2009年11月20日金曜日

P(i)TA

PTA= parents teachers association
PITA = pain in the ass

As of today I am renaming the PTA the P(i)TA.

We had an emergency meeting to discuss what to do with all the things we made for the festival/ bazaar that was cancelled due to flu.

It was pretty predictable- lower classes want to save for next year. Graduating class mums want to hand out now. Kinder is against presents- children making something or doing something (playing a game) to get something is ok but straight handouts get a no.

Some classes' crafts are complete, some- like the make a medal or make a kaleidoscope class- are not. Reasonably enough they are not so keen to get together and complete the making of the goods.

So that one ended in a big old spaghetti like tangle of ideas that P(i)TA chief will take to principal of the kinder. No idea what will eventuate but imagine there will be more to discuss. Oh yeah.

Second half of the meeting was spent discussing the bazaar. Every year on the day of the festival a bazaar is also held. Apples, rice, vegetables, old clothes and toys, unwanted towel set gift boxes etc are sold and the proceeds go to the kids' Christmas presents. (Yes, despite being a Japanese public kinder we have Christmas presents- and as the principal is against straight gifts she actually tells the kids the nativity story as an explanation of why they are getting presents. Always amazes me that some devout Buddhist/ Shinto/ Sokagakkai parent doesn't complain.)

So anyway, the bazaar has a minimum amount of money we have to make. The presents are the same each year- beach balls for the 0-2yo, bamboo mini stilts for the 3yo, skipping ropes for the 4yo and a book with a name plate and graduation message for the 5yo.

This year the bazaar was cancelled.

Until today when it was reinstated.

Next Sunday.

In the local gym as no public hall/ kinder space can be used for large gatherings as Nagano is in the top level of flu warnings at the moment.

The local gym will cost us more than 5000 yen to rent. That's a whole lot of second hand clothes to sell before we even break even.

We're not allowed to ask people to come. Well, officially anyway. Unofficially we are to strongly encourage people to come. Wearing masks of course. And shopping quickly.

It's on a Sunday. Next Sunday. The P(i)TA president went around the room asking for everyone's commitment to a half day or full day of pricing and selling.

Squirrel class representative?
Ummm, I have to work....
All day?
Until 1...
So you could come for the last hour?
Ahhhh...
Where do you work?
Toyoshina..... (three towns away)
Hmmmm, so I guess you could come before work?

And it went on and on. My co-rep in mikan class:

I can come all day but I'll have to bring my children.
Children?? You can't have someone look after them?
Ummmm....
It will be so hard on the children with you busy working......
Ummm.....
You have no-one to look after them?

I realise the P(i)TA is a job we signed up for.
But I do not think it's right to be putting so much pressure on people to drop everything and turn up on a Sunday. A Sunday we were given 10 days notice about.

I am rather disillusioned about the whole thing at the moment.

Just want to finish my term and never have anything to do with them again.

Bloody P(i)TA.

2 件のコメント:

Jo Tomooka さんのコメント...

I always thought the PTA at kindergarten was full of devoted mothers doing their bit when they had the time, until I became involved and decided it was more about mothers wanting to gossip and get one up on all the other children etc. The "politics" drove me mad, but at the same time I did manage to make some nice friends... glad it is over! School PTA seems a lot less stressful. Smile, nod and tell them to bugger off!

Kim さんのコメント...

I've only talked to one mother in Japan who enjoyed PTA. All the others' stories make me want to run screaming the other way!!!