Friday, March 12, 2010
Today was one of those days where I woke up chanting to myself, please dont make me go, please dont make me go. But I gratefully ate the okonomiyaki Motto served for breakfast and filled my new tumbler (thanks Sarah) with decaf coffee and off I went. I woke up after noon so it was too late to call out sick anyway.
I love my long train ride into Yanai. I just cant understand how the time seems to double on the way home.
My first class was a trial lesson I was dreading with three 2 year olds and their mothers. The Japanese teacher of the school had set everything up so nicely my anxiety levels dropped a bit when I entered the room. Plus, she wasn't there, so I could continue listening to my podcast. Bonus.
Things started looking up when the first toddler came in and, after being prompted by his mother, announced, "Mayonnaise Shu!*" We played, I danced around like a monkey, and the class went fine.
The next class, though, made me think about the big picture of my life and what the hell I think I'm doing here. It's a bunch of 7 year olds, and they weren't that bad today, they've been worse. As they usually do, two boys just sat in the back of the room playing with their pencil boxes and talking about Pokemon while I wrangled everyone to get their notebooks out and checked homework. No matter how many times I called these boys, how many of my Japanese words I used, how many angry faces I made, how many times I threatened to call their moms, they wouldn't budge.
I realized they are just doing exactly what they want to be doing. And why should I get mad at them, when before the class started I hoped all 8 students were absent so I could be doing exactly what I want to be doing (listening to a podcast laying on my back in the middle of the room)?
And then I started to think, why I am trying to control these kids and what right do I have to? But then I think that the company that pays me would really appreciate me attempting to teach some English and hopefully use the curriculum they trained me to teach. I just hate when the students get to me and I start getting frustrated or caring that they're in balls on the floor wrestling or talking loudly to each other so I can't hear the other students with my good ear.
I'm standing up, pointing my finger yelling, sit down, sit down, sit down. And then it dawns on me I don't really care at all. And I give everyone a piece of origami paper to draw a picture of their favorite toys.
*That's baby Japanese for "My name is Shu."