Working in a preschool is...

Having the kids spend five minutes tying you to a support pillar with a pink feather boa and "handcuffing" you with an apron, then being handed two plastic potatoes to hold and being told, very seriously, "You have potatoes now, so it's okay."
Some recent gems, courtesy of my students.

[Overheard during playtime, while two kids were "speaking on the phone" with each other]:

"I am in Estonia. And I am busy."

* * *

In which we learn what happens when you let kids mess around with karaoke, or possible Guitar Hero: )

In which I learn about the afterlife )
In which I am accused of assaulting a politician )

Oh, kids.

Jul. 8th, 2009 11:51 pm
Hina has been having lots of fun lately telling me I'm all sorts of different things. "You are salmon! You are milk!" "I'm milk?" (I am red hot kitchen, my brain supplied... Who can name the song? :D) She's the one who usually leads the chorus of "You're a boy! You're Mr. Ms. Adele!", though she's also the one who gropes my chest on a regular basis.

I'm sure Jill is thinking, "Well NO WONDER she thinks you're a boy! XD"

Two weeks ago I went through a brief slump and didn't much feel like talking to anyone. At work, this was reflected by my intense annoyance at several of my students, and I composed a long lj entry in my head, to be titled "Confidential to my students: I love you BUT..." And then I was too lazy to type and post it. So here is the amended version, because this week I'm feeling a lot more mush and love and kirakira hearts for them.

To some of my beloved students: )


Feb. 4th, 2009 09:49 pm
I don't really talk much about my second job, because it's only a few hours a week, but I must tell you about Takuma.

Takuma is is nine, nearly ten years old, a kind of nerdy-looking kid, though I get the feeling that he could turn out very pretty; he has lovely eyes. He understands quite a bit, and he can speak enough (and has no compunctions about miming what he can't say) to be silly, and he's got great comedic timing.

One day he had a bottle of tea, so I asked him, simply to encourage conversation, what he was drinking.

"Tea," he answered, then paused, shook his head very seriously, and corrected himself. "No, no, no." He shook his bottle so that the tea frothed up, then took a long pull. "Beer," he told me, heaving a sigh of satisfaction.

Last week, I was using picture cards to review vocabulary. When I held up "park", which has a drawing of a park with tree, a bench, a pond and a duck on it, and the word "park" helpfully written across the top, Takuma opened his mouth, then started making his "I KNOW this word but I can't remember it!" noises of frustration. I pointed at the "p" and made the sound, hoping to jog his memory, but it still wasn't coming. At last, with a sly little grin, he blurted out, "Peking duck!"

Today he was in top form, shouting out, "Mamma mia!" at random moments to get me to laugh ("Mario!" was his explanation), and I was having just as much fun teasing him back. When he tried to say, "Play tennis" and it came out as "Pray tennis," I put my hands together and intoned, "Tenisu no kamisama!" Then, when he was writing something down, he was singing random letters to himself, and it sounded like Y.M.C.A. to me, so I taught him the chorus, along with the movements. He immediately changed it to M.A.R.I.O., complete with arms. When I asked him to give the boy in the textbook a name, he chose "Johnny", which somehow led to him promising me he would become a Johnny's Jr. XD

A while later, I was taking a sip from my water bottle when he said something funny, and I nearly choked. His eyes lit up, and he immediately motioned for me to drink again, because the name of the game was now apparently Make Adele-sensei Cough and Splutter. I refused, saying that I'd only spew the water all over him, but that only made him want it even more. We finally struck a deal that if he finished the page in his workbook, I would take a drink and he could try to get me to spit it out.

So he finished the page, then stared at me, grinning in anticipation as I uncapped the bottle. You know how it is when you know something funny is going to happen, like watching your favourite Monty Python skit for the 3498th time, and you can't help laughing before anyone says anything? It's not like I can ever keep a straight face anyway, so it only took him jumping up and starting to do Y.M.C.A. to get me flailing and coughing as the water tried to go down the wrong pipes.

I did not, however, let even a drop dribble out of my mouth, much to Takuma's disappointment.

I leave you now to watch the finale of So You Think You Can Dance Canada and marvel at the sexiness of my future wife, who is the most ridiculously hot dancer ever. :D
During lunch today, the kids were talking about their grandparents, and F told us that her grandpa had died when she was a baby.

"What's died?" M wanted to know.

My coworker, R, looked at me. "Do they have the same concept of heaven in Japanese culture?" she asked me in a whisper, as we both scrambled to find a way to explain death in simple terms to a four-year-old whose mother tongue is not English.

"It means he's no longer with us," R tried.

F, whose family is Christian, clarified, "He's in heaven."

"You mean he went up?" M asked, pointing at the ceiling.

"That's right," I answered, smiling at the thought of F's grandfather hanging around the second floor.

"He died and now he's with Jesus," F added.

M thought about this for a moment, looking intrigued. "And with Santa?"


R and I had a good chuckle over that, and decided that there could be much worse things than finding out that the afterlife is Santa's workshop. It made me wonder, though, whether M (and, by extension, the other kids, and maybe Japanese kids in general) think of Santa as some sort of ghost. As far as I know, there's no real equivalent to Santa Claus (or the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny) in Japanese culture, but there are so many gods and spirits inhabiting the country that they probably don't need them.



February 2012

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