on justice -Benedict/James Orbinski

''Justice only fails when we fail to imagine that it is possible. But like so many things, it depends not only on imaginings but on what we do.'' - James Orbinski

Monday, February 5, 2007

Students, Friends and a Gift from Above

Hehe, today, I have 3 stories to tell. Though generally speaking they are all related back to the last story, they are each distinctively important from another so I must (I must!) give them each their own title and an extensive passage filled with perhaps at times wordy, superfluous details. =) I may get carried away when I'm happy with what I'm writing.

So, here goes.


I had to stop by Dazaifu East Jr. High school this afternoon for a weekly English club I started a few months back. I remember when, at the beginning, at least 15 students showed up (Mon and Wed added together), all 3rd grade guys and girls, with the guys slightly outnumbering the latter. Oh... I assure you that I'm not scary, but the number went down to about 7-8 after the fourth week. And I was left with 8 boys: Kou, Tsukuru, Yuuta, Shuuta, Akira, Kouta, and Yuuki (x2). But every week, we have a blast =) or at least, I do. No, I don't bring out my secretly hidden karate skills and tame my students as Yangumi in Gokusen does (ごめんね、のぶえちゃん!). These boys are definitely one of the most unforgettable bunch in Japan, and will stay in my memory forever as the グレイトMAME CLUB MEMBERS. Oh, but unfortunately, none of them were able to make it today because they were waiting for their high school entrance exams' results. Yuuki (#1), who is the most talkative and energetic among the GMCMs, has regrettably, the poorest English. But, one of my favourite students nonetheless. Today, when he ran into me, I reminded him of the club. When he told me that he couldn't make it today in Japanese, I repeated 'Wednesday' a few times. He flashed me one of his trademark 'Not-really-sure-what-you're-talking-about--but-ok-sure-hahahaha' smile. I wonder what the word 'Wednesday' must've meant for him. =.=

After finding out that I had no club today, I walked towards the lobby, and that's when I heard some 2nd grader boys calling me - not by name - but by the one phrase I taught them in French before. It's funny how they can't recall the months in English, but are able to retain French and Korean expressions I taught them that one time. And, I don't think I've ever received as many 愛の告白before in one day. My name is now "Je t'aime!" , "Au Revoir!" and "Sarang-he-yo!"

Then, as I was preparing to leave school on my bike, I bumped into another student (not of the GMCMs), Konou, a more rebellious version of Yuuki (1). The one that I bumped into during Christmas break with Hiukei and Og! =) Anyhow, he ran towards me, attempted to get on the backseat, while trying to convince me to let him. When I told him he was too heavy, he immediately rolled his eyes and gave me one of his sneaky winks. "I'll ride it then!" He then half-dragged me off the seat, forced me sit in the back and then took over my bike. He had fun making large U-turns in front of the school, pretending to bump into a car, and laughing his head off. I was too busy trying not to fall off to notice if any of the teachers of the school Principal was nearby. @_@ Konou also rode past his group of friends, obviously proud that he could scare the wits out of me. When we got off, a few boys ran up to him shouting and one actually grabbed him by his collar, 'What the heck are you doing?!'

Wahahahahaha. I never had this many boys fight for me. =p

But Konou will pay next time ... watch out for unwilling in-class participation. >=)


When I arrived at home, I glanced in my mailbox and found a card from Canada. It was from a friend in Vancouver, who I met in McGill. Though we only met up a few times, I still receive spontaneous greetings from her time to time. What a nice surprise =) And while I know, I know... just how convenient E-mails & E-cards are, I just can't help but stress the wonders that hand-written letters & heartfelt cards can do to one's spirit after a long day of work. What a refreshment.

After I finished reading the greeting card, I noticed that I was also holding another yellow slip ... from the Post Office! The yellow slip is yet another wonder, my magical vitamin. When I read that the package is from CANADA, a few names came to mind, but one I thought to be almost certain... and right I was! ^-^


Also, my first Japanese Birthday Dinner with Saori's family! =D Unfortunately I was too absorbed in the happy, hilarious and heartwarming conversations during dinner that I forgot about my camera. Though it immediately clicked in my mind when Saori brought out the cake.

There's nothing like the gifts that God gives

When I was biking home from the Post Office, I catched a glimpse of the sky and had a sudden urge to just lift one of my hands and try to "catch" the Sun between my fingers. At that moment, the Sun was almost entirely veiled by the surrounding clouds, and was barely visible. But I did it anyway. And what came after that took my breath away.. Within the next five seconds, the clouds began to drift away while the glistening rays shone through these white, disappearing walls. It was simply amazing.. He compelled me to lift up my hand so that He could give me the Sun.

"If you, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11)

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