I've hit a low point in my motivation this week. I don't know what it is. Maybe a third or fourth wave of culture shock. I feel really cranky and my Japanese speaking skills are still not great. Which is enhanced by the willingness of around me having no problem commenting on how silly I sound.
I was online today searching for stuff for the English lesson I have to do tonight. I work with a family for an hour each monday. Four kids, aged 11, 9, 6, and 4. They're sweet, but the two youngest are manic as hell. No matter what game I come up with at some point the 6 yr old or the 4 year old (either taking turns or at the same time) start crying. I then have to refuse to play and just wait for the 11 year old to police the situation. Which is what they seem to want any way. Still it's frustrating because I'm planning activities way below the 11 year old's level and when I do stuff that's accessible for the younger children it always ends in fighting.
I end up getting paid about 4,000 yen (about $35) for sticking out the hour. I just wonder what the mother thinks when she hears the screaming and stuff from the other room. My guess is that she's in the kitchen, drinking a beer and watching the clock. Happy for her one hour off a week.
After many weeks of making my best attempt at planning games, I'm going back to one of my favorites: coloring. The kids love it, I love it. There's no bickering - save for who gets which color.
I decided to mix it up today and searched for Japanese webpages with coloring activities. I'll write the English names of objects next to the pictures and run off copies. In searching, I remembered how popular coloring books for adults are in Japan. My guess is that it's a good stress reliever. You can check out the page I found here. If that's not enough you can always copy and paste 大人塗り絵 (otona nurie) into Google.
My most favorite page, though, is the colorable lessons for kids. Little slogans. Like, "Let's wash our hands," or "Let's brush our teeth." They also have "Poop in the toilet!"