2009年9月29日火曜日

A good day

Huge day today.

Me and the it's-got-four-wheels-what-are-you-complaining-about? car headed into Matsumoto for work. First class is a women's class with a minefield of do-not-touch-with-a-barge-pole conversation topics due to some very sad circumstances a number of the women are going through. This makes even the most seemingly innocent questions potentially tearful. I have to be careful not to be over-sensitive though as that surely makes it an even bigger deal.... yep, a really draining hour there.

Then in the afternoon I have my 3 year old class. I love this class, I have been teaching them since they were 1 1/2 and they're now 3 1/2. They rock and just jump up and down with excitement when I do our greetings in my scary/ silly/ sad/ happy/ quiet/ loud voice. I know a lot of people don't like teaching preschoolers but I swear they are a real ego boost- they think you're better than Disneyland if you can growl out hello. Well, today we had a girl change in from another class (did I mention my classes are great??? Just kidding. It was probably a scheduling thing.) and a 2 1/2 year old doing a trial lesson. She was born in the US and has just moved back so her listening skills are native level but she's shy (I think the scary voice hello/ jumping squealing kids as she walked in was unfortunate timing...) and of course developmentally she's a year behind the rest of my class. My class that includes Amy..... Amy who varies between being the jumpiest, loudest responder and lying under her chair doing nothing. So much easier to teach other people's kids... Anyway trial lesson kid was understandably quiet throughout but her mum loved the class and signed up. Woohoo...

Then, because I was on a high and the girls had sat through a lot of boring stuff as I explained my teaching philosophy to the prospective student's parents (I may only teach part time kiddie classes but doesn't mean I can't use my B Ed right?) I decided we'd stop at Matsumoto Castle on the way home. The playing-with-fire way home at 5:30 with two tired kids....

Twice a year Matsumoto Castle grounds are opened for free in the evening with a flute concert and dango/ soup/ tea ceremony to celebrate hanami- cherry blossom viewing and tsukimi- moon viewing. The view of the Autumn full moon from Matsumoto Castle is so great they built a moonviewing room when they built the castle. Unfortunately last night it was completely overcast and drizzling so no moon. After remembering to pack the umbrellas both girls declined to use them as 'you can't dance when you're holding an umbrella.' As K was still at work and I, too, think the freedom to dance is worth a little dampness we headed off un-umbrellaed.

The girls had a fabulous time running and dancing and eating their moon viewing dango and as there were a total of maybe 12 people in the whole place I let them just do as they pleased. Really noone there to be annoyed by it all! Amy was very interested in the teahouse and the women in kimono organising a tea ceremony (they outnumbered visitors unfortunately...) so we talked about how quiet and serious it was and then decided to head in and have a cup of matcha. Personally I find the stuff quite invigoratingly bitter but not something I'd want to sip regularly and I wasn't sure what the girls would think and rather worried they would voice their opinion somewhat loudly so I ordered one cup. The head of the tea ceremony group (obvious not because I can read rank by the pattern and lustre of kimono or anything but because everyone was deferring to her and hovering around her murmuring 'sensei. sensei.') rushed over and ordered two cups of watered down matcha for the girls and gave Meg a one on one lesson on the tea ceremony while a subordinate did the same for Amy. They had a fabulous time and Meg asked lots of questions which sensei answered really clearly and simply for her. I was really impressed.

On the way out we met a group of salarymen milling about looking important. Amy called out hello and one of them replied and asked her if she was having fun to which she replied that there was no moon but the tea ceremony was fun. Yucky but fun. General laughter and as I hurried them away from the tea ceremony area I heard someone say 'Mr Mayor, this way please.' Aghhhhhh, Amy dissing the tea to the Mayor...

We took some pictures (I borrowed K's antique digital camera) beside a huge outdoor ikebana and we left at the same time as the mayor and his entourage- leaving about six people to enjoy the concert.

Got home, girls fell asleep on contact with their beds and I put on my PTA rep. cap and wrote up a one page letter to the mums in Amy's class asking for help with the kinder festival. In Japanese. Phew. K was impressed when he checked it for me which is always nice as I think he takes it for granted that I speak Japanese a bit. Doesn't realise how lucky he is! He did mention that using the word haze for the stands you use to dry rice in my obligatory seasonal reference was a little agri-geeky. Oh well, I can handle that.

Quite a day.





6 件のコメント:

anchan さんのコメント...

Gosh, your girls are so charming, no-one could every be offended by them! Sounds like a lovely day, hope it made up for your bad day ;-)

Priscilla さんのコメント...

I like this post. I like the way you allow your children to play in a natural playground (referring to another post) and how you allow them to interact with other people.

illahee さんのコメント...

sounds like a wonderful day! although i'm curious about the sensitive class...

Lisa さんのコメント...

"Moon viewing" sounds so cool. I love the concept of Japanese seasonal events!

medea さんのコメント...

Agri-geeky, I'm impressed! I couldn't manage to be agri-geeky in English, never mind Japanese!

Kim さんのコメント...

Sounds like a wonderful time!!!