Wednesday, September 15, 2004

After lunch each day, there is a twenty minute break at school, and after that break the students and teachers all clean the building. They put on headscarves and take up their brooms and rags and clean all the windows and sweep out the courtyard and wash down the floors. It's really something. I don't actually do anything but watch. Anytime I've tried to offer help, they act like that would be a capitol crime, and if they let me actually clean something, they would all be beheaded.

In any case, during the fifteen minute break before cleaning time, Fujita sensei has me holding what she calls an English Plaza. She's so suave. Kids who are interested can come and talk in English with me basically, that's all. In any case, usually it's girls who come, but today a bunch of boys came in. I recognized one of them who is always really eager to stop me in the halls and try to talk. We always talk about baseball. He asked if I played baseball when I was in school, and I told him I had made the high school baseball team, yeah. I didn't tell him I barely made it, but he has now sort of taken to idolizing me and he dragged a bunch of the baseball boys into the English speaking plaza today. The regulars who are more of the "smart" kids, the "nerds", looked very shocked and almost offended by their presence. And yet Sho, the boy who can't get enough of talking to me, dominated them in his English abilities. He was translating for everyone else. I guess it goes to show that when you want to understand someone bad enough, you will. Fujita sensei said, "Oh that's right, you were baseball player. This is good. Now the sports boys will be interested in English too, since someone who they think is like them is interested in it." Then she nodded her head curtly, as if the next step in the mission had been accomplished, and marched off to her next class.

I finally got my internet access last night, so I am able to do stuff from home again. Big sigh. So much easier now to keep up with people back home. And to call now, too, since my long distance is tied into the modem that was delivered for the internet access. Once I get a TV, I will be set...


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