Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cutie pies and butterflies

My job in Kuji has two parts -- teaching in schools and sitting in the office.

Every morning, I go to a classroom to help teach English, but it's a different school each day of the week. Monday is the only day I go to an elemetary school; I spend the remainder of the week at different junior high schools.

Teaching is my favorite part of the job because I like being with kids! And I'm pretty sure that Monday will become my favorite day of the week (pretty unusual, huh?), because the little kids are SO cute!! This past Monday, I went to the same elementary school as Liz because the one that I was supposed to go to changed their schedule around, so they didn't need me.

I had such a good time observing "Liz-san" as she taught several lessons. And I loved interacting with the kids, just as I did with the kids in Nicaragua. In the first two classes, we sang "Heads, Shoulders, Kees and Toes," read the book "Brown Bear" and talked about colors, and finished by playing/singing "London Bridges." In the third and fourth classes, we sang "Bingo," then taught the children the English word for a variety of fruits, and finished by playing "fruit Bingo."

Here are two pictures of cutie pies that I met at the elementary school:

Click here to see more pictures from Monday morning.

Every single afternoon after my lunch break, I report to the third floor of City Hall. I go my desk in the Board of Education office, and I stay there until 4:30. There's really not a whole lot to do in the office, so I have to find ways to keep myself busy. I'm able to use the internet, so I can check and write e-mails and blogs. I've also been using the afternoons to start memorizing Japanese hiragana characters. By the way, Tomoki came over this evening and was so proud of me because I've memorized half of his chart!

Last week, Liz got bored in the office, so she drew butterflies on colored paper. I helped cut them out, and then she hung the butterflies on the strings that dangle from the lights and blinds, so it looks like this:

So yeah, that's what we do in the office! We're the self-appointed decoration committee, haha.

Even though my boss, Yamadate, is the only person in the office fluent in English, it's fun to interact with everyone else, too. I enjoy passing out candy to everyone -- especially watching their hilarious reactions to sour skittles! And Yamadate keeps things lively, that's for sure. He's hilarious. In his own words, he's "noisy crazy," while some people are "quiet crazy." I get along very well with Yamadate. :)

There was a welcome party for Liz and me last week, and we took a group picture. That's the Kuji City Mayor between Liz and me, and all the other guys in suits work for him. Yamadate is on the far left of the front row, in the short sleeves. Everyone else works in the Board of Education Office.

The welcome party included karaoke after dinner, which was a blast! Watching my co-workers sing English songs was pretty entertaining. The vice mayor is now my "Beatles buddy" because we sang a few Beatles' songs together. I sang "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel. I knew all the words. :)


Anonymous said...

I am glad that you are enjoying your teaching. Who knows you might come back here and decide you want to be a teacher!
Love you!

Amanda said...

Wow, sounds like a blast. I'm sure you are just as good with the kids in Kuji as you were with the kids in Nicaragua. That's fantastic!

I love you!

Ashley said...

You seem to be enjoying yourself. I hope that you are able to keep up the good attitude. Keep learning those Japanese words and who knows maybe you'll teach Japanese when you come back.

Carrie Beth said...


I enjoyed reading your blog. I loved looking at all of the pictures. The children are precious and so cute! I really liked the picture of you in the pink shirt with the little girl.

It is such a joy to read about your experiences! I love it! Keep writing, okay?

Love you,

Jennifer said...

My love!
It is great to hear about all the different schools in Kuji. You're right...the kids are darling. I have darlings of my own. :) You go girl...with your Japanese characters! I could always see the teacher side in your because you are so good with the kids and know so much you can teach them.
I am missing you lots and lots...
So here is a nice big hug...ready...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Renee said...

It's stupid that I finally post a comment and it's not even about Japan, but is the dress you're wearing in the welcome ceremony picture the one you bought at Wal-Mart when we had our "Disney movie marathon?" Just curious. If it is, it looks very professional!