Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Snowball Fight 雪合戦

The women I went out with on Friday to the movie gave me something great - a box like the ones at shrines or temples to deposit money into for good fortune! One step closer for me getting a kamidana.

This is my view as I wait for the bus stop. For the past three days, I've been going out to a school way out in the country - only three buses per day to that area. Lots of very old interesting things there, like Murdered Woman Hill, which is an idiotic folk tale - a woman divorced her husband and went back home, and on the way home rested on a rock in the forest and fell asleep. Her ex-husband, distraught, came through the same forest, coincidence or no, and saw 'a ghost woman' lying on a rock, and killed her. Uh huh. Nice excuse. I, of course, plan to sleep on said rock overnight and see what happens.

One popular and easy song/game is "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes", at least until third or fourth grade, depending on the school. Since I don't have much in the way of material at this particular school, I get to use my favourite medium - chalk and board!

It's been a weird few days, with massive snowfall. Still, the shrine of the area's guardian deity looks pretty in the falling snow. 最近は本当に雪多かった。ま、地域の守り神の神社は降っている雪のままで綺麗でしょう。

Turns everything grey, though. The only spot of colour are the two junior high school students.

Some kids are still suffering from flu and colds, though. One poor guy threw up inside the office, and a Circle of Protection: Vomit was immediately set up from nearby materials.

Still, the snow was perfect for making forts, as it was wet enough to roll giant snowballs. The fort actually started out as a snowman, but as the second ball was too big for anyone to lift, it became the first part of the front wall. When I left the school for the last time today, it had gotten quite impressive. If I get a day off I might go back out there just to work on it some more.

Anyway, on to some non-picture commentary. As usual, the first and second graders were excellent at remembering words and WRITING (including kids making normal mistakes like writing the capital E backwards!), whereas asking the sixth graders to do the same thing would elicit groans and complaints. Since the sixth graders were going to middle school in April, I told them to get ready, because they would have English class three times a week. The look on everyone's faces was pure shock and horror. They seriously thought once they finished elementary school, they would be done with English forever. HAHAHAHA!

I also met ANOTHER girl with a Chinese mom. Man, Ichinoseki may be in the middle of nowhere but it is probably more multicultural/multiethnic than the rest of Japan! It continues to rock!

Since I'm tired of raising my voice and screaming over the voices of noisy students, I bought a whistle, a yellow card, and a red card. Now, if they're all noisy, I can use the whistle, and if one particular students is being an idiot, I can just yellow card him. Red card means get the fuck out. Of course I have no real power to use this, so maybe a 'face the wall' would work.

Waiting for the bus to go home, I actually saw a snowplow. Now I know that they exist here.

4 Comments 論評:

  • Make sure you redcard the kid who looks most like Beckham, then the whole class will hate him.

    So is disciplinary action that tough at the level you're teaching at? And how do the other teachers react to your attempts?

    By Anonymous Chris, at 2/09/2006 2:50 AM  

  • Well, I've been searching for a way for the whole class to get quiet when I need to talk. The whistle does the trick - I can make that thing go hella loud. But the kids who constantly act up and disrupt are the ones that need discipline and don't get it. Or after a 30 minutes of no reaction from the teacher, she suddenly flips out on said kid.

    The school I was at today was good, as the vice-principal himself has yellow and red cards, that actually have 'Warning' 警告 and GTFU(退場)on them. The faces on the teachers so far have been apathy, shock, embarrassment, laughter ...

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 2/09/2006 7:56 PM  

  • good idea Pat! Remember at Lourdes when the method was silently raising your hand until the kids would raise theirs too and then all would be quiet. Mr Lynch should put out a manual. Raising the voice never helped. Lorraine used to sit the trouble kids right next to her at her desk.

    I love the pictures of the snow and especially the snow fort. Also love the pictures of what you see when you wait for bus etc.

    Start my new job tomorrow - on my own as it where. Trudi (who used to live behind us) is now one of the Ass't Managers for the floor. I had to call in sick for my 2 last training shifts and she called me this morning at 8AM to ask if I needed any more training and that tomorrow I was "on my own". I used my super confident voice and said that I had great notes and that the other ward clerk (the one who is so helpful to me) is on at the other floor.

    My only worry are those ^&^%$ medication orders - I will get it!

    I love the box that the ladies gave you. What does it say on it?

    who are said ladies?

    love mum

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/10/2006 7:17 AM  

  • Raising a hand wouldn't work, mom. The kids would just ignore you and keep talking. The box says 'Prayer Donations'. The women are members of the public English conversation group, which is currently in hiatus until May.

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 2/12/2006 2:33 PM  

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