Leo and Lucca, the two Russian kids, scared the crap out of me today. They have those shoes that have little wheels inset in them, so they can roll around like they’re on skates. They were using these right by the stairwell. This also upset Manager, who sent me out to keep an eye on them until their parents showed up. (Their parents, like most of the parents, are chronically late.)
Because it was cold out there and I wanted them away from the stairs, I subtly drew them back inside by means of 1) speaking English at them (they don’t know English), 2) playing Chrono Trigger on the DS (apparently fascinating), and 3) getting the laptop out and showing Lucca a picture of Dad putting my tiara on the St. Bernard. I told her, “This dog is really big. She’s bigger than you! Do you want her?” “Yes!” “Okay, you can have her.” “No, no, no.”
All the kids attending the juku have to make little signs with “mission statements” for their studies on them, which the juku teachers post up on the walls. Lucca’s says “I want to learn more about dogs!” Then she drew a little fluffy dog with a bow on it and a brush. Aww.
I asked her about this dog, and she got all shy and wouldn’t explain it to me. Leo haughtily explained that this was their family’s Maltese. Then he asked if the laptop had any games. I put the laptop on the front desk (no one ever sits there), and he sat there and played, with Lucca watching, until their step-dad came for them. So the extraction was a success.
Also, today I wore non-matching socks. This was intended to amuse the kids. What I did not count on was that most of the kids I had in class today – Zip, Zoh, and two new students – assumed I’d done it by accident and were too polite and Japanese to say anything. (I think Mr. Rat would have mentioned if he’d noticed, but we were sitting at the table today.) The same was true of my co-workers. No one wanted to say anything about the socks until Kitty, leaving her juku class, loudly pointed them out to the Devil.
You guys, I have to go out into the corridor to get to my classroom. I take my shoes on and off like thirty times a day. Did you really think I didn’t know my socks didn’t match?