Dad’s Smiles

Busy. I feel like I’m always busy, so this isn’t really a very good excuse for not having updated in a month. But, you’ll forgive me all the same right? You can’t see it, but I’m imitating the Chesire cat right now and laughing at your indulgence of me. Why are you all so nice to me?!

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These were the kids that get bullied at school. The last boy is the one I always ate lunch with. He has such a sweet heart. The second girl to my right gave me a Vocoloid postcard for my birthday.

My last week at Takatsu I played games, introduced a new song, took pictures, got gifts, flowers, letters, and sung to, but most of all, I had so much fun. I wish so many good things for these kids. My only regret is that two of my favorite students weren’t at school my last day. Moriken and Shibata. Moriken narrowly escaped being snuggled. Lucky kid. I gave out my own gifts and even read an entire speech in Japanese which I cried through. I’ve come a long way in my Japanese, though I forget to give myself any credit.  Image

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This class sung me a song for my last class. The girl to my left, I always thought she didn’t really like me that much, but somewhere along the way I think I wiggled into her heart. I’d always like her myself. Hahahaha! I’m not even sure why. It might have been her laughter. I really liked to hear it and I always tried so hard to make the kids laugh. I’m almost positive she cried while singing this song. Of course, I cried.

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Leader. He was the first Takatsu boy I met. He’s got the sweetest smile you’ll ever see.

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If you look, that’s this groups “MUAHAHAHAHA” face. They pulled a special chance piece that lets you send anyone you want back to start! Hahahahaha!

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3-2!!! A girl from this class came to me and gave me a half a postcard with her signature on it as well as a special collector’s card, her favorite one, from Disneyland. I signed the other half of the postcard which she kept. There was a bit of pink highlighter on each half. Ms. Fureno told me later that the point was, when you meet again, you put the pieces of the postcard together. Its sort of like a promise to meet again. When you put our pieces together I am pretty sure it will be a heart. I wrote her a letter to thank her and promise that I would treasure her card. I gave her my rainbow skittle chapstick holder that I love.

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One of my favorite classes was 3-2 which is made up of around 36 third years. I’m heart broken I won’t see them graduate, but they were so sweet to me. We had a blast together always. They were the only third year class to ask me to sign their file folders. Funnier still, one of the boys in this class, aside from Mitsuki, is always sweet to me and cheers me up. He’s got a very gentle smile and face. Ms. Fureno told him that he was my favorite third year boy and he nodded saying, “Erica is my honey.” XD I think I might have blushed when she told me. I laughed so hard. I hope I see him again someday as a high schooler. It would do my heart good knowing he’d made it.

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Mistuki saw me at AEON once and shouted whilst waving, “ERICA SENSEI!” I’ve never felt so happy to see student before. ^_^ I had just been thinking none of my students would ever be so openly joyous to see me either.

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Aina, the last girl on the right, she wrote me a letter all in hirigana. It was special from the papers I got from other classes. She especially put it on stationary and sealed it. It was one of the sweetest things. She had me sign her bag and her file folder. The song I taught this time around was especially for her and Moriken because they asked me if I like Selena Gomez and when they found out I did were so excited, Aina the most. So I taught them “Love You Like a Love Song.” It went over really well. After my last class, I wrote Aina a letter, wrote out all the songs on the CD I was using, signed the case, and gave it to her English teacher to give to her from me. I hope she knows how special she is in my heart.

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I hope we will all remember each other.

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Our gangsta picture

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This is the picture we’ll so to the coppers so they won’t know we’re gangstas.

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My sweet special kids. We had a blast last class. Everyone was in a good mood though Yutaka, the boy holding my letter to them, had ridiculously bad luck BOTH games!! (We played MK twice.) They made that tissue box cover for me among other things. *cries*

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My last day at Takatsu was my birthday. My last class of the day, a second year class with Ms. Mitsuda, drew this and when I walked in sang me happy birthday. I cried of course. Their homeroom teacher sat in the back in an empty desk smiling and singing too. I really liked her. She had a sweet smile though we never really did much than say good morning. Amazing how sometimes that’s enough to make strangers friends.

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These boys came to the teacher’s room in order to give me their letters.

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All the English teachers and me!

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Yamigami and me!

Me and the Japanese teacher I always ate lunch with. She taught me so much very patiently!

Me and the Japanese teacher I always ate lunch with. She taught me so much very patiently!

Anyway, excuses aside, this last Friday finished my second week at Mutsumi Junior High School. There are only six classes while at Takatsu I had 27. That’s 120 students to the 900 I had before. It’s a big change.

Now, we all know that Erica takes to changes in her job like most Western cats take to water. But, while my eyes flooded with tears for a week straight as I said a watery goodbye to so many of the students and teachers I’ve grown close to, my heart brimmed hesitantly with hopeful emotions.

What’s around the corner, to learn and do? Who’s there on the other side of that door, to meet and know?

I was just as surprised as the cats normally are by just how wet the water was.

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A picture from my walk to Mutsumi

Mutsumi is a country school. It’s quiet. It’s gently rolling and covered in blonde wheat fields that glitter when rain falls. It’s a two and a half mile walk one way. The children are simple but in that simplicity, I didn’t have as much of a chance. A few like me, but I have become unuse to struggling against a tide of unwelcoming jeers. Takatsu is full of hundreds of friendly students and a few rough cranky ones. Many of the oldest children Mutsumi, who will become, or won’t as the case may be, tenth graders in barely a month are uninterested in making a friend of me. I am a ‘simple’ target for their frustrations and boredom. It doesn’t help that I’ve very little chance to make myself palatable to them since I am not allowed to play games or even create lessons. If I were to scale it though, I’m sure it’s the same amount that liked or didn’t like me at Takatsu, they’re just not as loud. Hahaha!

I’d sigh, but things worth getting are rarely easy to come by, so I won’t. I will keep my head up and my sighs in. I will look them in the eye. I won’t back down.

I suddenly feel like an Avril Levine song, but you get what I mean.

Jenny from Canada likes to say, “children are just children” and she’s right, but “Ericas are just Ericas” too. Maybe, before the next thirty days, I’ll have a few in my pocket.

Aside from the students, the teachers are really sweet. I was taking a REALLY dangerous road to school, the only one we know. The one that was almost getting me rearranged by purple semi’s and rather normal looking semi’s too. When they all learned about this, they had my neighbor teacher make me a REALLY detailed map of the back roads I can take. Though the walk is long by either route, I enjoy it. I enjoy it more than I ever did the walk to Takatsu and I can only assume it’s because the scenery is so picturesque.

Sometimes, on that walk, I spin. Like a little girl. I laugh at myself. I sing to myself. And God. I feel young. I feel healthy. I feel good about myself and life. I’m not sure what really does it, but it’s a really good almost two and a half miles.

So, the moral, there isn’t really one this time. But maybe, take a bit of time out of your day or even your week if you must wait that long like I know we sometimes have to, and walk. Walk an hour and don’t take anybody with you. Get away into some forested area and feel young again. Feel like the world only has you and God in it. Feel like He’s the only one looking and that the warmth you feel has nothing to do with the sun but with the smile gracing his perfect lips. Dad’s smiles are good like that.

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It really is beautiful out there. I don’t like getting up early, but I do love this walk. I’m glad it isn’t the summer time though…

6 thoughts on “Dad’s Smiles

  1. I love this! I’m glad you had a good last day with your students, and I’m glad you put up a ton of pictures! I know you previous students miss you like crazy. As for your two and a half mile walk to your new school– that is far! 5 mile round trip! (Your legs are going to be even more sexy the next time I see you! 🙂 ) and I can totally see you twirling in your skirt and singing on your walk to work. I love that about you. I love how original you are and you are one of a kind. 🙂 guess what?! Next month we will be friends for officially 15 years.

    Steven, Carson, and I miss you like crazy and I know Carson can’t wait to meet his Aunt Erica. 🙂

    • I miss y’all too!! Even Steven! Craziest thing. Lol

      Shucks, thanks Beatle Bug. <(//u//) Thanks.

      15 YEARS!! Wow!! That's more than half my life!!! That's amazing!!! I can't believe it!! I am super lucky!!! (≧∇≦)I'm sorry your stuck with me though! Hahahahahaha!! ( ̄▽ ̄)

  2. The pics are great! It really shows through that they love you! Don’t worry, even the toughest hearted kid can’t resist the Erica I know!

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