Monday, October 25, 2010

Kickball - Not for the Weak of Heart or Skills

This is where I try to make up for being a horrible blogger over the past month.

I went to Sasebo this weekend for the Yosakoi dance festival. It`s this festival where dance groups come from all over the country to participate and dance in the streets. Step Up 4: Yosakoi. It was pretty neat. The groups can get pretty large. I saw one that probably had about 100 people in it. But there were also smaller groups as well. They dress up in costumes and face paint and crazy hair and dance the crap out of music. It was a lot of fun to watch and I will make sure to post some pictures on here soon. I shot a few videos too. They had so much energy when they danced. It was like a far better version of the DisneyWorld block party.

I also did some shopping. You know you are getting older when you get excited about buying new curtains. The old curtains I had were an ugly yellow and I was always paranoid that you could see through them at night when I had the light on and was getting changed. So I sprang for the black curtains that were on sale. Thankfully, they fit my window. I never measured and just winged it, based on my own height. They make my living room really dark but they look a lot nicer. The yellow ones are already in the trash. Good riddance. And speaking of curtains, I was sitting at my computer in my living room the other night and a cat started to walk through my balcony doors and into my living room. I freaked out and hissed at it. I am not sure if that was the appropriate response but it did the trick and ran off. The last thing I need is a cat traipsing through my living room when I am allergic.

I also bought a lot, and I mean a lot, of Halloween stuff in the city. In Japan, they have these 100 yen shops - where amazingly, everything in the shop costs 100 yen. It`s like the dollar store. But I guess with the exchange rate, you could call these $1.20 stores. But you can get anything at these shops. There are cleaning supplies, food, tupperware...yadda yadda yadda. There is one 100 yen shop that`s my favorite. It has TWO floors to it. I still don`t know exactly what I am going to do with everything I bought at the store. I don`t really have a set plan for a Halloween celebration.

October 31st is not only Halloween but also my school`s school festival - which means I have to be on the island on Sunday. There is a Halloween party on the 30th on the mainland with other ALTs (assistant language teachers) but I won`t be able to go because of the ferry schedule. It`s kind of a bummer but there is also an enkai (party) for the teachers that night so that should be fun. I am considering making candy bags for everyone in the spirit of Halloween. As for the students, I am not sure what`s going to happen. I might just give out candy. We`ll see what happens. I would like to see what kind of costumes they can come up with.

On Thursday and Friday this week, I agreed to play badmitton with the teachers for a couple of games. I haven`t played badmitton since I was little and played barefoot against my sister and parents in the yard. I wouldn`t call these games a league because it`s only for two days and I wouldn`t call it a tournament because I doubt anyone cares that much. But I was put on a team with the badmitton coach (who is REALLY good at badmitton) and the other female English teacher. I like that he paired me with her because she and I are friends and crack jokes and she has been super helpful at explaining and translating things when necessary. She said she can`t hit the birdie. I think he may regret putting the two of us with him on a team.

That same English teacher will also be going with me to the Nagasaki city mid-year conference in a couple of weeks. That should be fun. I am going out to dinner with her one night and another night with an ALT I know in the city. I am looking forward to going to Nagasaki again. It`s a nice city and this time, I want to hit up the peace park memorial for the atomic bomb. Plus, there is a supermarket that sells Peter Pan crunchy peanut butter! It`s kind of sad that I`m excited about that peanut butter but the quality is much better than this brand with Snoopy on the jar, that I`m fairly certain is some form of copyright infringement, here on the island.

I got to witness a Mariah Carey-like diva meltdown by fourth graders while playing kickball. There is this one student who insists on being loud and obnoxious. I would ask a question in class and he literally would shoot his hand in the air and yell "me! me! me! me!" And he always shouts. He never just talks. Well, I was on his team for kickball and we were getting schooled and he went off the deep-end. He was yelling at his teammates, stomping his feet and I think I saw tears. This was recess kickball, mind you. Another student gets frustrated and upset easily and the obnoxious kid was yelling at him, resulting in two total meltdowns. He stood there with his head down, tears in his eyes, body tense and his fists balled. These kids need to take a chill pill and relax when it comes to recess leisure sports. I will refuse to play dodgeball with the fourth graders if ever invited.

The second graders, on the other hand, are super chill and really enjoy playing rolling dodgeball. It was super easy with one ball but two balls gets trickier. I totally let myself get hit so I could just go stand on the outside of the circle. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I`m lazy. The second graders kept poking me and I made the mistake of pretending to chase them. At one point, my arm was bright red because a kid had been trying to give me a snake bite and was pinching me. Someone has some anger issues. It`s always the boys having the meltdowns here. The girls are content to run around the school yard, play on the jungle gym and ride unicycles all over the place.

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