Friday, May 01, 2009

Getting lei'd, home visits, and flamingos...always flamingos (it's Friday, ya know!)

Happy May Day!! Or...if we were in Hawaii (like totally in my dreams!!), I'd say
Happy Lei Day!
In Hawaii, May Day is also known as Lei Day, and is normally set aside as a day to celebrate island culture in general and native Hawaiian culture in particular. While it was invented by a poet and a local newspaper columnist in the 1920s, it has since been adopted by state and local government as well as by the residents, and has taken on a sense of general spring celebration there.
If you come to my house and see all the leis that I have....don't get the wrong idea...okay? Okay.
Today, the boys' teachers came for home visits. No....they haven't done anything bad as would be the case for a home visit by a teacher in the States. This is a yearly event that we, usually moms, have to endure. (Though, from talking to students that are not from this part of the country, the home visit is slowly disappearing elsewhere.)

Here in Nagasaki, every spring....usually at the end of April/first of May, homeroom teachers go and visit each student's house and talk to, more often than not, the mom. It's kind of a quick "meet and greet"....parent and teacher checking the other out....each secretly knowing that the genkan is never that clean, except for the home's a quick 15 minute chat. Some people will offer tea or cookies, but both are usually declined. Some teachers have been known to ask to see the student's room and desk....I've never had this happen, (thank God!) their room is a "disaster area~~enter at your own risk" kind of room!!

So, at approximately 2:00....... the genkan (entrance way) in our house was were put away...fuzz bunnies disposed of, the pile of jackets/picnic blankets/slippers/hats either hidden or put in another location. The floor had been swept...the barely alive little gecko I found under the bench was gently put outside...bug boxes placed in other parts of the house...knick-knacks dusted.....I was ready!! Issei's teacher came at 2:20 and Koji's came at 3:00.

This year I was told that Issei is having no problems...he is turning his homework in on time...he is raising his hand and answering more questions...he has volunteered for various jobs in the classroom. At this point I think I actually asked, "Issei?" She smiled and said that he is very different from last year and he seems to be really trying hard.

(That's the sound of a year's worth of stress leaving my body.)

Fingers are crossed this really wonderful behavior continues!!

And then.....Koji's teacher. (Can you feel the stress starting to build back up?)

While Koji is very energetic and excited to learn, according to his teacher, he seems to have 2 things we need to work on: the incredibly short fuse on his temper and the inclination he has to follow the "my way" way of doing things. No, nothing to do with Frank Sinatra, but instead that is the term used to describe people who are independent and do things the way they want and when they want.

We've been working on that temper thing and he has gotten better but he has setbacks sometimes, but I'm not really worried. Also, I'm not so sure we need to really work on that other thing so much. As she was talking, I flashed on that story that gets passed on to all university students working on Education degrees. You know the one....the little girl who draws the beautiful pictures with so many wonderful colors and then when she gets to school, the teacher tells her that "trees are green...clouds are blue...and the sun is yellow"....and the little girl's creativity is smashed forever.

Though I understand the need for Koji to understand that there are rules that need to be followed and a time and a place to sing (he tends to sing while he's writing or drawing)....he has so much imagination and creativity racing through his little body, I don't want to see him lose that fantastic energy that just oozes from his whole being.

And then....after the teacher left and I had a beer (this is stressful, man!), I remembered that Issei's 1st Grade teacher said basically the same thing about him. And you know what? He has turned out okay.....and Koji will too.

But...just in case things get a little rougher before they get better....I'm keeping this recipe help put things into perspective!!

Happy Friday, everyone!
May your day be a good one and a great way to start the weekend!!!


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I can't imagine what I would see if I visited the homes of the students I've been working with this year--actually I can and it would be scary.

Enjoy your lei day and your weekend!

Janet said...

May I have one of those, please? Thank you! Happy Lei Day!!!

smalltownmom said...

Lei day...I like it!

phd in yogurtry said...

I'm in my 40's and never been Lei'd. Isn't that sad?!

So it's nice to read that SOMEBODY, at least, is getting lei'd. Enjoy every minute!

jan in nagasaki said...

2 visits done with.... and one more to go... for jr high I get to go to the school to meet with the teacher... and discuss the future...... heavy sigh.. will the stress never end!!!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Lays? Bet you can't eat just one.

3rdEyeMuse said...

I can't stop giggling ... must be the recipe at the very end!

actually, sounds like you had good teacher visits if you ask me ... but you didn't ... so guess it makes-no-never-mind. :)