Friday, March 19, 2010


I am sure that my students find my American ways to be odd at times, and I can surely retort that I love the little idiosyncrasies that I see in my students :). This week was St. Patrick's Day as all of you Americans know. When I arrived to school on Wednesday I was prepared to attack my unknowing students without green. So, I walked into a classroom and surprised several unsuspecting kids :) I pinched them lightly and they asked, "Why did you do that?" I briefed them on the holiday and drew a green shamrock on the board: one with 3 leaves and one with 4 leaves (the students then exclaimed, "oh, that is lucky!") Anyway, the kids loved the idea of pinching if they weren't wearing green.

I will have one student starting in April whom I adore. (disclaimer: I don't know who all of my students will be next year, and I'm sure I will love all of them equally) As of now I know I will have him, and he is a doll! We have a unique relationship in which he uses charades and noises to explain what he wants (outside of class...he uses English inside the classroom, but we'll have to work on that). Yesterday, I was sitting in a chair. He walks up to me, pushes his forehead against mine, and draws a straight horizontal line over the tops of our heads to express that we are the same height. (He is probably 3 ft tall?) It was soooo cute that I just laughed and asked him if he was as tall as me. He answered with a "yes" nod.

Random fact: My name is very similar to a store here in Japan called, Jusco. So the kids love to call me Ms. Jusco for fun.

Oh my! I almost forgot to post about the most embarrassing moment of my life in Japan thus far! I was using the subway (as in the train that runs underground) restroom, and I could not figure out how to flush the toilet. I pressed several buttons, and it finally flushed so I thought nothing of it. I was washing my hands next to 2 young college girls and 1 elderly woman when a security man ran frantically into the women's restroom. He looked at the women and peaked his head into the stall I had used. After several moments of awkward stares and conversation in my direction I realized I had done a bad thing. I had accidentally pressed the emergency button in the stall. Oh dear. How was I going to explain this? So, I did the first thing that came to mind...and it went like this. I looked at the man and exclaimed, "OHHHH! So sorry, so sorry, so sorry." This was accompanied by bowing. The younger girls were laughing at me and the security guard was annoyed and left. The only one who comforted me in this embarrassing coincidence was the elderly woman. She smiled kindly and gave me several small nods. I smiled back and shook my head. I'm sure she was thinking...oh crazy foreigner. When I went out to meet my friends they greeted me sarcastically with, "Did you set off that alarm?" It was a good laugh afterward.

Phrase of the day: moushiwakearimasen
Rough translation: there is no excuse (for me)
I wish I had known that phrase for a deep apology to the security guard that day in the subway.