title (dame) literally means "not allowed, no good," etc.

my kids were quite cute for the remainder of the week, despite being emotionally scarred by my お化け shenanigans:

except that they're starting to get sick again. ARMED WITH VITAMIN C THIS TIME Y'ALL.
Friday was a big day; literally, because about 36 kids came in for English time (getting them to focus was a barrel of lulz), but most were there in the morning so they could get a chance to play in the 迷路 (maze) that the fearless teachers constructed out of about 50 cardboard boxes:

The things we do for these children, really...

This brings flashbacks to that one maze they had at Health World; if you're a Chi town 'burb kid you should know this place well.

It was actually a bit of a struggle to get all the boxes to not collapse, so we (somewhat reluctantly) enlisted the help of the babies to reinforce the boxes with tape. They immediately jumped on this (bless kids, they love helping out grown ups) and it was kind of cute, a lot of the boys went all mechanic on me and would lie on their backs, halfway in a box and hold out there hand and go "テープ(tape)" in this business-like tone. Presh.

And now for obligatory pictures of kids-in-maze (i literally ran around the exits and randomly stuck my camera in and pressed the shutter, I'm surprised this even worked):

Marie, my cuddly wuddly!! Seriously, she's getting her own post soon
Oops, a REALLY BIG kid seems to have gotten stuck ;)
So remember that cutie patootie rocking the side-ponytail in the first picture up there? Posting her again even if you do remember, because she's just too dang cute


Her name is Rena and besides radiating earth-crushing cute waves, she's hilarious. I actually titled this blog after an interesting little game that we played all day on Friday.

Me: れなちゃん! (her name, called to get her attention) いい、よ (good!)!!
Rena: (at first, completely serious) ダメ.(no)
Me: いい、よ!!
Rena: (starting to smile a little) ダメ.
Me:  いい、よ!!
Rena: (definitely laughing now) ダメ!!

Whenever I'd be walking around vacuuming or getting kids's sandals ready or secretly playing Words with Friends on my iPod (what?) and she'd be in the same room, this would happen. It got to the point where as soon as I'd walk in she'd scream ダメ!!!! and then burst into laughter. Idk, guess you had to be there?

Anyway, she's sassy, talks back at you (but not in that way, at least not yet, she's still precious for now) and will just look up at you with a vacant expression, and then her chubby little face will explode in laughs and you just wanna pick her up and snuggle the cute out of her, only to put it back in because YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT.

I'm gonna need a lot of child-sized luggage for my return to the states...

Hope you're all well! And I shall be obsessively checking my email for the next 3 months (Pottrollmore eheheheh)




 Title (obake) means ghost.

I've always wondered why parents throughout American generations have brought their small children to meet Santa and gotten a kick out of how truly, deeply terrified their child was, and even snapped pictures and cackled over them later

That is, until I was given the opportunity to scare children, and let me tell you it is probably the funnest thing I've done all summer.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not evil I'm actually just a Horcrux shy from Voldemort but I think half of the fun is knowing that the kids aren't screaming because of any real danger; they're only afraid of a big, dumb costume. Now, if I had released a gorilla into the preschool, that wouldn't have been as fun no comment.

So as you know (or maybe you don't, I have this habit of assuming that I've told everyone everything) every day for the Summer Program there is a different "main activity" as well as all the normal daily stuff like playing outside in the pool, etc. The activity for Tuesday was お化け. As the kids were having morning English time, the rest of the teachers slowly transformed the preschool into a haunted house. Oh, my babies...bless them for being blissfully ignorant and really thinking that the activity was limited to making ghosts out of newspaper...

So anyway, long story short (breakfast awaits) the kids were ushered into a room whilst I slunk away and put on my お化け costume. It's one of those things that is literally so comical that it actually it is a little scary:

Okay...maybe more scary than comical. Is it...drooling?! With the souls of children??
It actually has a (giant) face-hole near the hat, but I just put my braids in my face, so my hair ended up blending in with the hat and some kids didn't realize that it was me (although by process of elimination, I was the only teacher not there / my legs awkwardly stuck out of the bottom)

So in pairs, the teachers lured the kids from the sitting room into the dark hallway, where I was waiting for them. And the first reaction was ALWAYS priceless. They would do a double take then try and run away, only to have the teacher laugh (their ass off) and grab them by the waist and force them to come closer. To make matters worse, that morning Nogami-sensei asked me if I had heard of "The Ring", then informed me that they had bought the soundtrack. LOL, so that was also playing in the background.

I made really stupid "Ooo0o0-o0o0o0o0o!!!" noises, thought that over, and then just went for the evil cackle or the drawn out "Konnichiwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! heehehhehehheheee". what the kids also didn't know was that when they got past me, that I was going to chase them throughout the house. Staff had put balloons in strategic places so I could pop them as I was chasing them, and the path led to the tatami room where English is usually held, except there were dark streamers and rattling cans and just...lol. I'm pretty sure they all cried.

Mind you, the costume got unbearably hot after a while, and some of the older kids just raised an eyebrow and were like "HI HOLLY-SENSEI!!!!!!!" but, yeah. That shit was just a little too fun. I eventually had to stop, take off the costume and show them that they really had nothing to be afraid of, all coos and soothing and "It's just me, guys!!"ing, but a lot of them just had very, very angry tear-streaked faces and one kid just walked up to me, tugged on my skirt and was like "ホリー先生、すご怖かった" (Holly-sensei, I was really scared/that was really scary) in the most deadpan voice that I had ever heard, and then I got a little uncomfortable and wondered whether they would ever love me again (spoiler alert; of course they do.)





Ok so...the above title may not look annoying to you at first, or look like it's meant to be said in a whining, drawn out tone, but trust me; it is.

It reads: "Miteー" but sounds like


at least it does whenever I'm at work. It means "look!", and my kids have a habit of, during arts/crafty time, to storm up to me, shoving their creation in my face and going, "先生! 見てー" (Sensei! Miteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!). This quickly escalates into everyone looking up, grabbing the nearest thing to them (whether it be something they actually made or not) and crowding around me going "Miteeeeeeeeeehhhhhh! Miteeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh! MITEEEEEEEEEHHH!" until I collapse on the floor, in tears--

Or, when they feel like being precious angels, just sit like this until I come around and praise them :)
On a similar vein, whenever I'm helping them with Montesstori things, or whenever someone is demonstrating how to make something (last week they made Kaleidoscopes, for example) one little kid will say, in a rather sad, small voice, "できない..." dekinai; I can't do it. :( and at first I get all sad and run over and encourage them to keep going, until I get hit with a rousing chorus of  "できない! できない! Dekinai! Dekinaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaai!" Mostly by kids who have literally not picked up anything or tried to do anything. not one thing. Some of them hit me with a できない! Before any instructions have actually been given. And it's like....SERIOUSLY, BRO???

Or, they raise their hands and smile, telling me that they did it, and then pose for a picture and drop the smile entirely. Typical.

Ok, last one; I have to go eat breakfast. But whenever I read to them, or they're being shown a video, or whateverthehell, you'll always get a kid going "見えない!" mienai; I can't see! And, granted, some times this is actually the case, and I apologize and shift my reading pose or move them closer to the TV, etc. I'm sure you know where this is going.

I shit you not, during the sleepover when the kids were shown an old home video of them during their first year at the Kindergarten putting on a little play, the TV was put up on the stage, and all the kids were on the floor. LITERALLY, THIS IS DESIGNED SO WHEREVER YOU ARE SITTING, WHEREVER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEE BECAUSE THE TV IS ON A RAISED SURFACE AND YOU ARE UNDERNEATH IT AND ONE KID STARTED WITH THE MIENAI AND THEN EVERYONE FOLLOWED, IN INCREASINGLY LOUD VOLUMES AND THEN I HAD HAD ENOUGH AND JUMPED OUT THE WINDO--

Who, me? Annoying? ^_______^ never.

The moral of this post; you cannot profess to working around children/loving them everyday without admitting that; they're kids, and a lot of the time, they're annoying. This applies on all continents. They're still my little munchkins, though. 

9 hours a day. 9 hours a day with them. Pray for me.




oh look! Japanese title. Today's: キャー! meaning...quite literally:

  • the sound a fangirl makes (KYAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *clutches face, tears running down cheeks*)
  • a sound you make if something particularly frightens/disgusts you (think: eeeeeeeeeek! or yikes!!!)
  • If Ann Coulter comes running at you, arms spread wide for a hug (think blood-curdling scream)
Hello again, readers-of-Holly's-blog. Don't you love how my last post was all about me being determined to break my abandonment streak, and then I...picked it up again? My apologies. I think I've come to realize why blogging has gotten so tiresome for me.

For one, getting pictures to upload is a nightmare; I'd happily just throw them all on Facebook, but since that uploader is a Dudley-sized P.O.S. my brain flails and is all LOL, NOW THERE ARE TOO MANY, OH WELL, TIME TO INTERNET etc. There are a random smattering on Google+ however, for all you cool cats reading that have Google+ and are actively being inactive just like everyone else who has Google+...

I love it when I tell them "No no, don't look at me!" And I get things like this. ^_^  click for full-sized adorable-ness
So yeah, the summer program is in full spring for my kiddies. It's held at the preschool, which is conveniently located in the ground floor of my teacher's house, which is even more conveniently located....2 doors down from me. What does this mean you ask?!!? This means I don't have to worry about leaving my house for our morning meeting until pretty much...5 minutes before it starts. THE GOOD LIFE. Although I do miss riding my bike to work everyday. 

I get a lot of my kids from the Kindergarten, as well as some new faces from around the neighborhood! You gotta love the separation anxiety babies -- since we're not in a huge building, their cries resonate pretty strongly. But it's all good, because about 10 minutes after they arrive it's a full hour of ENGLISH TIME!!11 so most of them calm down by that point. Most of them.

Meet Ayano. Every morning (I shit you not) when her mother drops her off, she  screams and cries all day, until we can find a way to calm her down. Last week it was by following Misaki everywhere. Everywhere.

But she wasn't actually calm...she was just sad. :(
Very sad. :C

I'm making these short now, because I've found this also helps with the procrastination...somewhat.

Look for another post later on in your day! (circa 6 am for me)

Hope you're all doing well! Oh and fun fact, the other night I woke up and was like why is my bed shaking. I'm dreaming, right? Yeah, I'm dreaming. Is...is the room spinning? then went back to bed. Checked the interwebz the next morning to discover a lovely M6 earthquake had hit in the middle of the night. Just your average day, lolz.

scary thing is, apparently this happens ALL THE TIME. Only I would sleep through that many quakes.