Today I went to Kimiga Elementary School and had a great day. This is the school I had an not so good first impression of, and which I always get anxious about going to visit the night before one of their scheduled visits, but then every single time I go there I have the best time. Well, except for the sixth graders, who were the maniac fifth grade class that gave me such a bad impression last year and probably are the reason why I get whiny the night before I have to go to Kimiga now. Luckily they're not as bad as they used to be, but that sixth grade really needs help. I've managed to get them to at least behave in class now, though I'm not sure what they're learning, as this doesn't seem a priority to this particular group of eight kids (Yes eight, and I think that's part of the reason why they don't do well as a group, I think they need a bigger group to learn in. I don't know how to justify that feeling, it's just an intuition, but I think that if they had another eight students at least to mix with, they wouldn't be such a united front of resistance.) Anyway, after their class is done, and thankfully the scheduler has figured out to put them early in the day so it doesn't end on a bad note for me, the rest of the day is great. The other classes are filled with some of the brightest kids in any of the elementary schools, and they're so much fun. In the third grade today, there was a new student, and he was really shy around me at first, but then Ryouhei shouted across the room to him, "Hey, you can speak Japanese with him, it's okay!" (in Japanese, of course, third graders don't speak English that well, heck even Junior High kids don't) And then the new boy started coming round and asking me questions and we had lunch together and the third graders embarrassed their teacher by forcing him to talk to me in English. He asked me a question that was correct, and I answered, and then the kids told me to ask him a question back, but he was looking really nervous so I asked him a question using the same grammar he had asked me (a "have you ever done nani nani question") so he could not look so scared to not understand. And in the fourth grade we had ten extra minutes at the end of class in which I asked them if there were any English phrases they'd like to know how to say, which tested my Japanese ability, but I actually knew everything they wanted to know how to say, which were kid things like how do you call someone a stupid fool or tell someone to shut up or to stop something they're doing that's bothering them, or how to say I forgot to do my homework. This was very useful for one boy, who took out his notebook and wrote it out so he could practice. His teacher told me he never has his homework, so she will be hearing this everyday now.
After school, I went to the gym and worked out. Felt good leaving. Came home, have some weird mail I can't read very well from the government (tax forms maybe?) and then checked my email and found out I've sold my story "The Guardian of the Egg" to Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling for an anthology they're working on called Salon Fantastique, and was immediately brought up another few notches on the "good day" scale.
Made dinner, Pasta Carbonara, and am going to sit down and eat it now while watching a movie and perhaps won't work on the chapter of my novel that I'm nearly finished with as a bit of an indulgence inspired by the story sale, which was my first of the new year.
Oh, and something I forgot to note a while back: My essay, "The Boy Who Went Forth" will appear in Kate Bernheimer's "Brothers and Beasts" anthology of essays written by men about fairy tales this year as well.
Good night, and good morning.