I was wearing the blue shirt, and I pointed to my sleeve and asked her, “What is it?” She had already successfully formed the sentence, “It’s a yellow chicken.” Instead of saying, “It’s a blue shirt,” Princess grabbed my boob, then laughed. Why did she do this? I do not know. But apparently it was funny. I skipped her next two turns.
Shortly thereafter, her male classmate, whose nickname is “Cookie” (I gave all these nicknames myself) encouraged Zuzu and Princess to eat him, explaining that he was “a delicious cookie. And metabolic.” Metabolic?
Something I figured out my second or third week of doing this is that “ecchi,” meaning “perverted” or “kinky,” is actually the letter “h” – as in, the first letter in “hentai.” I guess it’s like saying “the f-word.” (I figured this out because the older kids tend to accuse each other of being “h” when we get to that point in the ABC’s.)
Anyway, I called two of my students “h” today.
Ken’ichi had not done his homework, but fortunately, today he showed up ten minutes early! And I was there – waiting. I grabbed him, sat him down at the table, asked him if he had a pencil, made him borrow one from Bonze when he said he didn’t (he lied), and stood over him while he did it. He kept a nonstop monologue of complaints the entire time. Bonze thought this was the most entertaining thing that had ever happened in the history of ever. (Bonze always does his homework and it is always perfect.) Perhaps this will improve Ken’ichi’s behavior in future weeks.
Also today, Mee invited me to go eat lunch with her and her grandmother. Awww, Mee. Since 1) I have less than twenty minutes to eat and get back on Saturdays, and 2) her grandmother looked absolutely horrified by this proposition, I pretended not to understand the invitation and shooed her out. (She told me that they were going to to the ramen place in case I changed my mind about not understanding, but as there are several ramen places nearby, this was not helpful.)
The two Sullen Middle School Girls I have on Fridays, whom I have named Goody Proctor and the Devil, were actually good yesterday. The Devil did her homework for the first time since the-teacher-before-the-teacher-before-last was here! The previous teacher tells me (exasperatedly) that he’d given up even giving them homework; I feel so proud of the Devil now. (Though I think it’s probably that her parents-or-guardians yelled at her – I’ve given her black marks the past few weeks, and I assume someone looks at their grade sheets some point. I mean, the classes aren’t free.)
Goody Proctor does her homework about half the time, but yesterday she hadn’t, so I made her do it while the Devil and I played a card game. And the Devil actually played the game with me and formed sentences with the words I gave her and everything! Without throwing the cards! This is unprecedented!
Their concentration wasn’t perfect – they kept interrupting to complain about stuff or ask me how to say weird things (What do you call blond hair? Can you say “yellow hair,” or is that weird? Why do you guys want to know this? How do you say “I’m going to throw up?”), but they were at least talking. I really hope that this isn’t a one-time occurrence.
(Part of the sullen middle schoolers’ problem is that they don’t sleep at night. Goody Proctor’s worse than most, and her only real Disciplinary Issue (beyond aiding and abetting the Devil) is her habit of trying to nap during class. Her mom doesn’t come and get her until fifteen or twenty minutes after we finish up, and she always goes out in the front area and sleeps on the couch.)