Friday, October 28, 2005

The Things Children Say...

My last day at this particular school was yesterday. The teacher wanted me to do a bit on holidays in the US, and she chose Thanksgiving and Easter (for some reason) as additional ones to Halloween. It was a listening task where I explained a little about each holiday and they students had to fill in the blanks in Japanese. My bits on Thanksgiving got some laughs, especially describing turkeys ('big chickens'), but Easter took the cake. I told the children that "two symbols of Easter are eggs and rabbits." One of the little girls couldn't fathom this, she kept asking me about why eggs, and then said she couldn't understand why we'd want to feed eggs to rabbits. Sounds pretty strange for a holiday activity. But just try explaining the religious meaning behind it. In the simplest words, I said that "Jesus Christ died and then was alive again." They couldn't understand the name, which was the answer for one of the questions, so they kepst begging me to repeat that bit. So I said, "this man, Christ, was killed, he died, and the next day he was alive again." The same little girl jumped up and shouted, "I know! It's Dracula!"

The first-years at this school really warmed up to me. Usually they stand there in awe of me, or run away like I'm some big, evil demon coming to get them. But these kids were full of questions and made every effort to speak to me. One of the boys would come to the teachers' room between classes and ask me questions that he'd translated and written down on his hand so he'd remember. There were also a pack of girls who'd hijack me in the hallway and beg me to take off my glasses or my shoes so they could try them on. Kids here seem so much more innocent and childlike, yet they're giving a lot more responsibility compared to kids in the states, or at least how I remember my schooling to be like. I'll try and write more about that later.

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