Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Adorable little monsters

I've had 2 weeks of elementary school now, four days of teaching little Japanese kids. It's not nearly as bad or difficult as I thought it would be. The kids are elated to have me there, so I'm constantly surrounded by little ones peppering me with questions (in Japanese, of course, which makes for good practice for me). The 4th graders were the liveliest. The liked to run and jump around me, trying to get their heads level with mine. A couple more adventurous ones decided I was a good jungle gym and tried to scale me. It's definitely a good idea to wear my heavy jeans, as a few have decided the best thing to do to an international teacher is try to shove their fingers into my backside. Fortunately, they have neither the arm strength or finger rigidity to actually pose any danger, and they have no concept of anatomy because they're far more likely to poke me in the thigh. Then there was the 9 year-old who decided instead to just punch me in the groin. Yeah, jeans don't protect against that.

The 2nd-graders were far more gentle. I'm assigned to have lunch with one of the classes I teach that day at elementary school. Yesterday I taught 2nd-grade, so I had lunch with a bunch of 7 year-olds. They would ramble on with random and inane stories. One girl spent five minutes telling me a story about her sister, and the only thing I could catch was that she had one. After lunch, two kids decided the best place to digest their lunch was in my lap, so they climbed up on me, while another half dozen surrounded me and petted me like a cat. They were especially fond of my arm hair and chin stubble. Guess that's what I get for not shaving that morning. Overall, they were very cute and adorable, especially when coughing in my face.

Which brings me to being sick. I guess the whole not sleeping and stressing about the new job caught up with me, because I woke up Saturday morning with the telltale cough and tight chest. Predictably, it's moved up into my sinuses and I'm doing my best to get to bed early and drink lots of tea, juice and water, but giving my vocal cords a workout for an hour at a stretch through the day isn't conducive to staying hydrated and resting my throat. Which means I'll probably be worse by this weekend.

And this weekend won't help much. Friday's a welcome party for the other junior high school and Saturday and Sunday are scheduled for seeing friends. At least Monday kicks off Golden Week, so I can rest that day. I want to be better by next weekend. It'll be 3 days off and I might be doing some camping again. Definitely looking forward to that.

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