To counter the negativity from the post about the crazy mum, I thought I'd share the letter I got from a different student's mum a couple weeks ago.
"Hello. Thank you for always taking care of my daughter. Every week she comes home saying things like "I did my best today so I got a sticker!" and "I answered lots of questions so I got a little note pad!", and seems like she's really enjoying it. Thank you. Please continue to help her with her English studies."
Notes like that really help brighten my day, especially since it's from one of my Wednesday evening students. Normally I dread those classes (one of which includes the Little Shits I talked about before), but I do enjoy my last class. They're good kids, and to make things a little more fun for them and to motivate them more, I started this point system. Each time they answer a question they get a point, even if the answer is wrong. I don't care about mistakes, I'm there to correct them, but I can't correct them if they don't speak!
Then, at the beginning of the class the following week, I total up who had the most points from the previous week, and that person gets a piece of candy and a sticker (and since everyone always tries their best and answers as many questions as they can, the others get to choose either a sticker or a piece of candy).
And *then*, at the end of 4 weeks, whoever had the most points total gets to choose a prize. Granted, it was all stuff I just grabbed at the 100 yen store, but they were *so* excited when I pulled out the bag and were ooh-ing and aah-ing over everything, saying how lucky the girl was who won. Like I said, they're good kids, and I felt bad for them at first because every class I ask them how they are and they always say 'tired' and 'sleepy'. They're worked too hard, these kids, so I'm glad I can help them enjoy the class at least a little bit. :)
Anywho, on to other recent events.
Went to a Bon Odori with Roomie and Mama Ann. Mr. Big Bear was working the anpan stand and his friends were working the yakisoba stand and the drink stand, so we got free food! :) And a TON of raffle tickets. I swear we had about 40, so the three of us divided them and during the raffle drawing would search through our stacks to see if our number was called. There were lots of great prizes and we would've been happy with any of them, even the bag of rice which we needed at the time, lol. But alas, nothing. It was still a fun night though.
Roach Battle. This is part 2. I won't show part 1, which is The One That Got Away, since it's really just a bunch of screaming and no real conclusion (although we set up a trap for it and caught it that night). This one's ending is a bit more satisfying.
And if you don't know me, I just have to make it clear that I am not a wuss! Bugs don't bother me- moths, beetles, spiders.. even had a pet tarantula at one point and held it with my bare hands! And I love lizards and snakes and the like too. But roaches... guhhh. They're just little demons after my soul.
Finally, last weekend I went to go visit some of my family who's here in Japan! My cousin is in the military and got stationed here, so he and his wife and 3 kids moved here this past March. My aunt (his mum) came over to visit them, and they invited me to join them for their middle daughter's birthday party. Mr. Big Bear gave me that Friday off, and I called in sick to Other Job that day too so I could go to the immigration office and get my visa officially renewed (finally!). Headed over to the base after all that was taken care of, and spent the night there and hung around most of Saturday too, just visiting. It was really nice, and I got to see my little second cousins who weren't so little anymore! Before I left they also took me to the grocery store on base so I could get some comfort foods I had been missing. :) Got my belly filled with lots of good-old Amurrican cookin' while I was there too.
Got a nice family picture of them all, but my aunt and cousin's wife were insistent that I not post it even on Facebook, which is private, so I doubt they'd be happy if I put it here. Instead you get a picture of my food haul.
Soooo many good vegetarian/vegan things that I just can't get here, and at the same price I'd pay back in the States. :)
Nice to have family close by that I can visit when I'm getting a little homesick.