20 February, 2011

Cross-stitching, "Annie" and a long-weekend

So you might be wondering how yesterday went, with my cross-stitch card-making teaching. Probably a typical day in the classroom. Some of the girls picked it up really quickly, some didn't and most were in the middle. I was surprised that only a couple of girls finished in the time available, but others were very close to being finished. And they were able to take home almost all the materials needed to complete the project at home.

One measure of success was that no one seemed to want to finish when our time was up. They really got into their stitching. In fact it was a very quiet two hours. Though six of the eight girls came together and are friends, they hardly talked to one another except to get clarification.

The one big unexpected was their level of English. I think only a couple of them were comfortable in English. Thankfully the group of girls who came together brought a mum with them who helped me with some translation. I realised that there are a lot of pieces of vocabulary related to cross-stitch that I just don't know (and I didn't know I'd need it, so I didn't do some prior preparation). Like "knot" for example! Such a simple word, but if I ever did know it, I've forgotten it. So, unexpectedly, I spent a lot of my time trying to use my Japanese as best I could.

In the later afternoon David took the boys to the school musical production of Annie. I went the night before with a Japanese friend and her girls (she couldn't make it on Saturday). It was a fantastic show. I worried a little how the boys would manage as it was more than 2 1/2 hours long and some of the scene changes were quite long (think three or four minutes sitting in the dark). But David said they did well and all came home raving about the show. 

It amazes me how well a small school like CAJ (190 in the high school, 460 from K-12) can put on such great shows, year after year. I don't think I've seen a mediocre one in the five years we've been here. The musical talent, particularly, is tremendous. And the acting we saw on Friday and Saturday was truly excellent. Of course they have very dedicated and talented teaching staff and parents too.

One of the blessings of such a production in a small school is that we know or are familiar with many of the students or at least their parents. That brings a fun element to it.

So now we have the remainder of a long-weekend to rest. Or "Winter Break" as the Americans call it. Monday and Tuesday are days off. We're mostly taking a low-profile approach. Hanging about at home tomorrow and possibly a trek to a large shopping complex to investigate a pet or two on Tuesday. But generally low-key and hopefully restorative.


Walking to China said...

I love that! Very cute idea. It's so good to teach crafts is during the younger years. I've taught knitting to kids- some got it quickly and some not at all.

Cath said...

Enjoy your weekend! Well done for teaching (mostly) in Japanese - i'm impressed!

venzy said...

Pets - more crabs? A mouse?