Saturday, December 07, 2002
Saturday is the busiest day of the week at the language school where I work. We arrive at 9:20am to prepare our lessons, which involves checking the day's schedule (8 classes a day), trying to find the files (with a big emphasis on trying), then attempting to find a lesson that none of the 3 or 4 students in the group has done recently (with a big emphasis on...ah, you know what I'm going to say). Our school has hundreds of students, but some come the same time every week and have burned through all the lessons, so this can be a nightmare. Anyway, we always manage to come up with something. We have to. Most of the students are lovely: friendly, chatty, cool and interesting. But there are a few who just sit and look at you, struck dumb, and these are the people who come at the same time every week. If I've learned one thing over the last nine months, it's how to keep a conversation going, about any subject: the weather, English food, me, sumo wrestling, Harry Potter, life as a systems engineer, me, whether or not window shopping can be classified as a hobby, me, the declining birthrate in Japan - which is happening because young women these days want to go to work and Japanese men refuse to do housework, apparently - and, um, me.

Today's students were mostly cool, including some 'returnees' - kids who used to live in English-speaking countries but have now returned to Japan, their English-speaking abilities ebbing away. I also taught (God, I nearly typed 'teached' - it's catching) a group of hyperactive 5-year-olds. "It's an angel. It's a Christmas tree. It's green." I love teaching the kids, though - they're so cute, and I had them all singing "We wish you a merry Christmas" and "Jingle Bells". Although this version of "Jingle Bells" went "Ee ee ee, ee ee ee, uuh uuh uuh uh uuuh..." Still, they knew the tune.

Have just been to the Post Office to pick up a parcel full of Christmas presents from my mum. Of course, I will wait until Christmas Day to open them. Tomorrow night is our office Xmas party: karaoke, which I LOVE. My top karaoke tunes:

1. Hound Dog by Elvis
2. Faith by George Michael
3. Billie Jean by Wacko Jacko
4. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran

I have also been known to do a rendition of It's Raining Men, during which two gay guys kept trying to tweak my nipples.