Om nom nom

I’m going to write quite a lot, so I’ll just split it into a couple entries tonight. :)

MEGAN-SENSEI SIT WITH US OMG SIT WITH US

IF YOU DON’T SIT WITH US I’M GONNA DIE

At least, that’s what it seemed like my ichinensei (first years) were saying the other day.

I finally gathered enough courage to sit with my students at lunch about three weeks ago. I asked Komatsu-sensei if I could eat with the students, and she said yes. She said it would be easier for me if I ate with her class, so she could translate if the students wanted to talk to me. She teaches second and third years, but she is the homeroom teacher for class 2-2, so she eats lunch with them in their classroom.

It was awkward eating lunch with them. They seemed afraid to talk to me, and I was a little afraid about talking to them, too. XD So we mostly ate in silence. They asked a few questions, though.

I ate with them for a week and a half, and then I thought eating with the ichinensei would be fun, because they seemed more interested in me.

I asked Kawana-sensei (pretty sure he’s a social studies teacher) if I could eat with his 1-2 class, and he gave the okay. I walked in with my tray while they were still setting up the classroom, and I asked Kawana-sensei where I should sit. Rikuya, one of my favorite students, asked why I was there, and Kawana-sensei told him. Rikuya got excited, and Kawana-sensei said, “Okay, she’ll eat with group 2.”

Then Rikuya’s eyes widened and he shook his head, looking rather embarrassed. XD

So I sat with Rikuya’s group. Rikuya, as always, talked to me in rapid-fire Japanese. The other students sometimes jumped in saying, “In English, say it in English.” XD I think he didn’t know how to, though, and it sounded like he was talking about some pretty complicated stuff. xD I don’t think I would have understood even if I did know the vocabulary.

He eventually asked me if I watched Fairy Tail though.

And that’s when the bullying started. :/ The other kids started to make fun of him a little, saying that he was going to marry Lucy (the main female character), and he looked very embarrassed and immediately stopped talking. Then one boy turned to me and said, “Rikuya loves Megan-sensei.” Rikuya looked mortified. The boy had said it in English, too, so it’s not like I could pretend that I didn’t understand. xD It caught me by surprise though, so I said, “What?”

This bullying may not sound all that bad, since you’d think this teasing wouldn’t be all that effective, but I learned in my Intro to Psych class about that through this really great experiment. The TA had a group of students sit in a circle and discuss something. The TA stood behind each student with a card that instructed the others how to treat that student while they discussed the topic (I think they were making a list of words or something). One card said, “Act like whatever I say is a really great idea.” Another said, “Act like my ideas aren’t that great.”

And yet another said: “Laugh at everything I say.”

While the second one was pretty bad—the student felt a little depressed at the end of it—the third one was actually the worst. After the experiment was over, they explained how they felt, and actually while I was watching, I could tell how they were feeling. They said that at first, they felt like everyone liked them and thought they were funny, so they played into that. But after a while, when they were giving serious answers, they started to get depressed, and eventually, they just stopped talking. When people laugh at everything you say and don’t take you seriously, that can be worse than if they just ignored you altogether.

I know there’s another example from a book or a TV show somewhere, but I can’t remember what it is…

Anyway, that’s kind of how I feel like the kids treat Rikuya sometimes. :/ Which sucks because he’s a really great kid.

That day was also a natto day. One of the boys sitting next to me hates natto—the entire lunch, he was saying, “Kusai, kusai” (That stinks). But the boy sitting across from me ate three packages of natto. It was… so funny. XD

This last week, I ate with class 1-1, too. That class was pretty exciting—they are a very genki (energetic) class. I asked the teacher beforehand, and when I walked in with my tray, the entire class looked at me, surprised, and then they all immediately exploded:

“SIT HERE, SIT HERE!”

Me: O___O

I panicked and sat down in the empty seat nearest the door—which happened to be at Reo’s table. Reo is pretty funny, and she likes to talk to me and make fun of me. At first, I didn’t really like her, because she struck me as sort of a bully, but I bullied her right back (you know, making fun of her), and I think we get along. :) She seemed pretty happy about me sitting at her table, but she didn’t talk much to me.

I mentioned this in a previous entry—Reo is the student who asked me why I smile every day.

The next day when I walked in, the student exploded again, but before I could sit down, Yusuke stood up forcefully, pushing his chair back hard, and stomped over to grab an extra chair behind the teacher’s desk. He stomped back to his cluster of tables, dropped the chair, and slapped the seat.

Yusuke: “SENSEI, HERE.”

Well! That decided things.

While we were eating, Yusuke turned to me and said, “This fish.”

Me: “Yes?”

Yusuke: “This fish… not delicious.”

The other students nodded and concurred.

Yusuke: “Do you like?”

Me: “Er… chotto…” (Sort of…?)

He was right, though; the fish that day wasn’t very good. It didn’t have a great flavor… The other fish we’ve had, I’ve been able to tolerate and eat (I’m not a big fish fan—haha, what the hell am I doing in Japan?), but this fish… I didn’t finish it.

Naoto, who was sitting at the other end of the table-cluster, began to practice his conducting for the choir competition, waving his arms around. I imitated him, waving my arms around all crazy, and he laughed and said I looked like an octopus. XD

The third time I ate with that class, I ate with Kai’s group. (I’m naming the groups by the students whose names I know. XD) I’d met Kai before school even started—he was one of the kids at the beach that day I got stung by jellyfish. He and his sister were in the water, and they introduced themselves to me in English. It was super cute!

The students at his table really wanted to tell me something. They kept pointing at Kai, talking about milk, and gesturing at their noses. I think they were trying to say that Kai squirted milk out of his nose before. I was like, “Haha, okay.” And then…

I was talking to the student next to me when suddenly THERE WAS A GREAT DISTURBANCE.

When I turned, Kai had his hand over his mouth and nose and he was turning to run outside to the sink (which they have on the balconies outside the classrooms). All of the students at the table laughed, and Yusuke came over to see what the fuss was about.

I still don’t know. XD What made him do that? Did he laugh really hard? Or is it a party trick to shoot milk out of your nose?

Anyway, when he sat back down, things settled again, until the students started to talk about what “baka” means (it means “stupid” or “foolish”). Kai kept pointing to the student next to him, saying, “Foolish, foolish.”

It sounded like the other student was confused, but I didn’t really understand what they were talking about. Kai said, “Baka, foolish,” and I gave an affirmative “Nn,” because my mouth was full and I wanted to confirm that yes, that is what it means. But Kai interpreted it as an agreement. XD

The students laughed and said, “Sensei said you’re foolish!” The boy (I can’t remember his name) looked slightly shocked, and I felt kind of bad. So then I turned to Kai.

Me: “But that’s okay, because you are crazy.”

Kai: “EHH?”

The other students burst out laughing and pointed at him, calling him crazy. HAHAHA HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED, KAI-KUN. HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED.

:D He was good sport.

So I’ll continue to eat with the students. I haven’t eaten with the third years yet, because… well, they are big. O____O

I could probably still beat them up, though.

Vocabulary

Ichinensei: Lit. “first year student(s).” In Japanese characters: いちねんせい. In Chinese characters: 一年生.

Genki: Healthy, energetic.

Kusai: Smelly, stinky.

Baka: Stupid, foolish.

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6 Responses to Om nom nom

  1. Kim says:

    OMG I love Kai. He LOVES to insult people and try to get you to agree with him. He decided (back in 5th grade) that his teacher was a space bulldog and the kids STILL talk about the space bulldog and draw pictures of her which I always scolded them for but think is hilarious. Their 6th grade teacher they decided was a Kappa (he did look like one though…)

    He is ULTRA smart though.. I really wanted him for speech contest, but Kamada sensei and I agreed that he was too prideful and shouldn’t be rewarded for thinking he is so badass… that is a bad explanation, but anyways he is a fun kid.

    I am glad you are getting to eat with the kids! :D

    • Haha! Yeah, Kai is great. XD I haven’t heard about the space bulldog yet… He does seem very smart. :) And when I met him at the beach with his sister, he tried really hard to speak English. It was sweet.

      There’s actually a third year girl that’s been bugging me a little, and I’m not sure how to deal with her. I’m pretty sure she’s Reina, but I could totally have her name mixed up with someone else. Anyway, she played keep-away with my hair tie today after ripping it out of my braid, and she won’t stop poking me in the sides. It wouldn’t be a problem if my sides weren’t super sensitive–it really hurts when she does it. (In middle school, my friends thought it was funny to run up behind people and poke them REALLY HARD in the sides, so now I feel like I have permanent bruising there or something. xD)

      She wouldn’t give me my hair tie back, so I finally solved the problem by walking away, like “Okay, then, I don’t care.” XD And then I think she felt guilty, because she gave my hair tie back. WIN.

      Yeah, eating with the kids is… interesting. XD I want to go to club activities, too, but everyone is really busy right now… I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to do it…

  2. Kim says:

    Haha.. sorry I probably made Reina think that sort of thing was acceptable. We used to spend the whole class period secretly trying to stick Wisconsin stickers on each other without anyone noticing. She DOES like to poke people (I am extremely ticklish and would react really strongly) so it most likely is her…

    She also has a troubled background (orphanage!) … and was SO excited about meeting you… so she is probably just trying really hard to make friends and doesn’t know how to do it properly. I always had her sit in front of me because she is terrible at English.. TERRIBLE (although she has been trying much harder) and is very childish in that she won’t do work without someone standing over her hassling her and she often tries to blatantly cheat on tests.

    Tell her Kim sensei will come scold her if she keeps picking on you!!! Haha.. you can probably just explain to her (or lie) and say that you have an injury in your side and ask her not to poke you. If you are serious about it she should (maaaaybe) stop. Try to get her to talk with you though! She is also on good terms with big Kaito.. so sometimes she can save you from his bullying.

    • Haha! Oh no! That’s okay, I’m sure it’s usually fine for other people. I just have a weird sensitivity there. Yeah, I was thinking of telling her that I had an injury. Actually, she tried to tickle me the other day, but I’m not ticklish, and she looked surprised. Now I know why. Haha!

      Today when I was taking down some posters, standing on a chair, she came up behind me and slapped me around the middle. She seemed pleased that she surprised me, but I’m afraid of heights, so I kind of was not amused. XD Komatsu-sensei came up to me and pointed out the sticker. I think Komatsu-sensei thought I was really annoyed with Reina, because she started to try to explain her behavior. She said Reina is “not clever, and she wants to become friends with” me. I wasn’t too annoyed, actually – I know she doesn’t really know any better. It’s just me and my weird idiosyncrasies – fear of heights, weird sensitivity, etc. I actually like Reina. :) She is funny, and she is trying to teach me some janken game that I don’t quite get… XD

      Aww… Poor kid. I’ll try to figure out a way to make English accessible for her. The students have been writing little diary entries in their notebooks that I read and comment on. I’ll look more closely at hers.

      Right now she sits near Mirano and Kaito. It sounds like that corner of the room is going to be a blast. XD

  3. Alison Mok says:

    …… i can’t believe that u forgot!!!!!!! Your other example from TV or a book for bullying and stopping talking. BTW your gonna hit yourself when you read this…. its Kisa the tiger from fruits basket. She stops talking becuz her class mates tease her.

    • HAHAHAHA! You’re right! It is Kisa that I was thinking about. :) I actually remembered that three days after I posted the entry, because it kept bothering me, but I just never updated. Haha! But I’m glad you remember that, too. Man… that series… So good.

      How are you doing? I haven’t heard from you in a while! Shoot me an e-mail with everything that’s been going on!

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