Bed Head

Friday, December 1, 2006

On Wednesday morning, the teachers at Odochi stood outside again to greet the students and make sure that their uniforms were correct. One of the students came in with a horrible cowlick on the side of his head and one of the teachers turned to me and asked what we call it in English. I told him "bed head". He thought it was quite funny. I tried teaching it to them when I first came in August but it didn't catch on until now. Eh, I'm glad they had a good laugh :)

On Thursday, I finally did my TV guide lesson. Unfortunately, these students have a tendency of either sleeping or being at school so they rarely watch TV. I asked them to look at my TV guide and mark down what they wanted to watch and at what time and then also make time for dinner, homework and a shower. However, instead of writing "I want to watch Tom and Jerry from 6:00-6:30 and then Sex in the City at 9:00" they wrote "I'll eat dinner at 6:00 and sleep until 9:00 then wake up and take a shower then go back to bed". Not exactly what I was looking for. If they ever did write down that they wanted to watch TV, they usually only wrote down "TV" instead of what show.

Which then made things difficult when I wanted them to get into pairs and compromise a schedule with their new roommate. The whole point of this activity was to speak in English. Honestly, it not very hard if they thought about what they really wanted to say. All they needed to do was say "I want to eat at this time and I want to watch Tom and Jerry at this time? OK? Not ok? What do you want to do?"

So I threw the lesson out the window as the class went on. They didn't really want to do it despite my teacher telling me once again (just as he did last week) how much these students enjoy speaking English. I don't know, maybe it's the dead looks they give me but it's hard sometimes to believe him. Though I will admit, they definitely have more of a drive to learn English than my first years.

In the end, it was pretty interesting to see the reactions of the students to my new lesson style. Usually I have them in groups of 4 or 5 people and they have to say something creative by the end of the class. This time, I had them in smaller groups and it was all writing. Suddenly, the students that never did anything before started writing and the students who always did the talking continued talking and doing nothing else. It just goes to show that I need to switch it around every now and then to get all the students involved.

The best part I think though was that there was this one group of 4 girls that decided they all wanted to live together and thus made the schedule making much more difficult for themselves since it's easier to compromise with one person than it is with 3. But they got really into it! One girl wanted to watch golf while the others all wanted to see Lizzy McGuire. It didn't matter to anyone but me that they were passionately discussing it in Japanese rather than English. Eh, I'm really glad they had fun with it. In the end, that is the point ;) For me at least.

Next, I've taken up knitting! When I talk to people via Skype, I have a tendency of playing solitaire because my head is attached to my computer when I use a headset (I've been told that wireless ones aren't the best and besides, even if I weren't attached, what else would I be doing? The dishes? HA!) As of right now I am enjoying myself immensely though it's really looking like crap. I'm making a scarf and the wool is already starting to fuzz out a bit even though I know I got the nicer stuff and I also have a tendency of messing up occasionally. For right now, this scarf is just a beginners one. A nice tan and mishapped scarf :)

Last, this evening was the first of my Bon-Enkais. As I have mentioned before, an enkai is a drinking party with coworkers and a Bon-Enkai is an end of the year drinking party. This one was with the Tosayamada Lions Club and despite the attendants all being crazy old men, I really had a fantastic time.

This was the first time that I actually enjoyed having a one sided conversation with a person. These conversations usually consist of be nodding my head and hoping to god I don't hear a question mark at the end of any sentence because I have no idea what the person is saying to me. But this old man just kept talking about his daughter who's getting her doctorate in Michigan. I didn't understand anything other than that, but he was so animated and friendly! He was a very nice man.

Also, they had me get up towards the end of dinner and play bingo with everyone. They elected me to call out the numbers and the prizes were really nice! Three different kinds of what I can only assume is super expensive sake and after that, mandarin oranges (I got a huge box of them. There's probably about 50 or so) and after that, a little goody bag for the people that hung on to the very end.

Maybe it was the crazy old men who kept talking to me in Japanese but I really enjoyed myself. They were so kind! They also showered me with gifts and that probably didn't hurt my feelings towards them either ;)

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