Saturday, October 29, 2005

KAMPAI !!

i've got to tell you a little story. this happened to me a week ago friday.

but before i tell you it would help to give a little background.

actually, let me just start - and you see if you can't keep up.

so, a week ago friday i was teaching grade one students (six year olds). i usually eat lunch with one specially selected class - so i was scheduled to eat with one of the grade one classes. there are about 25 students in the class.

normally in the schools, the students arrange their desks in groups of 4 to 6 to eat lunch. i sit with one of the groups. today was a little different. when i walked into the classroom carrying my lunch tray, all the desks were arranged in two concentric circles - so everyone pretty much faced each other. my seat was in the midst of the circles. (i guess they decided that everyone should share me today).

as we were about to start, one little boy got out of his seat, took his milk, said something about gyunyu (milk) to me in japanese. next thing i know, he has the class's attention and says, "blah blah blah Jeff-sensei blah blah kampai!" loosely translated that's "blah blah blah Mr. Jeff blah blah blah kampai!"

[PAUSE]

maybe you don't need the background info anymore, but here it is:

whenever we go out and drinks are involved we start our evening with a hearty "kampai" and "otsukarasamadeshita" - "cheers" and "you've worked hard and done a good job".

[UNPAUSE]

To which the class replied heartily, "KAMPAI", looked at me, and clinked their milk cartons enthusiastically and took back a swig like it was the best premium beer money could buy.

CHEERS! YOU'VE DONE WELL. CHEERS! Do you see it? These cute little first graders, on their own initiative decided that i deserved a "CHEERS" for just being me.

sometimes kids can be so sweet.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those are the days that make all the other STUFF worth it. Congrats on a job well done.

epps_nihon_go said...

you clearly understand the life of a teacher! that was a 'make the other stuff worth it day'.