Saturday, June 16, 2012

Branden and Noah's observation day last week

Last Friday, June 8th was observation day at our local elementary school in our town. This was Noah's 2nd observation at the elementary school. For the first class the 3 of us showed up to support Noah! The Yuka-sensei was teaching Math. All of the kids did awesome. You could show up anytime in the day. So just a handful of parents were there for the first class, but they did come to other classes also. 
Every child has many of their work, essays or projects proudly displayed along the walls of the classroom. Those particular papers, each child wrote their feelings about how they enjoyed taking care of their morning glory. Each child is given a morning glory to water, care and take care of, even on Summer break they will bring them home. After Noah's first class, we waved see you. And we told Noah we were now making our way to Branden's class.
Inside Branden's class (again all 3 of us went and showed our support for Branden same as we did for Noah). Remember I mentioned the kids all had make shift aquariums and have teeny tiny fish from the rice fields the school has. These are them. They're cool. The kids enjoy watching the life cycle of the fish and things that are part of our country living. Cost for this? Free. Each child brought their own used bottle and the fish and rocks etc were collected in nature. The sensei bought a big bottle of fish food granted, but yeah it's a really cool thing Branden and his classmates are doing and learning about.
Branden in the green tee.
My dad finds their school so cool! : )
Again each class proudly hangs lots of each childs work. This was Branden's essay about how he enjoyed planting the rice.
More of the kids stuff written on the wall. Branden's is on the bottom right.  What that is, is each child has a picture up that the sensei takes. They were all standing near the cherry blossoms. They give their blood type. Their astrological sign. : ) And like, a small questionnaire. Who do you look up to? What would you like to work on? Just fun questions. And last but not least draw a picture in this box. Kids choice, as long as it can fit into the box. I liked seeing what each child picked to draw. More farther left, is book report done well, on the wall. What class did we get to watch of Branden's? English class. How did we luck out with that? I have no idea, we knew in advance we would watch Branden's 2nd class, it just happened to be English for that day. Go figure!  So the video below in from Branden's English class. They have listening, understanding, writing, conversation. It was a cool hour to watch the English class. I think on a fair note, it was a little nerve racking for the English teacher to have 2 Americans sitting at the back of the class watching. I felt so sorry about that. But honestly I even said it on my blog last week we were planning to attend the 2nd class for Branden. So as all of you now, it really and sincerely wasn't intentional, honest. You could almost hear her heart beating from the back of the class. English is not her native language (which is totally fine), but I think she did a great job. And I like that my children do get English at elementary a couple times a week. She did come to the back of the class and asked me and my dad if we'd like to participate. We both politely declined and said we'd just prefer enjoy observing. Like all the other parents/grandparents. : ) Noboru told me, you guys are making her nervous by being here (he didn't mean it to be mean). Which again I had no idea which class it would be to begin with,since observation day they usually have a different schedule then their normal schedule classes. There wasn't anything I could do about it really. And I did tell her, I enjoyed the class afterwards. : )
Okay so after 2nd period English class. They announced on the speaker system all kids would go outside and get some fresh air and exercise for the morning. 15 minutes. So Noboru left at that point. He had to get himself ready for work, but I was glad he could watch both Branden and Noah's 1 class each, at least he showed up. So he rocked for that. Meanwhile my dad and I made our way to the school grounds. Btw (by the way) my dad told me about a month ago, while he was out walking with friends. He goes for morning walks with a small/handful group of guys and gals in his age group from his church most mornings. Anyway it rained earlier and as they were walking from the sandy beach to the sidewalk, my dad walked over some wet rocks (from the rain) he thought he could make it over them but he slipped. He went to the docs a month ago nothing broken. But apparently he had some ripped ligaments and tendons or whatever. Anyway, since I heard this over the phone, well skype but ykwim and he hasn't mentioned it since. I was very surprised when I saw my dad when he arrived walking as slowly as Willy Wonka walked (Gene Wilder Wonka) before he let them enter the chocolate factory gates. @_@ I had no idea his leg was THIS bad. And I had planned for us to watch at least 2 classes each for Branden and Noah. But I quickly scrapped that idea when I saw how badly my dad's leg was the day before. When my dad walked up the hill of the school, I was up the hill and we waited a few minutes for him to catch up. My dad is always healthy and super genki so it was sad his leg is like that. His doctor said it should heal within a few months but since he's older things take longer to heal. Bummer. And when we were in the genkan of the school, he took so long to take his shoes off, the secretary came out to ask if he was okay. @_@ So I relay in English for my dad.....She wants to know if you are okay dad. Please tell her I'm fine he told me. So I relayed back....Yes...he's fine. So, I walked to the field, my dad slowly walked with me. : )
As you know, I am an only child. I have no siblings. So, these are my dad's only 2 grandchildren he will ever have. He sat there watching, smiling.
Noah and his class doing the hula hoop.
The Yuka-sensei, Noah in the yellow and some of his classmates.
And the 5th grade #2 class.  Doing the unicycle.  Fwiw, Noah learned the unicycle since April of starting here and he would like to have a unicycle now here at home.
The 2nd graders are growing mini tomatoes. Each class grows something at our school. Whether it's rice, tomatoes and so on. : )
This says...Noah. This is Noah's morning glory.
First graders morning glory's.
Part of their school.
So, with my dad's leg the way it was, I said we'd go into Noah's class for a minute or two before leaving and heading home. My dad wanted to attend Branden and Noah's observation day very much and he did. However my dad's leg and healing of said leg was also on my mind and worry for me. So, I said, we will leave after a few minutes. This was Noah's displayed artwork on the outside of his classroom.
We entered Noah's class for the 3rd period. All the kids were drinking from their thermos's. They were all hot from all that active play. Noah's hair was damp from sweat. Which is why his hair style looks different then his first class. : )
We were the only folks in there observing this 3rd class, just my dad and I. So, I said quietly to Noah, we will leave now and we both waved, he waved back and we quietly left.  I suggested to my dad, I run down the hill go and get the car and swing around and pick him up from the front entrance of the school, but he said he was fine to walk down the hill (I really think he wasn't). My poor dad hobbled down the hill. He rested at home. I prepped dinner. And my dad and I talked about maybe him staying at my house while I walked the kids home from disaster day practice. Or what should we do? My dad felt somehow he would be letting down his grandsons. Which of course I said he was not. They were so happy he was there. He did enough. But he is stubborn also so he wanted to be there for disaster practice.
Disaster practice was to start at 2:50pm, but considering my dad's leg, we left the house at 2pm. Figured he'd need the extra time getting there.  We watched the last 10 minutes of Noah's last class. And then the disaster prep happened outside. First graders stood in one spot, 2nd graders next to them....and so on. My good friend Rumi-san chatted with us. We talked about my dad's leg with her and basically she's an amazing friend and my neighbor who lives 1 block away. The announcement said, go and stand with your child. However I have 2. So, my dad said, you go stand with Noah and I'll go stand with Branden (the announcement said if you have more then 1 child here stand with the younger child, but again my dad doesn't want either grandson to feel left out). So, my dad might have walked quite slowly but he got there! At this point it was pretty much obvious to us and the school we weren't going to walk all the way home. However considering everyone saw how my dad's leg was, nobody would have blamed us a bit. They knew he had injured his leg and they've also seen him before to know it is just a temporary injury not a permanent one. : ) So, there you have it, Branden and Noah's observation day and disaster drill in a nutshell.