Thursday, March 23, 2006

a couple more things

i told you it was coming.


when i first found out that i would be teaching elementary school in japan i had a fit. i was not impressed because i had been told that i was going to teach highschool. i was determined to hate it. i swore i would never do the hokey pokey.

i have thoroughly enjoyed elementary school. so much so that i am struggling through an online additional qualifications course to 'down'-grade my qualifications to include grades 4-6 elementary.

but i should have never attempted the hokey pokey.

for three months, on the third friday of the month, the parent association from my friday school convinced myself and another english teacher to lead a "english club for everyone". it was held in the gym because about 60 kids plus about 25-30 parents attended these free-for-all english carnivals. 45 minutes of chaos.

for the final session we decided on a body parts/clothing topic. we planned a great relay game where kids would put on oversized clothing and run around (what could be better?)

and then it came.

the suggestion.

if we are doing body parts, why not sing the hokey pokey?

i had been in elementary schools for about 16 months and hadn't yet sang the hokey pokey. i had taught kids the alphabet, drawn pictures, played dodgeball, ran around, told the kids the english for butt, crazy, stupid, and other simple elementary level profainities. but i hadn't yet sung the hokey pokey.

sure, i said, i'd love to.

i had been lulled by the unending months of "head and shoulders" and the abc song. i had even found selective success with "5 little monkeys jumping on the bed".

as the kids (and parents) formed the largest circle in the history of english club, i realized i was at the center, and the center of attention. the song started, the kids couldn't keep up with the cd, and i was left belting out the words, "put your wholeself in and shake it all the hokey pokey...that's what it's all about..." and thinking to myself that the end was near.

i don't mean the end of the song.

have you ever had that kind of moment? time slows down and you are almost surprised to find yourself where you are, for better or worse, like you are looking in on your own life. like one of those stupid freedom 55 commercials a couple years ago when some poor fool comes back and visits himself to convince himself to use freedom 55 and retire early. if i had come back at that moment, i would have suggested never doing the hokey pokey.

three and a half hours later, the song was finally over, and we started the relay. that was the longest song ever. long enough for the other english teacher to take a couple pictures to prove it.



you think all we do when we snowboard is stand around?

i got something for you. i brought the camera last weekend. my first time in a snowboard park. here's me catching a bit'o air half way through the day. and the other shot is some random japanese dude doing the trick i learned and was doing at the end of the day (after the camera was put away).


you've heard that toilets in japan are rather advanced. you've heard about heated seats, built-in bideas and the like.

our company just built a new office. nothing but the best for the toilet. a built in radio, auto seat (lifts up the cover, both the cover and the seat, and then puts the seat back down after you're done), lullabies as you do your thing, and of course the standard heated seat etc. the control panel for the toilet is more complex than most airplane cockpits. check it out - and yes this is the control panel for the toilet ONLY.


James said...

I love the little bum squirt icons! Sweet!

Suzanne said...

three and a half hours!!! Are you crazy! That is histerical! Great shot of you though. You are a true elementry school teacher.

Barb said...

We are like those Japanese people, we too have a bidet with more buttons than our converter. But ya gotta love it... I would never leave home without it. You can portable bidets now too, did you know that? The hokey-pokey now, Jeff, what were you thinking???

epps_nihon_go said...

nobody commented on my amazing hang time in the snowboard picture! what's up with you guys - who cares about the hokey-pokey!