More About My Kids

It's the end of the school year here in Japan. School runs from April to March...I'm not sure why, it just does. Actually, spring does seem like kind of a better time to start school. School seems less depressing after winter than it does after a nice, long summer vacation. But I digress...

I wanted to talk about a few more of my kids because my 3rd Years will soon be graduating, and honestly it makes me pretty sad.

At Asahi Junior High I love all the kids. There are only 59 of them, so I have a relationship with nearly every kid...in that we've had a conversation or two, or shared a laugh. None of them act up in English class, regardless of whether or not they actually like it. I really appreciate this.

Again, I do have a few favorites though, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite 3rd Years.

Sayuri is extremely friendly, and was the first student to actively engage with me when I first came to the school. As you can imagine with only 59 kids they can be kind of quiet and shy, but Sayuri always made sure to say hello to me or smile at me or whatever, and you can't imagine how much of a difference this makes when everyone else (adults included) is trying their hardest to ignore you. Since then she's become the person I most often eat lunch with. The Asahi students aren't as ready to speak English to me as their Kanagi counterparts, but Sayuri understands English really well.

Anna is quiet and smiley. In fact if I only look at her funny I can make her laugh. She's pretty great at English, but she constantly plays it down and panics when I try to have more advanced conversations with her. She's also the target of playful bullying from the rest of the kids because she's prone to hysterics. It's especially cute to watch the boy who clearly has a crush on her give her a hard time.

Speaking of crushes, Masumi originally used to joke around with me all the time, having probably the best English of all the kids, but now she's more or less paralyzed because she's developed quite a crush on yours truly. What can I say, I have a power over 14-year-old girls. She's extremely sweet though, and she gave me chocolate on Valentine's Day, so I can't complain. She gets called a "yankee" all the time, which is a label Japanese people give other Japanese people who act "Western." I just like to think of "yankees" as the kids who haven't sacrificed their personalities to fit in.

Miyuki is perhaps my favorite student of all. She's painfully shy around me, and as she often admits (in English, mind you) "I don't speak English." She's the one who penned the funny comic about Gabe liking maid uniforms and school swimsuits. She's only recently begun having conversations with me, mostly in Japanese, but I think everything she says is pretty hilarious, even when it's unintentional. She once answered an essay question along the lines of "Do we need more PE class?" with the response "I don't like to run. I can live without more running." In a way she kind of reminds me of myself at her age, and I think that's why I like her so much. She's really smart, but she doesn't necessarily apply herself all the time. She does give me her extra food at lunch though, and that's what's important.

So yeah, those are more of my kids. The Asahi crowd is totally different from Kanagi, which makes me really glad I'm able to experience teaching in both schools. I'm sad to see the 3rd Years go, but thinking about the fresh-faced group of 1st Years that will appear in a few weeks warms my heart a little.

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Blogger Ashley said...

"She does give me her extra food at lunch though, and that's what's important." lol you funny.

i like these types of posts a lot. and sayuri is a really pretty name.

Blogger Lindsay said...

hmm, so when you started working at the end of the summer you were actually starting in the middle of the school year?

p.s. i got my first job offer! AHHH! i think i'm gonna take it too...

Anonymous debbymac said...

Enjoyed our chat yesterday.... I do miss you!
As much as I enjoy all of your posts, I love hearing about your kids! Thanks for sharing.... and can't wait to hear more.
Have updated my Netflix list:)
I Love You!

Blogger darrell said...

Ashley: I really love Japanese names. If I ever decide to get a baby it's probably getting a Japanese name. They're even prettier when you can read the kanji, because they have the nice sound, but then the added meaning of the Chinese characters. The characters in Sayuri's name are the ones for "silk", "night", and "logic". In western names we don't really know the meanings behind them...or we have to look them up in books. In Japanese and Chinese names they're right there, like little pictures.

Lindsay: Correct! Although I did come in right after summer vacation (which is shorter) so it wasn't like they just dropped this weird foreign guy in the middle of class. And as for you job offer, what job is it? Or can't you talk about it...maybe it's a secret government job...designing sexy science weapons. It better be that.

Mom: I'm glad you like reading about my kids, I like sharing about them. I kinda wish I could show pictures and get into more detail and all, but I don't feel the internet is appropriate for that. I was glad to talk to you too and I'll call again on Sunday!

Blogger Lindsay said...

well i try to bring the sexiness to all my jobs (ahem, you should know this) but it is science, it is sexy, and it's better than weapons...it's working in a lab that studies alcohol!!! (and how it effects gene expression)

Blogger Ashley said...

I feel like we talked about this ages ago because I remember telling you that I love the name Sameer and that my kid is going to be white and be named Sameer and it will be HILARIOUS. I'm not really digging Sameer anymore, so I just might take Sayuri for my whiteass kid.

and yeah, I'm taking a Chinese Philosophy class and the teacher writes the characters on the board sometimes and it's really interesting. Like a man is...a man, standing there all valiantly. It's pretty neat, but obvz you know that already.

and lol once more at "if I ever decide to get a kid"... that sounds like you pick a kid up from the corner market.

Anonymous Dad said...

Knowing Darrell, he might just do that... but I hope that he will work it out the old fashioned way.

Great post. Great stories. Great Kids.


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