T-1

Turkey day minus 1

I just realized Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I knew it was around the corner, but I just didn’t realize it was right in front of me. Life does that when you aren’t paying attention I suppose. Thanksgiving in Japan is non-existent and forget about finding a turkey… It’s just not going to happen unless you go into Tokyo on a mission for it, then it is just overpriced and depressing. Usually, my wife and I go to a Chinese place and order chicken and Gyoza. That is our Thanksgiving make up day though. Thanksgiving falls on a testing week at my particular board of education, which means I have to go to elementary schools. Usually it means I am going to the all- day English camp that Saturday too which is a Herculean effort, but comes with a Croesis sized bonus. My first year doing it was terrible, but that was because I was in a group of pain in the ass children. Last year wasn’t that bad because my group was awesome… I am always a little hesitant, until they offer me 25,000 yen… then my eyes turn to little cash registers and I acquiesce.

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This week I am at Shomaru-chu teaching only the 3rd year students. This year they had them test earlier than the 1st and 2nd years because of upcoming high school entrance exams. My classes with Mrs. Baughman went ok. I opened the class with a passives warm up with an audio component… In other words, we played name- that- tune. They generally had a good time with it, but only the vocal minority really took advantage of it. I did see a lot more activity and interest from some of the quieter kids though who just responded better to music they knew and were excited to hear. Later I had classes with Mr. Black. He keeps wandering off and rough housing with some of the kids who don’t participate and it is pretty rough. Not abusive, but he horse plays with them just like another Junior High school boy. That is exactly how he got the black eye last time… From screwing around with a kid who wasn’t.
Shomaru chu was only the morning, in the afternoon I went to an Elementary school that funnels to Shomaru. It was a 20 minute walk from Shomaru, so no big deal. The lesson was a shambles though. They really didn’t have a plan, but just wanted me to kill time with them. I know this because the lesson they originally sent me didn’t exist, and they just had to make up something for me to do. That’s fine though… Because I rarely go, I can just do the same shit over again and its new… Like groundhog day… Bill Murray style. They are happy with it, though. Most of the kids were cool though, but keeping with the industrial nature of the area, there were more than the normal share of misbehaving kids. Many of them are pretty cool, but they have no self-control in the classroom, which explains Shomaru-chu.
At the end of one of my lessons, the teacher had disappeared. I didn’t know what happened but I knew I had to get out of there quick. Being in a classroom without a full time teacher is a recipe for disaster, so I packed up quick. Once I got down to the teachers room, I saw why. The one kid who was pretty much an ass in the lesson was throwing a tantrum and throwing shit in the office. This was one of those things were the teachers are hesitant to do anything in front of guests. Being the end of the day, I decided it was best for me to vacate as soon as possible

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