Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My sweet sweet children.

Today's post is brought to you by the letter D, which is the grade many of my third year students will receive on their reports. And the letter H, for hilarious, which is what these reports are. Grading them has been a chore, as in many cases I have had to completely rewrite every sentence in the report. Not to fear, however. There were definitely a few students who clearly put a lot of time and effort in, and it shows. Those 3 or 4 students will get A's. The rest are not so fortunate, but I do not love them less. In fact, I love them more. How could I not love them when they give me this:

"My Dream" by Jenny

Hello, everybody! (everybody is written phonetically in katakana above the english word)
My Dream it say you. It was very difficult..."the young Boy don't fool around!" It what to sey strong or easy? What do you think? I want strong think. My Dream it was some sixty years ago. I watching TV sey quietly nevr soon in animation world. "Yes---, juse like is anime dream!" Then I am say you become think. This dream will very wonderful. The world only my dream. Thank you very marche.

"Mudgaurds Ar Needed" by Jaime

Hello everyone. I would like to talk about mud gaurds in a bike. The are very important. Having no mud gaurds can be a problem. For example, my friend Kei has no mud gaurds on his bike. So when it was a rainy day, a lot of mud hit his face. I think he is poor. But interesting. Like this, it is very troublesome if there are no mudgaurds, It is awkward. Next is, It is troube to other people. When I went to go back home, mud hit people behind him. So mud gaurds are needed for other people. He should put them on his bike for the people around him. But only he has no mud gaurds, Mud gaurds are for oneself and for others. So I treasure using my bike. Everyone, cherish your bike, cherish all things, too. Thanks for your attention.

I have no idea how to correct the first one, cause I have no clue what she is trying to say. And the second one is just hilarious. "I think he is poor. But interesting." My students and their broken engrish make my job so awesome.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Where Oh Where to Begin

Sorry for the long hiatus, folks. I've got a new camera now, so this is gonna be a picture-heavy post, which is far more interesting than my blabbing anyways.

So Christmas here in Japan was a little weird for me. Decorations and carols can be seen and heard everywhere here during the season, but it just didn't feel like Christmas at all. I think this is mainly due to the fact that for the first time ever, I wasn't home for Christmas. Instead, I was at work. Yes, work. Not to mention, Japanese Christmas involves eating "Christmas cake" and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes, you read that right -- people line up at KFC to eat a bucket of the Colonel's greasy goods. wtf?

Anywho, in an attempt to get the Christmas season off to a good start, I decked out the English bulletin board at one of my schools with American Christmas info. More importantly, though, I painstakingly made the most kickass Christmas tree and Snowboard Santa ever. See evidence of awesomeness below.

I think Santa deserves a closeup.

It says "Kanno Chuugakkou" (Kanno JHS) on his snowboard.

I also had the opportunity to spread some Christmas cheer to my Sentaku English class (elective English class) and Hirabayashi JHS. This class is absolutely my favorite, so I spent an ungodly amount of time making gingerbread cookies for our Christmas party and assembling gingerbread houses for them to decorate during the class -- and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was also fun to introduce everyone to gingerbread, something which very few people here have even heard of (interesting and surprising for a place that likes ginger so much). Anywho, here's the results:

I made a billion little gingerbread men and women, and a few bigger ones, which I decorated for each of my kids and the teacher (7 in all). Those are their English names if you're wondering.

I built two houses to decorate, so I figured it would be fun to divide the students, and have the boys decorate one and the girls decorate another. Here are the boys whilst decorating...

And the girls (I helped since there are only two of them).

The boys hilariously hideous finished product. It doesn't look so bad here, but you should have seen it in person.

And my ladies' "cho kawaii" (super cute) house. Girls win, as usual.

And a final close-up of the finished products.

So next on the list of things I must cover here is snowboarding, which I have done a lot of lately (I'm going again tomorrow, yay!!) Conditions over here are amazing, and I'm getting better every time I go, which rocks. Here are a few pics of the fun I've been having:

Kazuya rocks dayglo like no one I have ever known.

Look at all that snow, ya'll.

And look at all those cool people in front of those mountains... (I'm in burgundy)

Now look at this picture and tell me Masa is not absolutely adorable.

So in Japan, there are monkeys that live in the mountains. Every single time I ride in the mountains, I'm constantly staring out the windows hoping to catch a glimpse of the critters. Well last time I went boarding, it was my lucky day. Literally about 1 minute before spotting this giant monkey family I said something to the effect of "where are the freakin' monkeys?"

And my favorite:

They were so freaking adorable. There were a couple of babies as well.

So I just got back from Tokyo where I spent 4 days around new years. I have quite a few pics from that, though, so I'll devote a different blog post (soon, I promise) to that. Check back soon!