The title of this post means "awesome/cool/wicked" etc. in Japanese. I first heard it from a little boy who exclaimed it after playing with my hair. By the tone of his voice I assumed he either meant "whoa!" or "damn, that must have taken you a long ass time to braid!!!" (jk but not really.)
Anywhoodle, this entire day I've heard pretty much everyone use it. I told myself to not google translate it, and just try and infer what it meant. Teachers would utter "すごい!" whenever the babies would show them a picture they drew/origami they folded/etc, and watching TV while eating dinner tonight the girls at my table kept going "すごい!!!!!" when these dudes on this game show were break dancing while jumping rope simultaneously. I think I got the meaning down.
I'm really bad at this, I have pictures sitting in my camera waiting to be blog'd/facebook'd but I really am just...tired. All the time. Now that my jetlag is successfully behind me (10 POINTS FOR THE CHOCOLATE ONE.), I'm now more mentally tired than ever. I'm trying my best to first construct a cohesive lesson plan for my English class, figuring out how to explain it in Japanese, then hoping the kids catch on. Right now I have a template that goes a lil' something like this:
I racked my head for corny yet somewhat traditional songs that kids learn in America (as well as sheepishly asking the fb world). I hope that after I leave they'll still sing them and explain to future kiddies where they learned them from, and get all excited that they can sound like American kids now :) :
- Bingo (there's a Japanese version that I didn't quite understand, mostly because the kids, again, have a habit of thinking that screaming = singing. I'll figure it out eventually.)
- Rock-a-bye-baby (as I was singing this in my head, I realized how REALLY VIOLENT AND HORRIBLE this song is. A baby rocking on the top of a really unstable tree that rocks the cradle its in, the bought that the cradle is resting on breaks, then the baby FALLS OUT OF THE FUCKING TREE WTF. I hope the kids don't read too much into the lyrics...but yeah. I was mildly horrified.)
- Hokey Pokey (I tried this out on my 2nd day, and got my left mixed with my right. why. also, they were confused as to why I was shaking things all about. They liked the part where they got to turn around and clap, though. #precious)
- Itsy-bitsy spider (tried this out on the preschool English teacher and she thought it was adorable. Didn't know what itsy-bitsy meant, though...lol)
- Twinkle twinkle little star (the tune that I think every child on this planet knows, but I'm pretty sure they don't know the English lyrics yet.)
- Row, row, row your boat (should I mess with my babies and try and teach them how to do a round? Heehee)
- Ring around the rosie (also tried this out with the after school class. They're kinda like my guinea pigs. They seemed to like it, but were a little slow on the "all fall down" part. I'll give them a day or two to figure out what "fall down" means.)
- Freeze-tag (pure energy drainer. ehehehehehe. I mean...um...)
After songs, a game/roleplay. Purpose of this is to make learning conversational English a little clearer. Can't tell you how many times I've asked a kid "how are you!" to only get a "how are you!!!!!" in return. Or, a game just to show the kiddies how Americans like to have fun.
- duck, duck goose (How to make this educational? Maybe replace the duck and the goose with other animals that the kiddies are learning, like...cow and rooster. Since they have to pay attention to the difference between the two animals to determine if they have to get up and run around, it'll help reinforce the names. Or, they can just run around in circles. you know.)
- red light/green light (even though this only involves 3 colors, they probably won't forget them after playing a few rounds. I freaking loved red light/green light as a kid.)
- the "crazy letter game" that me and Fei made up (literally after we thought of it, I asked her what we should call it, and she said; CRAZY LETTER GAME. OKAY. rules:
- I'm going to have the kids learn the alphabet, 3 letters at a time. So the game will involve whatever 3 letters they're working on
- The game will be played in a room, with 3 different teachers standing in 3 different corners. Each teacher will be holding up one of the 3 letters that the babies are learning. We'll go with A,B,C, for now.
- In the middle, 1 teacher (probs me) will hold up a picture of an object/fruit/animal that starts with either A, B, or C. The kids will then have to run to the teacher who's holding up the letter that corresponds with the letter that starts the object/fruit/animal in the picture yes/yes? YOU GET ME?
- Then, after I confirm that they're all correct, they run back to the middle of the room and it all starts again. Oh, and before each letter, some music will be playing, and the kids will dance around until the music stops and a picture is held up. I'll promise to play something really kitschy. Like ABBA or something.
- +47557 internets, Engrish's, and curly-q cloudz.
- Find something ____! (made up by Fei; pretty simple, and will help reinforce colors. There will be a bunch of things strewn all over a classroom of various colors (or whatever colors the kids are learning at the time) and the teacher (feels weird to think of that as me...) will shout out "Find something...blue!" and then set a timer and have the kids run around collecting things that are blue, green, yellow, w/e, and the kid that gets the most wins and then the game starts again. simple yet educational!)
- The Happy Birthday!! Game (this will not only help the kids know how to sing happy birthday, it will also teach them how to say how (howhowhowhowhow) old they are in English!) basically, 2 kids will stand across from each other with their hands clasped, making a bridge (think of....okay, I will really regret making this comparison, but think of the eiffel tower. Okay now get that thought out of your head. cool). The other kids will walk through this little bridge, singing happy birthday. when the song gets to the "Happy birthday dear ___" part, the two kids will bring their arms down and entrap 2 kids in the process, and say their names. Those kids will have to say how old they are, giggling/squealing ensues, the cycle repeats, etc.
- Shopping happy fun time game (Made that name up just now, it seemed fitting.) This will probably be played once they're familiar with foods, fruits, veggies etc. AND it will reinforce whether they remember numbers, and will have them practice random phrases that they probably wouldn't know. I'll put the "shopping list" on the whiteboard; for example, 3 apples, 2 bananas, 4 potatoes, and a chicken (really craving chicken rn.) around the room will be 4 "stations" where kids will rotate being the "cashier". The kids who are shopping will each be given baskets and will go around to the stations and ask for the number of items that they need. The cashier, however, will also need to correctly engage the conversation, starting off with "Hi how may I help you?", etc. the baby shopping will then politely ask for whatever they need; "Good morning, I need 1 chicken please!" then the transaction will take place (this will all be play food, obviously) and the cashier will say "Thank you, have a nice day!" or whatever. Baby who completes the shopping list first wins. Then roles are rotated, and kids who shopped can be cashiers and vice versa. OKAY COOL.
- Puppets/animals - I'll bring in a stuffed animal and have them introduce themselves to the class, and then later ask questions about said animal to see if the kids were paying attention/understand. then call on someone to introduce themselves in English and offer something about themselves that the animal did; for example, if my sheep talked about her favorite animal (which would of course be herself) then that's what would also be discussed by the wee one.
Okay...there's more, but I realize that I've probably thoroughly bored you so; I WENT ON AN ADVENTURE TODAY, GUYS. (yes, I know, I've yet to document my other adventure which was just as awesome; still waiting on FB friend requests/I'm a really lazy person)
Well, it started off as awkward business, what with signing contracts and security deposits for my dorm and whatnot, but when all that was taken care of me and Kenta (AIESECer in Japan and co-ordinator of my internship, hey Kenta I'm e-waving to you as you read this) went to 昭葉原 (Akihabara, aka おたく heaven, aka A PLACE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE HUGE NERDS WHEN IT COMES TO KITSCHY JAPANESE STUFF AKA ME AND PROBABLY YOU)
|IF YOU'RE STILL LOST, I'M TALKING ABOUT SHIT LIKE THIS.|
The streets in 昭葉原 were absolutely insane. I got really camera-happy. Oh! And I figured out how to turn off the shutter noise, which came quite in handy later on...ehehe you'll see whyyy. :)
BUT YEAH LOOK.
|YOU GUYS, HAPPY MAIL. LOL.|
|Why, yes. THIS DEFINITELY HAPPENED.|
|I took this from an escalator, sorry for the lack of D|
|Snapshot of Kenta's back! And PANDAZ|
|21st Halloween/Birthday costume ideas? check.|
|YOU GUYS. IT'S A SING-A-MA-JIG. What?|
|...I feel like Japan just answered a question that EVERYONE WAS ASKING.|
That adorable squishy thing that I took a picture with at the start of this little blurb is called ショボーン (Shoboun) which Kenta kindly explained to me: "You know...when you like, make a mistake, it's *insert sad face* Shoboun." .
As usual, I hope you are all doing well. Let me know if I haven't given you my address yet! Let's be pen pals. <3
|HERE, HAVE 800 OF THEM.|
To conclude, plastered all throughout this haven of crazy that I will most definitely return to to buy all the things, were photographs of this girl mega-super group called AKB48
|What is this, I don't even.|
There are 39 of them (lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll) and on the top floor of the ドンキホーテ is a concert hall where you can see them SING AND DANCE LIVE. Kenta told me that getting tickets was difficult, since they're so popular.
So, with the promise to return here MANY TIMES to get various nick knacks for myself (and for many of you gorgeous people reading this thing-a-majig), Kenta and I took the train home.
OH. HERE'S THAT TIME WHERE HAVING MY SHUTTER ON SILENT CAME IN HANDY.
So the train was pretty crowded. We bypassed one that was SRSLY JAM-PACKED and Kenta's face literally went O__________O so we waited for the next one.
|Wait a second...is...is that....|
|PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES?!?????!?!!!!|
I was beyond tickled. I almost just tapped him on the shoulder and compared techniques. Restraining myself is a skill that I am definitely learning here.
So aaaanywhoodle, I had to ride the train from 池袋 (Ikebukuro) to 大泉学園駅 (Oizumigakuen, whurr I live) all by myself since Kenta had to go home. He clearly explained to me how to not get lost, and even though he looked thoroughly freaked out, I think I did a pretty good job! After a while I even got comfortable enough to fiddle on my cell phone, which is pretty much what 99% of Japanese people do on trains. Just sit, and stare at their phones. I felt like I fit in :D
Oh! And Kenta bought me a mini ショボーン charm for my celly.
|Okay; now I really fit in! :D|
And this concludes what is probably my longest blog post so far. Is it crazy that I have about 3 more in my head that I have to jot down?? I LOVE MY NEW HOME, THINGS SHALL ONLY GET BETTER.
As usual, I hope you are all doing well. Let me know if I haven't given you my address yet! Let's be pen pals. <3