Andrew Magrath (biggrumpy) wrote,
Andrew Magrath

Cleaning Stories

Last week there were parent teacher conferences. In Japan, all parent-teacher conferences are held at students’ homes, the teachers bike there to talk to parents. But there are also seminars for parents held at school. One of the rooms near the hall that I clean every day was in use. So they had to move all the tables out of that room. In doing so they blocked off my broom closet and my kids and I couldn’t get to our brooms. So I told the kids on Thursday that cleaning time was canceled today, but Friday we would be “Big Cleaning.” Well Friday came our broom closet was still blocked, so I told the kids cleaning was canceled for a second day in a row. They were ecstatic that they didn’t have to clean (not that they do much cleaning when it is a cleaning day anyways). But I told them that Monday would be “Super Cleaning Day” to make up for all the lack of cleaning on Thursday and Friday. The kids all thought that was really funny and were yelling “Supa [the Japanese version of “super”] Cleaning!” It was funny on Friday. By Monday they were still telling me that today was “supa cleaning!” So, apparently, many had given it some thought over the weekend. When it came time to actually do the supa cleaning, they did really well. We cleaned the whole hallway in one day which is, by all standards of previous cleaning periods, a miracle. Thus, the myth of Super Cleaning Day will no doubt echo the (somewhat cleaned) halls of Tanigawa for a while.

Today I had a mop, and by “a mop” I literally mean a dirty rag on the end of a stick. So I went to the boys’ bathroom to get water on my rag. While there, boys were cleaning the bathroom with a hose. While I was wetting my rag at another faucet, the hose came off its faucet. What is funny are the kids reactions. The water just splashed a little. I was closest to the scene of the splashing and wasn’t even touched by the water, but one boy yelled “CRAZY!!” and another boy yelled “UNBELIEVABLE!!” The fact that they used English in this way is very amusing to me. Many students have a hard time understanding English’s metaphorical nature, so for a boy to know that this situation was even a little “crazy” was totally unexpected and very funny in itself. But to then have it followed up with a kid knowing, and perfectly pronouncing, “unbelievable” was, well, pretty unbelievable. So that is my crazy story about cleaning day today.

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