It’s been approximately TEN BILLION YEARS since I updated, so, here we go. School has been… well, up and down. At the small school, one of my teachers changed – the original teacher is sick, or something, so there’s a long-term substitute. I’m not totally sure how I feel about her – she doesn’t make very good use of me. I was trying to be unobtrusive and not step on her toes, but I think I should have been a little more forward about HEY YOU SHOULD USE ME.

Also at this school, the teacher for the second and first years has taken to running off and leaving me with the first years alone. This is .. getting marginally less awesome. Okay, so let me explain. I’m not supposed to be alone with the students, FULL STOP. For two weeks in a row, she had me do basically just that. But I was okay with it, actually, because I had notice, and I had things to do with them – easy things, that would occupy their time. I could feel like yes, even though the real teacher was gone I was being helpful.

Because I think that I was helping, because the first years there like me a lot, and though they can get a little noisy it’s all very good natured. Because it’s nice to have some responsibility.

On the other hand, yesterday we were in class and there were fifteen minutes left to go and she turned to me and said I must go now to a meeting and please stay here and they will write these sentences. To which I said, Of course, but there are only three sentences and there are nearly fifteen minutes left, okay only 12, but what else will they DO, I can hardly start the next unit!. So I “checked” their work – which, okay, was totally necessary, because some of them made some pretty serious mistakes – practicing the whole time with incorrect spelling, for example, or completely missing the point of the exercise.

But something that I would have been more than happy to do with just the slightest bit of warning was sort of awkward when she just sprang it on me out of nowhere.

At the larger school, we’re getting new students. So far there are three, all of them Pakistani. One, a boy, speaks only tiny fragments of Japanese, slightly more English, and mostly Urdu. (There is no teacher at the school who speaks Urdu.) I have no idea how he’s managing in classes like history or science, but he apparently is enjoying math because he can mostly understand it. English is hard – I try to help out when I’m there, but it’s a first year class so nobody has that much English. And of course all the instructions and explanations are in Japanese, so even though he can hear the English being used I’m sure he’s pretty confused about the specifics and the underlying reasoning. It would have been better if he came in at the start of the year – though he seems to be all set on things like the alphabet, so maybe that would have just been hugely tedious. He sits with a friend, who is also Pakistani, and who apparently speaks Urdu as well as Japanese. Sometimes the friend doesn’t seem to be there, though, and then he looks pretty miserable.

The other two just came today, they spent the last several (eleven?) years in Dubai. They also lack Japanese, but they have very good English, particularly the older girl. (She’s a second year. Her accent is negligible. I’m impressed!) I guess I’ll see how they do – the teachers are all talking about them as I type this, presumably teaching these two new kids will be easier than the boy who speaks neither. Not that all my teachers are fluent in English, but they at least have a fighting chance this way, unlike Urdu.

In non-school news, I am missing cookies like whoa. I am forcing myself not to invade friend-with-a-stove’s apartment and make, like, 50 bahillion batches. Because clearly I would just EAT THEM ALL.

Actually, in solution to that problem, I really wish one of my teachers would bring in something that appeared to be handmade, so that I could share homemade cookies with them. But no, everybody who brings in gifts brings in packaged gifts, and I don’t know if they would react with JOY (my response, obviously) or with EWW GERMS or WTF WHY DID SHE BRING THESE?

Also, my schools have kind of a lot of teachers – there’re like 25 at my SMALL school, and something like 40 at my big school – so I can’t just notice that I have, say, 20 cookies more than I really personally need, because that’s not enough. I would have to deliberately make enough for my school(s).