Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Days of My Life

Want to know how my life has been since the last real update (when I was freaking out about my belt test)? Just remember you asked for it.*

Thursday, September 23rd
In interest of saving time, I’ll reproduce my journal entry.
10:40 p.m.
Things I did today:
·      Skyped w/whole  family
·      Cleaned
·      Hosted okonomiyaki party for Nanami, Kim and Margaret
·      Filled out aikido and JLPT forms
·      Made short video for blog
·      [Went to aikido and took the test. I’ll tell you how it went someday.]
o   learned the word for armpit—waki
o   realized that I forgot to eat dinner in my nervousness
·      Ate pie chez Margaret and discussed art with her and Atsushi
·      Wrote this, debated whether or not to eat something.
I’m hungry.

Friday, September 24th
I went to Ansho Elementary. I taught two classes of 6th graders, spent morning recess talking to the English Supporter about why American moms don’t wake up at 5 to make lunch for their kids (teaching independence, that’s why), then taught two more 6th grade classes. By the end I was a little worn out (the games we played were loud and exciting), and for the second time in my life I yelled at a group of students “Oh, my gosh. Shut! Up!” In fairness, they understand “shut up,” but not, “be quiet” or “listen,” and I wasn’t ready to resort to using Japanese. Also in fairness on the kids’ part, I did overreact.

I spent lunch and recess with class 6-4, a friendly bunch, and ran my toosh off playing tag with them. After lunch there was a brief fifteen minute respite during which I drank some coffee, updated my notes on the day’s classes, and wrote this:
Praise God for today. Praise Him for will power, praise Him for patience. Praise Him for stamina.
Which should give you a pretty good idea of how I was feeling about getting out of bed, waiting for the English Supporter (who is supposed to be good at English) to put a coherent sentence together, and teaching five classes in a row.

The fifth class was with the Hikari Special Needs class. We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, reviewed colors, and made our own                         what do you see? pages. I used to have a lot of trouble teaching this class because I was so accustomed to basing lessons on conversation practice and interactive games. Now that I no longer expect these students to repeat after me, or their full attention, it’s much easier to feel satisfied with a lesson. For example, the two students with Down Syndrome like to pretend that they’re afraid of me, which makes helping them difficult. However, when they watched me show an older student how to write “Green frog” on her paper by herself, one of them allowed me to write “Blue dog,” on hers. And the student with autism, who used to put her hands over her ears and hide her face when I attempted to talk to her, is now repeating after me (mimicking, really, but it’s still awesome). Victory.

After wrapping up at school I headed out a little early. My right wrist had been hurting badly since a gung-ho kid at aikido decided to get his revenge during a sparring session when I dominated him. He got excited and used his full strength during a move that involves twisting the wrist to reduce any attackers to a weeping puddle of pain. I just said “Ow,” and shook it off. The injury, however, seemed to get worse and worse with every practice, to the point where I tried to tell the group not to touch my wrist. “It’s, how you say, soft wrist,” I said. “Somehow, hurts.” They tried to be careful, but often forgot which wrist was soft, and put the hurt on me anyway. It started to hurt when I wasn’t at aikido, though only if I bent it a certain way. Eventually I decided to be an adult and go see a doctor.

Margaret, the doll baby that she is, came with me to a clinic to translate. The x-ray showed damage where my inner wrist bone and one or some of the tendons in my hand. The doctor informed me that had I come in when the injury first occurred, he likely would have put me in a hard cast. As it was he advised I wear a brace for a couple of weeks. The people who sell braces weren’t there at the time, so we were told to return next Friday.

 Then came the weekend, which was enough to merit its own entry with many pictures. I'll post that later, when I'm not in the middle of cooking steak bites.

* You didn’t really ask for it. I just wanted to quote Bugs Bunny. I hope you know this means war.


  1. Sorry about your wrist. That's crummy! But yay for the small successes with your special needs class!

  2. Ah, I understand. I too prefer to cover my ears and hide when you attempt to speak to me.