catching up

Phew. I feel like I have a chance to catch my breath for the first time in a week.

Can I just suggest that opening a new branch of an English school, picking up extra classes at the old branch, having your oldest kid start school and your youngest start a new year of kinder and your husband a new role in the neighbourhood association all at the same time is not really amenable to a relaxing period in your life?

Everything is going well though (knock on wood, fingers crossed and all that) The big unbloggable news from a while ago was that my boss decided to open a branch of his English school right here in my village. This is fabulous. Amazing. Wonderful. I get to teach the local kids and I get to teach locally! A 5 minute drive rather than a 45 minute one. The luxury. Anyway, Sunday we had a big grand opening party (after the girls did their early morning easter egg hunt- lucky we're early in the easter bunny's rounds, huh?) and it was a huge success. I think exact numbers are a company secret but let's just say many, many students joined on the day- without even a proper trial lesson! A very rewarding and validating experience.

I am also teaching returnee kids and a phonics and reading course at the Matsumoto school. Two things I have always wanted to do so that is rather exciting, too (no, it doesn't take much to excite me!)

Meg has a great teacher (I mean a kazoo tooting guitar strumming gag-a-minute kind of guy? Really!) who is the father of a boy she went through kinder with so, while she doesn't know him, she knows him better than she knows any of the other teachers at school.

Today was her first day doing the long walk and I think we were both a little nervous about waking up at 6:00 as we were both awake at 5:00! I convinced her to come into my bed for a cuddle until the alarm went off. Neither of us went back to sleep but still, rest is better than nothing right? Super excited she raced through getting ready and was standing at the gate by 6:30 wondering where everyone else was. Well, everyone else was still inside their nice warm houses waiting until 6:40 when they leave for school!

It was a huge day for all of us. Amy needed to be woken from her nap (unheard of- half the time she doesn't nap at all) and was so disoriented she headed to the little kids toilets (that she used last year) and then walked on auto pilot back to her old classroom. Unfortunately the little kids are going home at 11:30 at the moment so there was noone in the room. Just a big empty space. Amy freaked out and started wailing and the teacher rushed to find her and reassured her the class hadn't disappeared and that she is now a big giraffe girl and not a little mandarin. When I went to pick her up at 2:45 she was still only half dressed and making a keening half moaning noise. Poor kid.

I had given Meg the option of coming with me to work in Matsumoto or staying at after school club until I finished. Her two best friends are going to after school club so she chose that option. I walked in to pick her up at 6:30 and the poor thing was exhausted. At 5:00 they serve snacks at after school care and as I don't trust that there will never, ever be nuts there I had put a couple of senbei in her lunch bag and told her that that was her snack before she left for school. Poor kid forgot and ate them with her lunch and then had to sit and watch the others eat their snack. She was all puppy dog face and my heart melted. After a huge lunch and then senbei on top of that I doubt she was starving but to have to sit there and watch the others eat and not join in? That's pretty tough....

I think the novelty factor of after school care is already wearing off as she asked to come home and then go to work with me tomorrow. Soooo nice to be working locally so we have these options!

And K? Well I still only have a hazy idea of what his new neighbourhood association role is but it involves a lot of meetings (I see five on the calendar for this month), looking after the community centre key- lots of people knocking on the door to get it, and buying the alcohol and snacks for the meetings. Great.

And I think that's pretty much where we're up to. We should be planting potatoes, peas and beans but neither my co-farmer or I have time to even weed at the moment so we're pinning our hopes on next week... or maybe the one after...

Obligatory first day of school picture. My mum took one of these of us kids on the first day of school every year- all the way to year 12. Here's picture number 1 of my own collection. I have to say it's missing something for not being in a slightly too big brand spanking new school uniform though, yeah?

Amy wanted in on the action. Of course. Dressed up for the occasion she did, too huh? Precure undershirt, too short fleece pjs and gumboots.

Spot the school kid. This is looking up our road. The kid at the top of the road walks down to the next kid's house and then they walk down to the next house et etc in a domino like action. Meg is kid number five but first grader number two. The older kids are walking with them (at their pace) for the first month but then it's up to them to keep up.

And they're off. That's a 5th grader, two 3rd graders and two 1st graders. If it wasn't for the special bag covers you'd never pick the little kids, huh? And that's neighbour A in the truck off to pour concrete for the day.

5 件のコメント:

achan さんのコメント...

Meg looks so grown up. I love her school bag, it sure beats those horrible heavy things that our kids have to carry.

I like the idea of the dominoing pickup system for walking to school as opposed to a meeting point. We may have to look into that idea as the kumi that we live in will only have about 3 kids from next year.

Good luck with your new job/s. I taught returnees once and it was so much hard work, like getting blood out of a stone when it came to speaking Arghhhhh. Might be a great chance for your girls to hang out with some 'native' speakers though!!!

bastish さんのコメント...

I really can't wait. :)

jojoebi さんのコメント...

Meg looks so grown up! Looks like she doesn't have to have the 're-morgage the house uncomfortable backpack then'?

I taught some returnees for a while, came back from Glasgow, couldn't understand a bloody word they said! and they just cracked me up because they were Japanese but spoke thick Glaswegian

Gaijin Wife さんのコメント...

Wow, super busy. You can always knock wood on that big pile still in the backyard?

"she is now a big giraffe girl and not a little mandarin" thanks for that - already shite computer just about got juiced with a mouthful of cab sav.

Great news about the eikaiwa school and the new lessons. Busy though aye? Nice that the girls are old enough to comehang out at work.

We are the forever keeper of the kouminkan key. Used to stay in house but I put up fuss about having to leave the front door open when we were all out - as you would. We now put it in the letterbox with the 'useage slips' and a pen. Now its every vestling for themself.

thefukases さんのコメント...

achan- recently she really does look more grown up. I can't tell what it is but it's a bit disconcerting...

the domino idea is really good. Very easy to pass on messages too as you just stand outside your house and wait for the kids to come by. :)

my returnee kids are brothers and when they're not trying to kill each other (we're talking stitches...) they are pretty good. I love the challenge- and a break form colours, numbers, actions and the alphabet!

bastish- but it's all so much fun. Realllly! ;P

jojoebi- 4,000 yen. But obaachan was sad as apparently buying the randoseru is a big deal and she had been collecting brochures for weeks. Wow, Scottish accented Japanese kids? @_@ Mine were in Hong Kong so no discernable accent.

GW- don't talk about the bloody wood. I'm knocking on wood that we don't get given any more in the foreseeable future at the moment!

The girls come to three classes a week and either play with the class or sit in the back room and watch (English) dvds. Wither way they get English, hey?

And THANK YOU for the key idea. We now have a box, signup sheet and sign outside the door. Bit of a security risk as it's a big sign with 'community centre key here' written on it but rather they steal the key to an empty hall than leave my house unlocked, right? Not worried about being burgled so much as being snooped on!