Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Starting the School Year in Japan

Hello everyone,
Just wanted to update everyone about our start to Fall. I returned to the states for my nephew's wedding which, in the grand tradition of weddings, was a family reunion as well. I had a fabulous time, although there are some of you who enjoyed yourselves more...I won't give up the names of the "revelers"--you know who you are, you drunken sots. What goes on at a reception, stays at the reception. It was truly fun seeing everyone again--I love you all lots!

Anyhoo, the girls and Tim could sadly not attend because school started at the same time in Japan. Both the girls love their teachers and Claire has made a flawless transition to the rigors of middle school (class changes, sticky locker combinations, cliques, etc). Lily was a bit ambivalent about leaving her summer fantasy world for the real one. Before school started, we went to the prerequisite "Open Houses" to check things out. When we got home, Lily sniffed her clothes and screwed up her face as if someone had just passed gas. "Ewwwww", she said disdainfully, "school smell." And then she added, "Mom, if they ever make a candle called 'school'...DON'T BUY IT."

Nonetheless, school smell aside, they both seem to be enjoying it. Lily has been chosen to be on the school council with her BFF. Claire has made friends with a really nice group of girls--I am pleased with her ability to choose quality kids as friends. Both girls are on the swim team, and placed first in some team events and fourth in several individual ones. Lily won two of her heats--I was really proud of her effort. They complain a lot about the 2 hour practices and come home starving. I could throw a pile of garbage on the table for dinner and they would wolf it down and not ask questions later.

Tuesday night, I had my first English tutoring lesson with a really nice older Japanese man. I liked him instantly cause he's cute and sweet. But "like" soon turned to infatuation when I asked him what his hobbies were (the Japanese like to discuss hobbies upon first meeting someone so they can do polite small talk). He replied, "Aaaaaaaaah....I like to drink beer," and then after a long pause, "And I like to sleep." I decided I truly did love him when he said his favorite american food was beer and steak. He finds our sweets too sweet and everything else too salty. So he'll stick with the steak and beer, thank you. I can't believe I am getting paid to talk to him.

Hopefully, I'll be getting some more students soon since I haven't been called much to substitute. I imagine that will pick up soon when the teachers don't feel so bad about calling in sick. It's just a matter of time.

In a strange twist of fate and logic, someone broke into Frank while I was gone. Everything was strewn all over the place but Tim said they took....NOTHING. I guess they didn't want our extra fast food napkins and empty water bottles. Frank may need counseling--violated yet too ugly for anyone to really take advantage of him. The rejection must be devastating.

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