Hi, guys, it’s Grant. I was going to go to Bookoff and purchase the Complete Shelock Holmes novels and stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I was going to do that because of a girl I taught called Ayane. Let me tell you a story. In my last school, there were some returnee students: three of whom I will always remember. Their names are Ami, Ayane and Sakura. Whatever I write is for all of my kids, because they were the ones who taught me. Let’s look at these three kids, individually. Ami was in 1F. She is an absolutely amazing child. I mean she is 13 but she could become anything. She was fluent in Japanese and English. She had spent some time in America- maybe 5 years. And although she knew everything we had to teach her, she would be the first to put her hand up. Her dedication to me reads like this, “Dear Grant, Thank you very much for teaching us English. I had a great time talking with you!! When I was talking with Grant, I was remembering my life in America. I hope you will have nice days at your next school. I’ll miss you!! (This kanji means “happiness”), Your student, Ami.” I am very proud of that, and I am so glad I got the chance to meet, greet and teach those kids. The second person, I want to talk about is a girl called Sakura. Now Sakura was in my favorite JETs home room class. Her English was probably not as good as Ami’s but she’s a really lovely kid. She’s great. But she needs a lot of pushing and pulling. See, Sakura doesn’t want to stand out. She wants to be in the middle of the crowd. She wants to be just like everyone else. The third person on this list is Ayane. Do you know what I hope she will become? I hope she will be a writer. It must be her dream.
Let me write a little bit about my encounters with those three kids. Ami was one of if not the best and brightest kids in 1F. A lot of teachers didn’t like teaching 1F, but I loved it, to death. We had a guy called Ore Ore, or Me Me. That’s what we used to call him. Because he was the loudest kid you’d ever see. We had some fun, man. We had so much fun. But they didn’t try too hard. In the same class there was also Minami. Her twin brother was in 1B. You know how fraternal and identical twins are different. You should have seen them. Shuto Hattori always had his hand up, was really small, and was never afraid to be embarrassed. Minami was like the other pea in the pod. She was big boned, but she had such a lovely smile. She was a good student, but she would never put her hand up. And I told them that I, Grant the coolest person in the room, didn’t watch TV much. My favorite program was NHK Shogi. She said she liked it, too. Other kids I will always remember are a girl called Emi who followed me around like a puppy dog. And Fu Nakagawa, my king of communication, that little tennis loving freak who was so difficult for everyone else, but I would just love to see him. Their homeroom teacher gave me a present, and that gift will never be forgotten. But Tominaga sensei, my favorite JET was always down on them. And she said, she thanked Ami personally for her presence. Now, Ami is nothing but a gift. I think her truly wonderful. But, and I told my JET this, it doesn’t help. We’re trying to teach all of these kids. It was like Ami needed to disappear a bit into the crowd so everyone else could rise up and take her place.
TO BE CONTINUED