Friday, February 03, 2006

A Post With NO Pictures

Well, it's early Fri evening and I don't want to study anymore and I don't want to lie down and I probably should write on this blog, so yeah.
Many thanks to Kaki for sending that video of your house church - we loved it! Other people should send us videos too - we love to get them!
My classes were tough this week, not only b/c of the interrupting cop (reminds me of a Knock-Knock joke) but also b/c my kids were either NOT getting the game I wanted to play or they were too busy disobeying my 5th request not to jump on the sofa. My rowdiest class on Wed. only had 3 kids and still one of them kept jumping on the sofa. I finally pulled him off and told him to stand in the corner and look at the wall (except I'm still not quite good enough to make it exactly clear what I wanted him to do). But he knew he was supposed to stand there in the corner anyway, and he flat didn't want to do it. I was ready to throw him over my knee, let me tell you! Got a really nice wooden spoon in the kitchen, too! He started crying and I knew that he could almost certainly get his way w/ his mom and any other authority figure in his life by crying. I let him cry for about 30 seconds before I invited him back into the activities - the class is only 30 minutes long, after all!
When I thought about Japan when I lived in the US, I was pretty sure that parents would be generally stricter than American parents are. Boy were we in for a surprise! Japanese kids run ALL OVER their parents! Yeah, it's not the stereotypical stern Asian father shouting down his kid whenever he acts up. Maybe in areas where academic performance is more widely regarded as important, for older kids it's like that, but at least here in Kikai, not at all. So my job is made more challenging b/c kids are rarely if ever disciplined. And I'm not talking just taking a spoon to their depraved little behinds (please note that I believe ALL children [and adults] are depraved until converted by the grace of Christ, but also note that children much more often display wanton selfishness and disobedience than adults do). But even steadfastly denying children what they whine and cry for b/c it's not good for them or it's impolite or sthg of that nature is rarely seen. Suffice it to say we don't plan to take Kikai parents in general as models of parenting, now that we're in full kid-wanting mode.
I had a convo w/ a young Japanese family on Tues night in mostly Japanese, and that was encouraging. When they talk slowly enough, I can start to have real understanding, and I'm learning alot more verb conjugations these days (and vocab) so talking is going fairly well. Aub's aural comprehension stuns me, actually - she's just talented! She's bummed that she can't speak better, but hey, I'm bummed that I can't understand better. Anyway, it was sad to see this young man (about 32) w/ a pretty wife and a cute 2-year-old daughter throw back 5 beers over the course of the evening (w/ wife and daughter present and accounted for). Equally sad was our convo about hobbies and sports on TV - he likes to watch tennis sometimes. Great, so do I! Love it, actually. He likes to watch Sharapova and Hingis. Hmm, wonder why. Later we were discussing American football and he was like, "Yeah, I really like to look at the cheerleaders!" Argh.
I was telling Aub about that afterwards, and she asked me why I didn't ask him why. That was frustrating - I always ask why! It's like my trademark phrase. But I forgot that evening. Maybe later.
Aub was talking to another friend of ours, a teacher, and told him she saw a pic of his wife (who lives elsewhere, which is very common for teachers) and that she was pretty. He responded, "No, she's not." Aub was like, "Yes she is!" "No, she's not." Aub: "Look, you can't say that about your own wife!" Wow - it's really amazing to hear sthg like that. I'm really hoping to get a chance to talk to him about that pretty soon.
Today I took about 90 minutes to go help the Board of Ed move their office to the new facility up the hill. Boy, were those desks dusty! They seemed to appreciate my contributions greatly. I was surprised upon my 1st entry into this brand-new bldg, which will house all of City Hall, to find that it really seems to be a low-quality construction, and the driveway wasn't very reliable-looking either...It's hard to describe, but I got that sense. So did another friend of ours who was a temporary worker in the B.O.E...she was also disappointed that the B.O.E.'s seating area didn't seem to be much bigger than the original. I have to agree; it is a little bigger, but not by much.

OK, I think today I'll post some more pics 'cause posting pix is playing to the crowd. And I never want to disappoint. See above for pix. Pix are nice.

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