The first semester at my Monday/Tuesday school had a lot of amusing anecdotes. I’ll list a few:
Classes with 5-1 are pretty fun because Tsuji-sensei likes to throw in his anecdotes of his own. Half the time we get sidetracked talking about random stuff rather than English. Honestly, I don’t really care because this is the time where I get to find out more about my students and him and they get to find out more about me.
One time Tsuji-sensei was telling everyone how I (sometimes) study during my downtime. I got some compliments from some kids while certain kids were trying to test me on my Japanese on the fly. One particular girl was drilling me:
“Raise your right hand! Now your left! Raise both! Turn around! What number am I holding up? Now raise your right hand while moving your left hand!” She was machine-gunning these orders while I quickly lost track of each movement. Before I completely lost it I yelled “OKAY, let’s start learning English!” Oh yeah, smooth save.
A lot of my stories actually come from the staff office. With so many personalities in the room, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Only just now, 3 years later, am I just starting to get to know some teachers. I’d like to think it is thanks to some of my new co-workers such as Kishida-sensei and Isaka-sensei. I’ve talked about Isaka-sensei before, so let’s talk about Kishida-sensei. She’s a music teacher around my age and very pretty to boot. I will admit, I have a little crush on her but I’m not the only one. She’s apparently the school favorite to the kids as well. She’s also very talkative and friendly. She likes to sit next to me during lunch so naturally we have various conversations about random things. I learned that she really hates carrots and once the students learned this fact, they remind her to eat them whenever they’re in the school lunch. Without fail, everyday that there are carrots, I will notice her getting reminders, haha.
Kishida-sensei has this charm that attracts people around her and end up having a group conversation. Thanks to her, I have gotten to know some of the old teachers a little better. Ozaki-sensei is a perfect example of this. Before Kishida-sensei, I only saw Ozaki-sensei as the cute school nurse with a deep voice (we have a lot of cute female teachers at this school, sue me). I had no idea how big of a nerd she was until she was chatting up with Kishida and I was nearby.
She noticed my Evangelion phone cover and said. “Is that Eva?”
“Yes!” I happily replied. “I actually got it at the Eva store at Tokyo. It was a limited release celebrating the latest movie.” I sort of regretted what I said because I knew about 90% of people could care less about that information.
Instead, Ozaki-sensei gleamed. “Oh wow, that’s awesome! I thought the latest movie was interesting! Who’s your favorite character?”
My interest perked up. “I like Rei.”
She replied, “I like Rei too! I thought the scene with her and Asuka on the elevator in the second movie was soooo good!”
“Yes! Yes!” What ensued was about a twenty minute conversation about Evangelion and other anime. She apparently is a bigger One Piece nut than Eva but that’s cool. Poor Kishida comes back and looks super confused at what’s going on. Ozaki just happily says “Oh, Diego and I are Evangelion nakama (comrades) now.” Every once in awhile we will geek out to some random Eva news. Who would’ve known!
The principal always goes out of her way to say hi to me and give me souvenirs from random trips. One time, she brought chocolate chip cookies from Costco (which had just opened near us) and everyone was fascinated at the size.
“Wow, how can anyone eat such a big cookie?” said one teacher.
“You split these, right?” asked another.
“These must be the so-called American size…” trailed off one teacher.
Everyone had surrounded these cookies, just afraid to grab one. Meanwhile, I’m in the background eating an entire cookie, not giving a damn. AMERICA!
Finally, shortly before the semester ended, my entire fifth grade class learned how to plant rice that they will harvest later in the fall. It was really fun to watch all of them in a line, knees deep in mud, planting rice. Some kids unfortunately fell down and were all messy but they didn’t seem to care. It was my first time seeing it but apparently they do it every year. It was a slice of Japanese life that I hadn’t witnessed and it was a pleasant experience. People kept asking me to join in; if only I had brought some spare clothes!
I’m looking forward to fall semester to start! Who knows what stories will come up from here on out…