Chocolate-Colored Sensei

Unless I have something extremely pressing to do, I always help the students clean after lunch. As my students and I were cleaning on this one particular day, I was in the hallway sweeping and I overheard some of my 2nd graders randomly calling out colors in English. My ears quickly zeroed in on this conversation. These students were actually practicing the colors we had been working on in a previous lesson. They made it into a game. One kid would call out a color in English and then Continue Reading …

A Boatload of Questions From My Japanese Students

Ah Friday lunch with the kids...it’s soooo funny. So I walk into class today, and the kids are all excited saying “Donaldo Sensei koko...koko...koko.” In other words, “Donald sit here!” Of course I can only sit in one place so as with most important things in life, it was decided by Janken, じゃんけん, (rock, scissors, paper in English). One of the girls won the janken series today and I got to sit with a table full of elementary school girls. In general (at lunch time anyway) I find the girls Continue Reading …

Do Will Smith, Michael Jackson, and Barack Obama Look Alike To You?

Well aside from the obvious, having brown skin (I’m talking about African-American Michael Jackson, not the hispanic one from the late 80s or the caucasian one from the mid-nineties...I’m sorry, but it’s true, Michael...God rest your soul) it doesn’t seem to me like they favor at all, not even in the slightest. However, my fourth graders thought so. I held up a picture of some Japanese celebrities and they were able to identify them quite easily. I then held up a picture of Will Smith to have Continue Reading …

A Soaking Wet Commute to Work

I can now understand why babies cry when they're wet. It's SUPER uncomfortable. You ever had soggy, wet socks before? It sucks when you have to wear those things all day because it's the only pair you've got. Of course they dry, but not before making the soles of your feet look all wrinkled and unsightly. Today, I had make my morning commute to Moriya in the pouring rain...officially the first time for this job. I donned my deep blue, rain suit pants (the jacket has some big holes in Continue Reading …

Mental Conditioning of Japanese Elementary School Students

After another delicious, well-balanced school lunch today I was brushing my teeth and I heard that same music that plays everyday during Japanese souji/cleaning time. I don’t know all of the music that plays, but I hear these two Carpenter’s songs playing over the P.A. system everyday, like clockwork. It’s pretty interesting to see. Kids brush their teeth after lunch and when the Carpenters’ songs come on, the kids are smiling, cleaning the classrooms and hallways together...taking pride in Continue Reading …