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Well, Saturday I had to teach a few of the mothers of some of the students English for an hour and a half. Since it was the first time for me, I just brought in my computer and showed them pictures of my family and stuff. It was all mostly lots of self-introductions. There were four ladies there. We had tea and cake (I brought the cake--and, no, I didn't bake it, I bought it) and these really nasty chestnut candy-things (I hate chestnuts, especially when they've been boiled and gelatinized and made into slimy cakes). Then there was a break for lunch for an hour (I graded midterms--my life sucks).

After that, there was a welcoming party for me, which all the mothers attended. (I teach the highest-level of English speaking mothers.) They had a pretty sign up and gave me a laminated card with pressed flowers on it, welcoming me to KG, and a piece of chocolate cake. There was also all this candy that looked exactly like the food the little dust bunnies (makkuro-kurosuke--真っ黒黒介?!) eat in Spirited Away (千と千裕?の神隠し). It was so cool. Then I introduced myself to all the classes and we played some mega-weird games (there was a jan-ken-pon running game and a tearing-paper game and a getting in groups of certain numbers of people game, etc). We also played "items that are in the room" bingo and many prizes were awarded.

I didn't win anything, but they gave me some flowers before I left, which was nice. I took them home and rearranged them in a nicer (and more waterproof) container.

The coolest thing though was that one of the mothers there is a Takarazuka performer. HOW COOL IS THAT? I really wanted to ask her if she could get me into a performance for free, 'cuz I really wanna go see one (and there's this amazing-looking one coming up about vampires and the posters are GORGEOUS), but I figured that would have been a touch callous, even for me, so I ended up not talking to her at all. But you could so see it in her face (her makeup was a little Takarazuka-esque) and she had this long, dark brown hair that was silky-smooth and ended in ringlets (just like on the posters!) I had always thought that they wore wigs, but I guess she doesn't have to. I wanna be a Takarazuka star! ::whinewhine::

The best part of Saturday, though, was that one of the mothers there knows of a taiko group I might be able to join! Finally!

But here's the weird part of my weekend. Sunday, I went to church (for the first time since coming to Japan), and afterwards a lady got up and introduced all the new visitors and mentioned that I was from Tennessee. After the service was over, a tiny Japanese lady caught my arm. She kept saying, "Oh, I'm Junko. What's your name?" and she explained in remarkably good English that she had graduated from Peabody. How weird is that? And, she did her field work with the kindergarteners and first-graders at the Peabody Demonstration School (now USN).

She kept saying, "Oh, you must come over to my house! Are you busy? No? Good! Oh, I am so HAPPY! You are not busy? Good! We will eat some vegetables. Yes, good. Oh, I am so happy." She continued to relay her delight for the rest of the afternoon. So she took me to her house and we had fried Japanese sweet potatoes and day-old sandwiches and bread and persimmons. (Persimmons are enormously popular here--I have no idea why.) Then her friend came over and Junko (her name is 田村順子) showed me her old Peabody yearbook. She graduated in 1956. The pictures were hilarious and it was weird seeing USN with lots of trees, old cars, and no traffic. The building was just sitting in the middle of a forest, more or less. It was so odd.

I wasn't able to escape the two old ladies until 5pm. They completely wore me out, talking and laughing and making me eat (her friend, whom she called みっちゃん brought mochi covered in soybean powder (I forgot what it's called in Japanese) and Haagen Daas' ice cream) and making me play a slightly different version of Chinese checkers. The whole time we played, Junko kept singing and singing about anything and everything that was going on and she kept singing about how happy she was that I was there. Her husband and mother both died some years ago, so she lives alone, now. She said if ever I have time, I can always stop by for a cup of coffee. She's awfully lonely, but very nice and absolutely hilarious.

Well, I gotta go turn in all the midterm grades from last week. The kids did fairly well on my exam (my juniors, I mean), which doesn't make me happy. I have taught them too well! Arg.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 20th, 2003 04:52 pm (UTC)
That's wild about the PDS/USN alumna. We're everywhere! You should tell someone in the alumni office about it!

Stay sweet, stay sane. :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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