Halloween has come and gone ages ago but that won’t stop me from writing about it.
Halloween at my junior high was a memorable day. It first started when I was walking up the hill to my school and heard a bunch of my second year girls waving at me from the entrance. After getting to the gate, I made a pit stop to see what they were doing.
Apparently they had been asking for donations for the akai hane (red feather) charity drive. I initially didn’t realize what it was for, but this blog post sums it up quite nicely! Rather than asking me for some money in Japanese, they tried their damn best to explain to me in English. “Diego! Money…in box! Ka-ching! Very good thing.” After a valiant effort with English, I gave them 500 yen. Everyone gasped and applauded afterwards and Aya gave me a read feather to show I donated:
Afterwards I taught them how to ask for a donation in English. “Please donate money!” I said. We practiced a couple of times and when I left them, I could hear them yelling “Please donate money!” over and over. I knew this was going to be a good day.
My junior high kids were super pumped on the the31st of October because it would be the first time that Halloween would actually fall on the day that I am over there. My JTE was telling me “Everyone was talking about how they were looking forward to our lesson today.” Normally this would be great except I had nothing planned! Due to being swamped by observation lessons and other things, I didn’t have anything great prepared. I was a little worried the third years weren’t going to have fun.
Boy was I wrong. These kids were pumped for whatever. As I’m doing the daily greetings, Maido suddenly yells out “HAPPY HALLOWEEN!” at me. For what was a mediocre lesson plan (learning Halloween words and playing a half-ass board game using the vocab), the students had a blast with it. There were many hilarious moments within class. Ever since I talked about one of my sayonara parties last summer, Ina had laughed over my “It was fun…but sad!” comment about it. She would bring it up every week for a month straight, as if we were some manzai comedy duo. Today was no exception.
Ina: Oh oh, Diego! The sayonara party….how was it…?!
Me: Seriously, again? Isn’t this like the sixth time we’ve done this? Isn’t it getting old?
Ina: *silently waits for me to answer*
Me: Oh, fine. It was fun….but sad!
Ina starts laughing like crazy again. She’s such a dork.
Meanwhile, Reno starts yelling “TRICK OR TREAT!” and I pretend to give her candy.
Maido: Diego, why won’t you give us real candy? I really want it!!
Me: Look, if I could, I totally would, Maido.
Maido: So recently fall has been…
Without a beat Maido completely ignores what I said and everyone catches it. They start yelling “Maido, you just completely ignored what he said to you!” to which she puts her hand over her mouth, acting shocked. I go over the top and place my hands over my eyes, pretending to be heartbroken and walk to the corner of the room, looking at the floor. Everyone starts cracking up and my JTE acts sad. Ina says to everyone. “Diego, you’re too cute!” This is beginning to become a weekly thing but I’m okay with it.
My classes with the second year were just as fun. Kita-sensei had various Halloween accessories such as a witch’s hat and some devil horns. She asked if I could put some on and I couldn’t refuse. The first class with the second years was amused by it in 4th period but things didn’t start get rolling until 5th period. During lunch, I still kept the horns on, much to the delight of my teachers and students. I ate with the third years that day and everyone kept stealing the horns from me to wear them themselves. Besides that I had a nice conversation with Maido over her dreams to homestay in New York and catching up with other students. I’m trying to talk to them as much as I can because I know graduation is slowly approaching. After lunch, the Home Ec teacher approaches me and gives me a bag full of Halloween accessories. She said I looked like I could use some more. This gave me a brilliant idea.
5th period begins. I have my horns back on my head and now I have a bag full of Halloween junk. The second batch of second years see this and immediately take the stuff out of the bag to wear themselves. They really had a lot of fun with it to the point where we decided to take pictures of everyone. Needless to say, it was a laidback and fun class:
So despite not preparing much for Halloween, I had a blast with my junior high kids. It was a great way to kick off my four day weekend of doing nothing! If I’m still here next year, I want to make a better Halloween lesson plan for them.