiling Kid (he's always smiling, or looks like he is, at least) were my buds. So cute. I also had some mini-convo with the basketball advisor, the young teacher that sits diagonal to me at my normal desk. Turns out he plays soccer once a week. Cool!

As I watched the kids today, and every time I get to observing them, really, which is most of the time, I felt like my heart cup was running over. Sometimes I wish I could just run all around the school hugging kids. Why do I love kids so much? Teachers sometimes are surprised that I'm at school so long. But really, besides the fact that I have no life outside of class, I just like being around the kids. Their energy, their cuteness, they just make me happy. My advisor and my teacher at LMS commented the other day on how I'm so genki and smiley all the time, and my response was, the kids make me happy! If you're a student reader from EP, just know that you guys made me happy too! That is when you weren't making me pull my hair out! :-)

Eventually the time came for Abbey-san or Abbey-chan, as a couple of the girls call me, to head for home and hit the streets for some joggingu. Today it misted and drizzled and sprinkled and showered all day long, and when I headed out it was showering, but it was delicious! I really love running in the rain - as long as it's not cold, of course! Gambarimashita, I did well, ran a lot, got soaked, did the hill, ran into the same kid at the top again - one of the basketball players from this afternoon - got caught merenguing on the back "streets" by my house, and got home feeling spectacular.

As an added bonus, I ran into 3 of my LES kids (two of which are twins and the other of which is the funny little soccer kid, so cute) at Baro (Valor) on the way home from school. Their moms were delighted to see them interact with me, and it's fun for them to see me outside of school. The little guy kept saying "Bye bye!" to me. I was getting into my car after leaving (he'd been in line behind me) and heard "Bye bye!" from across the parking lot. I turned around to see him and his brother (?) standing in the doorway.

Today's Rating: A Sugoi Day. Posted by Picasa


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