Saturday, April 12, 2008

"No one knows, no one knows, the rose of truth."

Lessons didn't actually start until Friday, and by then I'd work my way through so many stages of terror, dread, apprehension, anxiety, dismay, panic, and discouragement that the actual experience was fairly laid-back. It helped that some of the other teachers and the students were almost as nervous as I am. One, M-sensei, peered cautiously around the doorway and then quickly pulled back - before sending me into face the foe first (he'd taught second years before but not first). In another class, a poor little first-year boy started crying when we asked the class to say their name and where they are from.

I have from four to six classes a day, usually assisting a different teacher with each though there is some overlap. There are five different English teachers - I shouldn't be biased but M-sensei is a little bit my favorite because he's very soft-spoken but has an excellent sense of humor. The hard part is having the students stare at you blankly, so I consider getting them to laugh a major success. One of the teachers quit the day before I came, and while we're waiting for a replacement to be found her classes are canceled.

Yesterday there were no afternoon because the first years were being recruited to the clubs. Each club did a little demonstration and speech.  There is one for every sport you can imagine - even ping-pong - divided into girls and boys teams and each with their own uniforms, and a few that were more my alley, such as painting, band, and glee club. Baseball and soccer are the most popular. Japan takes clubs very seriously, and it was a pleasure to watch them be so passionate about something. There's a pool on campus but it's currently closed, so the poor swimming club (only four members) came up in their uniforms - until one stripped abruptly down to trunks, and I was amused to see the girls in the back sit up suddenly.

Electronic dictionaries are extremely popular here, so I bought one in the hopes that it would helpful. Unfortunately they're all geared to help a Japanese speaker of English, which means I have trouble just deciphering the menu. It was $230/00 yen, marked down from $310/00 because I accepted the display model. I think it will come in handy once I figure it out. I can only hope that I'll get better at a great many things with time.

I've taken some sakura pictures that I'll post tomorrow.

1 comment:

woody said...

At my community college----Asians are always playing ping pong. There's nothing to fear but fear itself----love wood