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.