More English learning laughs!

9 03 2010

My first year high school students are currently working on skits. Today, they were working on them during class. I was helping a group of four girls. We were chatting a bit (with very limited Japanese/English). All of a sudden one of the girls reaches into her pocket (she’s wearing a skirt). I tell them I’ve never had a skirt with pockets (might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s been a VERY long time if I have). This is one of the reasons I hate dressing up, is the lack of pockets. The girls were amazed and one asked the others (in Japanese, so this is my understanding of the conversation – mostly from gestures) where you carry your handkerchief. She considers the pocket in their jacket, but can see that I’m obviously not wearing a jacket (and rarely do). Then they think of the bathrooms that have automatic hand dryers (not at school). They continue with this line of thinking to decide I must blow on my hands to dry them. When I showed them that I just dry my hands on my pants, they were utterly confused.

After school, I was invited to practice with the badminton club. When I arrived, they were stretching. One of the girls started pushing on her friend (apparently to help him stretch). He started screaming, “Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Scream! Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Ahhhh!” I’m sure they thought I was the worst ALT ever, laughing while a kid is screaming, but I could tell he was not seriously hurting. He then wanted to know if he had used the wrong word and I had to explain that we don’t usually stop screaming to say “Scream.”


Laughter saves English Teacher from Imminent Doom

5 11 2009

(Ok, the title’s a bit dramatic, but it made me laugh when I thought of it, so I had to share)

This morning I was riding my bike to school. It was raining and I had forgotten to tighten down my hood. My face began to get wet, so I decided to attempt to hold my hood with one hand and hold the handlebars with the other. I was surprised at how well this worked. My coordination must be increasing with riding my bike every day. There’s no way I would have been able to do this before.

As I continue in the direction of work, I look up and another bicyclist is coming from the opposite direction, but on the same side of the road. He is holding his umbrella just a few inches in front of his face, making it impossible for him to see what is coming. I begin to giggle quietly because one would only see this in Japan. Or maybe just anywhere besides the Northwest (I think Washington people would grab a rain jacket too).

As I’m giggling to myself, I realize he can’t see me. This gets me laughing aloud. I don’t want to have to explain that I had an accident with another bicyclist when I’m late to work (which I totally would have been if we had collided) and I have no idea what to say in Japanese to get his attention. As I’m considering my options and realizing I should pull into the road, he swerves in the same direction.

My laugh gets even louder. He moves the umbrella and just as we get close enough to collide.

This whole situation makes me continue to giggle all the way to work. I have been told by so many people that I have a great laugh and that it stands out. What should save my life today? My laugh. I love the Lord’s sense of humor.

Kanayama Fall Colors