Posts Tagged ‘cute’

Much to My Chagrin

2012年 9月 6日

Every March, when the school year comes to a close, it is common to receive trophies, letters, or other presentations from the students. Sometimes spontaneous movement of the children’s hearts prompts it. Other times, teachers assign it to get pupils to unwittingly practice their language arts skills. Regardless of origin they are always enjoyable to read: first, because they are moving; and second, because they are cute.

Definitely, children say the darndest things and one sadness is that I can’t afford to store all the cards, letters, and presents for posterity: partly for fire safety reasons.

Last Spring, at one of my favorite schools, each second grade class had a representative write a letter for everyone. Instructions from the teacher indicated that group opinion – rather than personal – should be expressed. I included one letter here from a boy who couldn’t resist slipping in a sentence about his regrettable memory from my class. He placed it in the middle and the teacher, busy wrapping up the school year, didn’t catch it; but we had some laughs when I showed it to her.


Dear Erik, thank you for always teaching us so much more than English, like pronunciation and many other things. Your slightly ‘unconventional’ games are also very fun. “Recently when we played the board game, much to my chagrin, I came in fourth.” When you read picture books to us we really enjoy it. Everyone feels that when we play games or you read to us, those are the most enjoyable times. From Second grade, class 1


The Darndest Things

2010年 9月 28日

My wife and I communicate almost entirely in Japanese. She can actually speak a fair amount of English; however, it can be a chore for her and – when it comes to nuance – my Japanese is stronger than her English. Occasionally she suggests that she is going to knuckle down and study English yet, between her schedule and babysitting me, the time for it vanishes.

Recently, I was feeling a little lonely and distanced by our situation. We managed to get lunchtime together yesterday and before she ran back to work we shared a few sentences in English. It was just simple, silly talk, but she said something that melted my hard heart a little.

“You are very beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

“Are you single?”

“No, I have a very nice husband.”

“Oh. Have you been married long?” (Wedding was May 16th for the record)

“Yes! I was married to him before I was born.”

She was sitting on my knees, facing me; and I was leaning back in the seat. After she said this, she leaned forward and nestled her head in my chest.

P.S. Please don’t ever tell her I wrote this; she would kill me. (o^-^o)

Scent of a Foreigner

2009年 2月 13日

One of the cute fourth graders at my Thursday school is always fascinated by my scarves. Japanese schools, generally being concrete and unheated, require one to bundle up a bit to stay warm. My favorite costume is a long sleeved shirt – like a mock turtle neck – under a flannel or wool shirt (which I usually leave unbuttoned) plus a long scarf to keep my neck (and my body a little) warm. So, this little charmer always asks if she can have my scarves.

Let me just drift aside a little and say, I think that the fourth grade students are probably the cutest. Of course the first and second graders (and, of course, the Kindergarden kids) are cute as a button and speak in funny broken sentences and such; however, by fourth grade they are able to put good sentences together, while still showing amusing childish thought processes: often simple and innocent, sometimes goofy or unaware. Also, they still have some of the babyish cuteness, but also are starting to have more adult facial features. Moreover, they are still pretty devoid of purposefully selfish mannerisms that start to pop up closer to entering junior high.

Back on topic, today the fact that I had on my broadest and thickest scarf led me to action. Normally, I just grin at her and say something about how my neck will get cold. Wrapping this spongy blue fleece scarf around her neck, I consumed the bottom half of her head. At first, she was commenting on how large it was. Perhaps she didn’t fully grasp the difference in size between an 80kg teacher and her 30kg frame; after all, the scarf looked just right on me. She drifted into comments about how very warm and comfy it was.

Her final comments took me off guard. She said, “It smells like a foreigner…” Her neighbor leaned in closer and in dialect uttered, “Foreigner scent… isn’t that great?” Actually, I got a little sheepish because I was thinking it might need a washing. I hope they aren’t going to go through life pining for a foreign boyfriend now.

Fond memories came back because I used to receive care packages from Japan in the early 90s and I always enjoyed smelling them when I opened the boxes. Indescribable hints of Japan would waft out and take me back with them. Had I continued receiving these bundles, I probably would have moved to the Land of the Rising Sun many years sooner; as in answer to the beckoning of some potion.