Early on this semester, I had no classes at my Friday school. I wanted to take the day off because no one usually notices but because Mori-sensei now picks me up on Fridays, I couldn’t do this without her realizing it.
Speaking of which, I don’t think I talked about Mori-sensei yet. Mori-sensei is the Home Ec part time teacher that usually works on Tuesdays but starting this semester she has been coming for half a day to assist other teachers. She lives pretty close to us and has been giving Judith a ride to and from school every week. Since I don’t work on Tuesdays, I would rarely see her until now. I feel really lucky to be able to get rides from her because my Friday school is about a 20 minute walk and during summer, it’s a huge pain in the ass. Mori is a really nice lady too; her English is very good and usually treats me to something every couple of weeks. She’s like a second mother to me.
Anyways, because I didn’t have any school that day, Mori-sensei invited me to go help her out with her Home Ec class in the afternoon. Oddly enough, the class she was teaching was 6-5. At this point, I hadn’t gotten to know my kids very well but they didn’t seem to mind having me around. Home Ec is pretty similar to the U.S. classes were back in the day. I highly doubt kids have access to kitchen knives and stoves now, but I do remember when I was in junior high, we would cook using those things every once in awhile. You could not have 6th graders doing that without someone getting hurt though. Over here though, it’s perfectly fine.
Anyways, I sat next to a random group of kids. We were pretty bored because kids rotated between jobs; while one kid did a specific job, the others sat in the sidelines and watched. I got to know a couple of my kids better by talking random Japanese and English to them. We eventually started playing Rock Paper Scissors (known as Janken here). If all else fails, this game will always entertain kids. However, the kids added an additional rule, which I was somewhat familiar with. This rule is called “Acchi muite hoi!”which translates to “Look over there!”. Basically, you do Rock Paper Scissors normally. Whoever wins sticks out a fist in front of the loser and says “Acchi muite hoi!”. As they are saying this, you use your index finger and point up, down, left, or right. The loser has to not move their head the same way the finger is moving or else they lose. If they manage to move their head the same direction, you go back to doing Rock Scissors Paper. It’s pretty simple but it can get really intense if you are doing it really fast. There are also mind games behind this new rule because some kids will pretend to move their finger one way and actually go the other way, faking you out. Here’s a video of it in action:
So, here we were, playing Janken with these rules. There were three of us, so whoever lost had to deal with two people saying “Look over there!”. We started to plan ahead too and figure out who would move their finger where which would increased the chance of losing even further. At one point, we had 4 kids total playing Janken with these rules and whoever lost had only one possible way to look in order to not lose…it was crazy! Whenever a kid (or me) managed to guess right, we would applaud them. This is how we spent most of the Home Ec class.
I took a pic of the kids cooking; the end result turned out to be pretty tasty!: