Sunday, April 14, 2013

New school year happenings

Opening ceremony for the ninensei all the way through 6th grade was last Friday. Friday, April 5th. They were at school for only a couple hours, only to find out who their new teachers were. Have the starting ceremony in the gymnasium and that was it. I was anxious that day, wondering who would their new teachers be. Noah has a new teacher and so does Branden. They both have female teachers. Noah's teacher is about (if I were to take a guess) 50-ish. She has a reputation for being firm, not liking a lot of wild behavior, which is fine. But she is fair. I do not worry about Noah being in her class because frankly although Noah is a very gorgeous little boy, he has the heart of a nerd! : ) The Yuka-sensei last July told us during our parent teacher meeting last July, and I am being honestly serious here. She told us, "Noah's too good and she wish he'd loosen up a bit" Apparently he sits at his seat very straight hands on the desk. He doesn't disrupt class (not that he's supposed to). He helps others. And he finished his summer homework in 2 days, actually gave it to her during the parent teacher conference. And she laughed and said pointing at his Summer homework packet..."see what I mean!" He did that at Christmas time too, he had did his math drills etc, completely finished them all in November and had absolutely nothing to do all Christmas break, since his Christmas break homework was done in 2 days again.... she checked them and gave him a "finished sticker" on all his drills before he even went on Christmas break. He checked out 2 books and read them the first weekend of Christmas break. @_@ So, yeah knowing how Noah is in real life, when we found out it was to be the firmer teacher of the school. We laughed and thought,  absolutely no worries.....she isn't going to find fault in Noah. Because, he's just too much of a studious type. So, no worries at all. And it turns out, we were right. She/the teacher said the other day, her best boy in the class is Noah and her best girl is Lily-chan. @_@ Never heard a teacher actually vocalize who she thinks is her top student before, but apparently she did. @_@ Hahaha. Anyway, Noah's doing fine in her class. And hopefully this teacher will settle down some of the more unruly kids.  After the boys both came home that Friday, April 5th at 11am, we went directly to a few shops. To pick up new notebooks for both Branden and Noah. New colored pencils and a new gym/P.E. hat for Branden, Branden also got new paints. And new shuji ink. New clips for both the boys for hanging their cleaning rags behind their seats. Yadayadayada and oh....a new pencil sharpener. Pencil sharpener was 500 yen at Trial, so affordable.
Pencils and  Garigari stick glue from Yacs drugstore for both Branden and Noah. And that was it, basically.
Oh yeah and a 3 pack of cleaning rags, for each Branden and Noah and an extra sharpener for Noah and a stick correcter for Branden. And I name labelled everything that weekend and made sure they were ready for their first real day of school. April 8th.
New hangars for Branden. Oh and Branden's old teacher is remaining the 5th grade #2 teacher. Branden's new teacher apparently was a teacher at our shogakko a long time ago. Because Keita-kun whispered in Branden's ear, (that she was his older brother's ichinensei teacher.) And his brother is in high school right now. However she looks super young, like mid 20's seriously. She wrote a page about herself and who she is Friday  April 5th and Xerox copied copies to each of her students. To give to their parents, us. And she also asked her new students to write a 1 page paper telling her who they were and more info on them basically. I really think Branden's old teacher specifically put Branden in her class. After we read about her. : ) What did she say about herself? She said, she HATES marathons and hates running, this cracked me up because so does Branden. She said she lives to swim, again I thought, is she kidding us? Branden lives for swimming too! The paper she wrote about herself, really also described Branden to a T! And that was hilarious. I think they are very similar in their likes and dislikes, Branden and his new teacher. So they will get a long famously, I know it. And she also said she has a 3rd grade child. She also took an instant sticker pic of her and each student and stuck it onto their renrakucho, so we got to see a pic of her posing with Branden doing a silly pose, the 2 of them together. So, I can tell she is super nice. They sound like 2 peas in a pod. Branden said, when he walked in his class on Friday April, 5th, he introduced himself and sat down. And she told him..."so you are the hafu, American boy in my class I hear about." Which one is the American parent... your mom or your dad?" Branden said, "my mom"  : ) He came home beaming from ear to ear. He wrote his paper, who he is and what he likes and doesn't. He said, he hates running and marathons but he loves to swim. And Branden said, "he has a little brother named Noah and he's a 2nd grader and that we speak English in our home" He wrote a few more things. A few days later, Branden said his teacher said she enjoyed what he wrote. : )  So long story short, we miss Branden and Noah's old/former teachers but these teachers sound fine. Noah's teacher sounds like it's a fantastic match for his personality and Branden's sounds like a perfect match for his personality too.  Branden's teacher's name is Noriko-sensei. And Noah's teacher's name is, Koito-sensei. Oh yeah, Noah's teacher also wrote a small blurb about herself for us parents and this was very much appreciated and apparently this is her 2nd year at our shogakko. She taught elsewhere before. She has 3 kids. And her hobbies are knitting, onsen and going to the movies. We also are an onsen and movie loving family. So Noah's teacher sounds fine by me!!!! And I like hearing that she takes control of her classroom. Especially considering since Noah's class is large-ish in size, kid wise. I would be more nervous if she let the kids walk all over her. So yeah, I think she's going to be awesome. And Noah comes home each day telling us how she likes to chit chat with him in between clas time or whatnot. And how she asks him about swimming and what # he is. And he said he's a #4 and she ohhs and ahhs about it, like a good and kind teacher....and so Noah really likes her a whole lot.
April 8th was both Branden and Noah's first regular day of school. And April 9th was the entrance ceremony for the new ichinensei for our local school. Noah was so happy about the new ichinensei coming because 2 houses down from our house is Noah's very good friend, Litsu. He is only 1 grade/year younger then Noah. And they play together constantly on every weekend or day off or Summer vacation, etc. When we moved here, Noah was barely 6-7 month's old and L-kun's mom was just about to give birth to L-kun. So, their family has watched Noah grow up from his baby years and we have watched L-kun grow up his entire life also. A month ago, Litsu came over and told Noah, "I get to go to school with you next month!!!!" Granted he has a big brother too, Rin-kun who is 1 year younger then Branden. But they don't play together Rin and Litsu so much. Litsu plays with Noah and Branden more often then not. : ) Noah told Litsu, "I can't wait for you to come to our school!!!" So it has been something these 2 boys have been looking forward to very much! The day before the ichinensei got there. Noah's teacher said, she will list all ichinensei names and if anyone knows one of the kids raise their hands. Noah raised his hand when they named Litsu.So Noah was assigned to L-kun. And so the day after opening ceremony up until Friday, Noah would go into Litsu's class and help him get situated in the mornings showing him where his randoseru goes, where the ichinensei shoes go. Where their pianica go, that type of thing. All that good and help info. And during recess, Noah went and got Litsu and had him play with all his friends. So Litsu has been well taken care of. And it makes me proud Noah is that type of kid. Good egg.  : )

Branden now a 6th grader walked an ichinensei into the opening ceremony on Tuesday. They had no choice who they would walk in, Branden was hoping to walk Litsu in. But it was already decided by the teachers and Branden walked in a little girl. : ) Litsu had half days all this past week. Since Tuesday. Where as Noah got out of school at 2:45pm. Because every day, Litsu keeps ringing my bell asking, 'Is Noah-kun home yet?" I smile and chuckle...nope not yet honey, he'll be home around 3pm. Litsu says, "well how long is that from now?" lol. "Only 2 more hours to go Litsu-kun", I say. : ) 1 hour later, the door bell rings. Litsu now is holding 2 toy guns, "is Noah-kun home yet???" Nope, sorry honey, only 1 more hour to go" : ) When I left to get the boys, I waved at Litsu who was in his front yard and shouted, "okay I'll be coming back with Noah soon" "Yay" and squeals come from Litsu. When I get home, and trying to park my red car, he's now standing on our front porch practically bursting at the seems happy to see the boys!!!! Noah tells Litsu, give me just 5 minutes to put my stuff away. They run, into the house, drop off their backpacks and stuff, go to the restroom and grab a drink and run out playing. meanwhile, Genki cruises up shortly after on his bike and Branden and Genki go and play soccer, at the park on the next street. With a few older boys and Noah and Litsu are running about being zombies of some sort! Hahaha. So, yeah all this past week has been fun central on our street. : )

I know I lightly mentioned it before, but this year our family is, the block leader for our street. That is called the "hancho.", being hancho is unavoidable, in our housing community at least....and it goes house by house until it's your turn and your year. : ) And we are also the "fuku kaicho" this year.... now this is avoidable, but short story is, Noboru and I discussed this and we decided we can jointly do this, he will go to all the meetings, do all the paperwork, set the meetings and whatnot, and I'll distribute the keiranbans, while he's at work. So he does most of it, but I help when he can't be here and I can cover him and he can cover me. Plus nobody can ever say our family did not help out, period . Fuku kaicho, means basically the housing community's vice president. Note, the president is doing tanshin funin and living 98% of his time out of Japan, so yeah if you need something more likely then not, you'll be ringing our bell. And we also like the fact that we aren't the actual kaicho because if anything goes weirdly or horribly wrong, we are only 2nd in command, not 1st in command, but we don't foresee any problems though. But, that is a great relief also. And also since Branden is a 6th grader, for our housing community, I am also a, kodomo kai leader/member person, and I am doing this 100%, Noboru isn't doing any of this. So any party or event our housing community usually has, I will be heading that and be there. Summer dashi pull? Yep, I'll hand them their bells and pass out ice cream or drinks etc. Hahaha. Type a thing. @_@ So, 3 ways, we are involved this year. Hahaha. And what is that envelop in this picture? Well, a notice was given to everyone in the housing community, that a meeting is coming up such and such day (today actually at 4pm). And everyone is asked to be there. though we know more then likely not many will be there. But the note says, "I can't be there but I will agree to whatever has been decided" Most people filled out these forms and stuffed them into their local/block/street hancho's mail box and then the hancho of whatever block stuffed them into ours! Or you could stuff our mailbox directly either way. Many chose to be direct and just stuffed our mailbox directly! So all week, I see cars parked in front of our house with blinkers on. And putting envelops inside our mailbox. Hahaha. Yep, we're a very involved family/household. Very involved. Hahaha. And it works, because Noboru can do the job most guys in our area choose to do, like be hancho and fuku kaicho, and I can do the job most mommy's choose to do which is kodo kai member. And I can overlap Noboru on the kairanban type things and collecting forms etc, hancho and fuku kaicho-wise. So, we make a good team. And plus, our housing community we hire our own landscaper, and they do all landscaping and light bulb changing type things. We just need to over see it gets done. So no real manual labor type work necessary.