Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hello, My Name is John Mirito

Today marks two weeks in my current setting, and they have been pretty nice. We don't even start our actual teaching positions until the beginning of next month. One of our main responsibilities at this point is to introduce ourselves over and over to people of varying relevance to our lives. As we are quasi city employees, government officials who are directly above us in a social ladder that pretty much extends to the sky get presents, while we get business cards. The Japanese love this because in the exchange of names and information, the newly acquainted learn who is more important than who, which is essential.

Me greasing the mayor of Ashikaga's palm with a box of Jelly Belly's. No parking tickets for me.

I did teach one small class to a group of third graders for an hour and a half, which was pandemonium. I am just sort of led to a room of 30 children and told "good luck". These kids seem to have been left alone for some time, and they are going nuts. Its all very Kindergarten Cop, with little old me instead of a bodybuilder. There are two high school volunteers present, but they are largely ineffectual and it was unclear to me what their purpose even was. Maybe ten minutes into my class two of them are fighting hard enough that one of them starts crying, and I have to take him outside. The main point of the few little games that we played was matching capital letters with lowercase, which is something that they definitely could use practice with. I really am glad that I am a junior high teacher.

I imagine that the more kids I interact with, the more flashbacks I will have to my own grade school days. I was pretty bad to my teachers I think, so hopefully I can avoid justice.

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