Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wallow around in Self-pity

Dear Japan,
I love you.
I love you not.
I love you.
I love you not.
I love you?

It is so easy to fall into a big hole of self-pity and spend a decent amount of time rolling around in it while living in Japan.
It is also easy to fall into that hole quickly and somehow manage to pull oneself out with the same amount of speed.

Wednesday I hung out in that hole for a while. In a class of sixteen weird, country, elementary school kids only two of them paid any attention to that day's lesson. This has been my most challenging school since I have gotten here. So when I have ambitious moments while at work I plan a special lesson, just for that school, different from all other lessons for that week (I know ... so ambitious). These special lessons mostly involve drawing and coloring something. And this past week, that special drawing and coloring lesson did not even work out. So I wallowed for a couple of hours.

That evening, I barely made it off my weird bed to make it to ballet. But when I got there and we did grande jette's, I jumped right out of that hole. The ballet teacher told me I was beautiful and explained to everyone else in the class that I was beautiful because of how high I held my chest as I flew across the floor. So I came home and pique turned around my kitchen while I made pancakes.

Today, I went to the best elementary school in the history of all elementary schools. I actually know students names at this school. They hug me and I hug them back because I am genuinely glad to see them.

I sat down with a bunch of six and seven year olds to eat lunch. I tried to speak with them in Japanese, they tried to speak with me. But we just could not seem to have any successful communication. I find it most difficult to speak with the really young kids. I speak Japanese like a puzzle, with many missing pieces. First grade kids have a difficult time filling in that puzzle. Once they are in Junior High they are pretty good at it.

So I headed back to the staff room after lunch to wallow. The wallowing started to get intense when I realized that my mother writes me more emails than anyone else because she is "so excited to see me this summer." But my mother would be pretty excited to see me no matter what ... she is my mother.

Then a little seven year old friend of mine walked into the staff room, asked to speak with Caity Sensei, walked right over to me and in a slightly nervous voice requested that I play soccer with him.
I minimized the window I was staring at on my computer, "Ima desu ka?!"
He replied "Hai!"

We walked outside together and he explained soccer to me, in Japanese, because to a six year old it makes sense that I do not know how to play soccer, since I have such a hard time with his native language. I pretended to understand his Japanese, which was a good trick because really I just understand how to play soccer.

So then I loved Japan because a bunch of six and seven year old boys were adamant about me playing soccer with them. And I loved Japan tonight when I sat in an onsen then when I was eating udon and when I came home to listen to the Awa Odori drumming outside my window.
But I will probably post this blog and stand up and find some reason to really hate Japan.

1 comment:

tesni said...

i feel ya girl, before i realized i only had so little time left. i hated things one second, and loved them the next. now i just cry all the time bc i share a moment with some 7 year old or an old lady friend and im like wah wah i dont want to leave, i love you, i love life! i can't win.