Saturday, May 19, 2007

Odd Requests

This week was very good from a teaching standpoint. The weather was nice, the kids were frighteningly good, and my company stayed out of my way. All of this goodness led me to feel somewhat generous.

The kids I taught this week will not see me until my triumphant return from America, therefore, I felt it necessary to take "presento" requests from the kids. Its not everyday they get a chance to interact with someone going to America so I figured I would get all of them something that is difficult or impossible to obtain in Japan. For the younger kids, I will be bringing back pennies, and small candy like Tootsie Rolls for they are cheap and keep well on long journeys. The only difficulty will be keeping myself from eating them.

The older kids know more English so I allowed them to make requests for small things that were not horribly expensive or big. Some of these requests so far have been interesting and mildly entertaining. Here is a list of what has been asked of me so far:

Pencils: They want an American pencil...umm...okay, can do. Way to reach for the
stars, though they get bonus points for wanting something they can use.

A Baseball Glove: Uhh....not happening. I suggested baseball cards instead and this
made two boys almost giddy with excitement. It will be fun to see
how they react to them when I come back.

A Baseball Bat: Not happening first of all, secondly, it was a girl that asked for it
which was kind of strange. Her next try was a signed baseball. I told
her that my city didn't have a professional team and she was shocked.
Sidenote: Most medium sized cities here have Pro Baseball teams. Her
next request was for just a baseball. I told her maybe but that isn't
really a neat souvenir so I don't think she is getting it unless I
get her a Boise Hawks ball or something.

Video Games: Probably not happening because of price but I may surprise them if I can
get a cheap GBA or DS game used. Plus to this request is that it would
be a motivator for learning more English.

Clothing: Another one I am not sure of but haven't totally ruled out. We will see, I
actually have some spare Boise High shirts that I was given to trade in
here that I may give to them instead. We'll see, the problem with clothes
is that most clothing that is truly American is expensive name brand crap.

Keychains: Can do!!

This list only came from two classes. I need to be careful or else I will be spending more than I want on these kids. There are only a handful of classes that are getting the privledge to make requests and I have already told them some stuff was too expensive so I think I am doing a good job not inflating their hopes too much and keeping the cost to me down. July will be a fun month just to be able to see how they like everything. I am especially looking forward to the baseball card guys because they asked for something unique, easy to find, and cheap. If I have money to spare I may pick each of the two boys up an Ichiro card or a Matsuzaka card so they can have an American card of a player they are familiar with.

Now that I think of it, I wonder of this whole week of being ungodly good to Tyson Sensei was just a simple ploy to get treats and goodies from me. Hmmm.


At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Tony said...

How about some postcards? Or shotglasses??

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Mrs Whittaker said...

My Aunt Coleen in Florida taught me something valuable on my trip there last summer -- the best place to find state-related souvenir crap is Walgreens. They have cheap shirts, local football team stuff, keychains, you name it. :)

Can't wait to see ya!

At 11:13 PM, Anonymous tony's mom said...

Ahhh! I happen to have at your disposal, baseball cards from when Tony was a little boy. They're yours, come and get'em!

At 4:51 AM, Blogger Mogwai said...

Thanks for all of the suggestions and offers, I will definitely have to try Walgreens for stuff. As for the baseball cards, I have a ton too from when I was little but I think these boys would like new cards with people they may know. Tony's baseball cards can rest easy knowing they have been spared a trip to Japan. :)

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Nighthawk at the Diner said...

Me I want a hooooola-hoop!

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Tony Puntsing said...

Oh, I'm fine with the "baseball cards" being taken. In fact, you might find more than just baseball cards...

...I have a butt load of Magic cards that are "surplus" Maybe the boy kids are into that??

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Steph said...

I just sent a huge box of stuff to a German kindergarten class. Found some fun Idaho (non-writing) stuff at the educator's store on Chinden but your kids are older (and working on English) so probably won't be as impressed with an Idaho wildlife coloring book. :) Walgreens was a great suggestion, I'll have to try that next time.
What exactly is the plan for getting all these, souvenirs, back to Japan with you?

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Mogwai said...

Getting the stuff back won't be hard, I am bringing a bag almost exclusively for stuff to bring back. I am bringing so much stuff back to stay that I will have a whole bag to take stuff with me back home in.


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