Thursday, September 16, 2010

Knowing My Limits

So I was randomly told on Tuesday that the teachers have a softball game and that I should come. I went to the game, thinking they were going to make me play. Thankfully, the sports gods smiled on me, and I found out that women don`t play softball usually. I played catch with the music teacher and even though I threw the ball softly, she screamed and turned her face away every time the ball came her way. "Not the face! Not the face!" She didn`t say that but I imagine that was what she was thinking. So the female teachers, the school nurse and I stood behind the bench and did the wave - which is hilarious, by the way. But no one else`s team had a cheer squad do the wave for them. All of the male teachers and office staff played in the field and we ended up winning against the middle school and elementary school teachers. I don`t know the score but it felt like a bloodbath because there is no fence and there were several homeruns.

After the game, we had an enkai, which is a teacher drinking and eating party. So we were at the party, sitting there getting our food and drink on, and they asked me if I know how to play softball. Me and my stupid mouth. I said yes and that our team won state in high school. And that I was the pitcher. That resulted in an immediate announcement that I will be pitching in the game on Thursday (tonight). They were like "why didn`t you tell us!?!" The gym teacher thought it was hilarious that I had sat by the female teachers the whole time. I had no reason to tell them. But I am super nervous now because I haven`t pitched in eight years. I have my limits. If I do pitch, my arm is going to feel like it is falling off tomorrow and I won`t be able to write on the chalkboard. So, I`m hoping to possibly beam a couple of batters and then be asked to go pick weeds in the outfield. I don`t mind batting, but I`m already stared at a lot in public and I could do without any extra amount of that. So yeah, I will definitely be writing about how that went after I crash and burn.

I have been practicing my Japanese. The tennis girls have been teaching me some words and phrases every day. They have me repeat words and then laugh really hard, so I think they might be having me repeat bad words or they think my pronunciation is horrible. Whatevs. I was talking to a student in Mozambique the other week on the phone and when I meant to say "sim," I said "hai." So that must mean that I`m changing languages. :) So far, I can understand about a third of what a 3-year old says. Impressive, right?

I taught the first, second and third-graders on Tuesday. And they are the most adorable creatures in the world. I ate lunch and had recess with the first graders. Two little girls came to the English room, holding hands, to get me for lunch. So cute! They all watched me eat and turned to say things to their teacher about my food and what I was eating. I kind of felt like a gorilla in the zoo, behind a wall of glass. One of the first graders is the son of one of my adult english class students. She told me that he told her he could tell that I am a foreigner because of the food I ate - but mentioned nothing about me being white or not speaking Japanese. Haha! Oh, children. The first graders were very innocent and fun. I was standing at the window in the high school, hole-punching a sheet of paper and the first-graders were walking home from school and they saw me and yelled "ERIN-SENSEI!!" and waved. They are at their cutest when it is raining and they wear rain ponchos that look like ducks.

The third graders, on the other hand, were a bunch of hellions. I have never seen the Hello Song go so horribly wrong. It was basically 18 children running around the room, yelling at each other and the boys tackling each other. And there is some random first or second grader who must have a phobia of public bathrooms because I have now seen him run outside by the window of the English room to pee outside two times. And when he is finished, he giggles loudly and runs back inside. Makes me feel like I`m in Mozambique again. And makes me think what he`s going to do once he gets to high school. I have seen a goat too! I`m not exactly sure what purpose it serves because it is tied up by a bunch of boats. At first, I thought it was a dog and almost crashed my bike when I recognized it as an entirely different and familiar species.

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