OK, I am now going to backtrack a little...my parents and I had a lovely day today but the pictures and explanations will have to wait because I wanted to share these 2 gems:
Amelie, Jeff and I had an enkai with our board of education the night before my parents arrived, it was an epic night which concluded with us and our two favorite supervisory types, at long last, together at Castaway's. For some reason I am heistant to post their names even though I have before, and there is certainly nothing incriminating about requesting me to sing exclusively old school Aaliyah and TLC (do you remember my supervisor's taste in music, which I first experienced while driving around in his car last summer?) nor joining Amelie in a japanese song whose chorus culminates in a lovely "Honey...FLASH!!!". It was just so nice to be with them in a such a casual, fun environment, instead of the stuffy BoE office. Anyway, the bartender did not take pictures of us that night for her blog so of course I had to.
Also, surprise! I got glasses - I mostly just wear them for driving, the need to get them became apparent when I noticed it took me significantly longer to be able to read road signs than anyone else in the car. They're the lightest prescription you can buy, but man, I was blown away by the difference. Glasses are cheap here and almost everyone wears them, especially kids, much more so than braces, which are very rare.
And, oh, my students. They continue to amaze me, mostly in comedic value. As a beginning assignment for the year, they had to write a little show and tell speech about their favorite thing, their "treasure". I got to correct all these opuses, and I swear at least half of each class wrote about their mechanical pencils. I asked my co-teacher if she thought this was funny/strange, and she said she did, and responded by outlawing mechanical pencils as "treasures" in the next class. The kids in this class, however, were not down with this, complained, and got her to revoke the rule if it was a truly special pencil, ie. engraved for one's graduation. This reminded me of the time I first noticed a student twirling his pencil in his hand quite skillfully during class- I commented on it, like "Hey, cool!" to which he shrugged and said "(It's) Japanese culture" and it's true. My other 'first few days of school' favorite is one of my students who now sits in the front row, who is a huge fan of doing free association outloud during class. The other day "United States of America" set him off on "Crinton...crinton...Obama..FRANCE REVOLUTION...obama...obama...obama...france revolution" he enjoys the reaction it gets from me, usually cracking up, and he knows I would never scold him for talking during class because he always does it fairly quietly, and always in English. I hope I get to work with him for a speech contest.