Saturday, December 01, 2007

Halloween party and Ice Cream at 31!

My friend, Ang, teaches at my local high school - Taisha HS. She invited me to come to her ESS (English Speaking Society) Club's Halloween Party. She has a small club of about 6 or 7 students. All girls this year. But they did a nice job of decorating a classroom with Halloween decor. And Ang invited other kids to come along - a bunch of boys from one of the sports teams decided to "crash" the party and eat all the food. :)

But we had a good time - I showed them Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video - and we played a few games. And I got to see some of my former students, so that was cool.

I posted a few pics from the party...

THS ESS Halloween Party - 1.jpg

After the party finished at about 6pm or so, one of my favorite kids from last year, Yuki, walked out to the parking lot with me, chatting about high school - and we met some of my favorite kids from last year - The Takuwa Triplets - who told us they were heading over to Baskin Robbins Ice Cream - called "31" here in Japan - because on the 31st day of any month they give a 31% discount on their ice cream treats. So after school, but just before dinner they were heading over to 31 for some cheap ice cream. Yuki and I and Ang and Kayla decided to join in and go along. We all got double scoops and took over one corner of the small dining area. I took some pics out in the parking lot afterwards...

After ice cream at 31 - The Taisha Girls

And then after that Yuki, Kayla and I hit local family restaurant Gusto for some dinner after our dessert. :)
Yuki did a great job keeping up with the conversation since Kayla and I are both native English speakers.

Hanging out with my kids and former kids like this is really fun - just chatting in a relaxed atmosphere is more rewarding than teaching in some ways. And I have some great kids who are a pleasure to hang out with.

Just yesterday I need to talk to one of the 2nen sei girls on the Volleyball team - I had finally gotten in her t-shirt that I ordered from America - I bought the team Vball t-shirts, but that's a story for another post - so I went along to practice. I'll digress for a moment and say how interesting Jr High sports clubs are here - they basically are unsupervised about 70% of the time but they still practice as hard as if the coach were watching. But my thoughts on Japanese Jr High sports is also a subject for another post.
So I spoke to Aya and noticed that 7 of the 9th grade girls from the team - who don't practice or play anymore since they are now "retired" - were in the gym, in their shorts and sweatshirts, hanging out and hitting balls back and forth while the current team was stretching and doing drills.
I asked why they were there and they basically said that after the two days of full-day testing they just had, they wanted to blow off some steam by playing some volleyball.
So I was ready to leave and go home - it was about 4:30 - but one of my coolest 9th graders -Tomoka - asked me to sit down and chat with them. So I did - and for about 30 minutes we just talked about all kinds of things.
And I was having a mediocre day up to that point - it was a frustrating week of no classes at H chu - but I headed home at about 5:30 with a smile on my face.
Maybe it seems weird for a 38-year-old to enjoy hanging out with teenagers so much, but my kids are great and have a genuine interest in me and what my life is like in Japan - an adult who isn't married or doesn't live with his parents is a rarity - and what my life was like in America - and on the flip side I'm really interested in what they fill up their time with away from school.

So I'm happy that so many of my kids are now checking out this site and my vids and pics - I'm glad I can give back to them a little. Some of them pester me now at school wondering when the latest batch of pics will show up on the site. :P

Lastly, I'm gonna try and post a little Halloween movie from all my pics of my Halloween lessons at my elementary schools.

See ya,


Angharad said...

Nice pics... I owe you for the halloween party!! Twas wonderful, huh?!

And I totally agree with how talking with students can make your day. I'm really happy that this year's ESS girls, plus the volleyball boys are those kind of students. ^_^

Susan Willis said...

Jason! We miss you! I'm glad you are still enjoying working with the students. I miss talking to students so much. It's amazing how good they can make you feel. It's like they thought I was interesting.

Keep your chin up! It's almost Christmas. :)