My own group

Either they forgot I am new or I’ve graduated from assistant because when I showed up to the staff meeting today before the junior high students arrived, my initial was next to one of the planting areas. Not me and Kawasaki-san as usual. Just me.

Oooooh! Exciting. A bit scary, too. Fortunately, my mentor was at the other end of the same tanbo, with three groups including probably one I should have had. I feel like I was being set up for success.

I think I held my own with class 4, section 6. It was just 7 junior high kids (all the other staff had 14-20 kids in multiple groups) but that was enough. I inflamed their enthusiasm with my own and gave them the best instructions I could muster. Lots of laughing. Lots of praise. One girl fell in and was very jolly about it. I was shown many carefully captured tadpoles and tiny frogs.

Their finished planting was pretty good. There were a few gaps where one of the boys didn’t quite understand what to do, but overall, they worked efficiently as a team and managed straightish rows. They counted to five. They all moved forward together. Kawasaki-san looked at their work later and commented “umai” which means good or nice. Whew.

Not all of the 140 students were as diligent as my group and there was plenty of correction to be done, but I managed to not do much of it. 🙂 There’s one more school group coming next week and then the planting phase of this season is over. I might get away with not buying high boots until next year.

One happy moment for me was when the buses were boarding. I received exuberant shouts of “Bye, Kristen!” and big waves which was gratifying.

And here’s your nature lesson for today. The white object hanging in the tree over the paddy is not a plastic bag or anything manmade. It is the egg sac of a frog; I think it’s the Japanese Brown Frog (akagaeru). The tadpoles drop one by one into the paddy. So cool. Our field was full of frogs today.

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Mediatinker, Kristen McQuillin, is an American-born resident of Japan since 1998. This blog chronicles her life, projects, thoughts, and small adventures.