Grumble, Grumble


For two weeks I have felt right on the edge of sick. In Japanese we say kazegimi (風邪気味), kaze being ‘a cold’ and kimi expressing a hint or touch of something. I have only heard kimi used with colds, but my dictionary has an example sentence about ‘being a little on the fat side’. Maybe I’ll have to ask my teacher how broadly this can be used.

This morning I didn’t say much until my 2nd period class; at which point I realized that my voice was almost non-existent because of a froggy throat. More than half of the students listened attentively after I asked them to cooperate on account of my voice. However, there were still enough students talking over me to drag things out. Effort and participation were pretty much nil today. The eighth grade teacher had to go for surgery on a detached retina today, so I couldn’t rely on her to prod the students. Also, this would have probably made it troublesome for me to take a sick day.

Days like today let me know that I made the right decision when I told the school board I wouldn’t extend my contract. I really enjoy the ninth grade and elementary school classes, but there are just too many hassles in the seventh and eighth grade classes. This is really a shame since half of the kids in the classes want to try but they won’t speak up for fear of being ‘different’.


3 Responses to “Grumble, Grumble”

  1. kevenker Says:

    That’s a bummer. Too bad you can’t somehow separate the good kids from the bad kids and just work with the good ones…

  2. びっくり Says:

    Yeah, I have told a couple of kids that they can sit quietly or leave the room. However, I don’t think I have any authority to kick them out of their room.

    This weekend I had a long talk about the Japanese education system with some folks in Aichi Prefecture. Because education through 9th grade is compulsory they never hold kids back. They want to move them through to the optional secondary level swiftly. Also, since the same 38 kids are together all day, they are all taught at the same level regardless of their ability.

    For classes with Japanese teachers they often split the classes in half. I would love to teach 15 to 19 kids at a time. Things would go so much smoother.

    One day some kids asked me about foreign language study in America. I told them we could choose which language to study. They all went on for awhile about how cool that would be to have a choice. A few minutes later I asked them, “If you could study any language in the world, which would you choose?”

    … they all answered “English.”… I guess sometimes it is just knowing you had a choice that makes you feel better.

  3. sunkissd1 Says:

    I take issue with anything that says I’m a “little on the fat”. Those are fighting words right there!

    I sympathize about the 7th & 8th graders. I own one who prides herself on being a social butterfly, and admittedly, she gets it from her mother. However she hasn’t learned when to zip her trap, and thus, has earned herself more detention than any other person on the face of the earth. I’m surprised that neither Guinness Book of World Records nor the annual Almanac has documented this.

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