Kobe Days

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Chronicles of an elementary 給食 (January & February)

I know I said I’d try catching up, but I’ve been suffering from pretty bad insomnia for the past couple of weeks. Add that to a pretty hectic schedule catching up with the classes I’d missed and well, blogging just wasn’t a priority.

I’ll try to keep up. By the way, if you’re not one of my regular readers (you know who you are), why not introduce yourself to me? I’d love to know who’s reading my blog :3

First up, Mr Snake said Hi on the 1st of January. Of course, if you’re Chinese, it wasn’t really the Year of the Snake yet. Heh.
(By the way, the kagami-mochi (鏡餅)he was sitting on was only broken on the 7th.)


More pictures here…


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Chronicles of an elementary 給食 (December)

Yes, I know I’m a month late. In my defence, January has been a really busy month and I’m suffering from my 4th cold in 3 months. I swear Japan is trying to welcome me with its full range of cold viruses.

December was a busy month, but an exciting one. Carolling with some of the other JETs (flash-mobbing the Flower Clock, but we did get an audience!), learning how to cook 鸳鸯河粉 for a SE-Asian food party, inviting myself to my ES enkai (& skipping my JHS one), attending my first Christmas JET party, and finally, ending the year in Seoul. Definitely a huge contrast to my previous Decembers. XD

December 6

Bread (again…), fried fish and vegetable soup (Class 5-3)

It had been a very bad week, but the day got a lot better when one of my 5th graders came to the staffroom during recess and told me her dream was to be lovely like me. Awwwwww :’)


December 7

Rice, vegetable curry, fried chicken strip, boiled broccoli (Class 5-2)

5-2 was the first class I ever had lunch with, and there’s a boy in there who got teased a long time by his classmates when, in response to his very loud insistent questioning on whether I had a “boy rabu rabu”, I replied “(name) rabu rabu!” You would have thought he’d learnt his lesson. But…no. Sigh. Silly boy.


December 10

Rice, squid cooked with teriyaki sauce and stewed mixed vegetables

Another busy week at my elementary! My ES got confused by the garbled version of the calendar provided by my JHS teacher-in-charge and thought I was available the whole week when I’m not. As a compromise, I managed to squeeze one day out for my JHS classes, but I had to mix 1st and 5th grade classes on a couple of days. It’s confusing! ><

Anyway, this day, my nutritionist invited me to watch the kitchen staff put up a play about eating everything for the nakayoshi class, so I ate in the staffroom instead. She asked me to help translate it into simple English for them to perform. (My principal's idea. I don't think it worked out in the end. It was fun, though.)


December 12

Rice, fried pork cubes, egg drop soup (Class 5-5)

There was a very noisy kid in this class, and his surname made me think of another noisy kid in my JHS class, so I asked him if he had a brother. He did. The teacher asked me later how I knew that, and I told her about the similarities between the two boys, ie, both of them don’t know when to keep quiet in class. She apologised for the younger brother’s behaviour. >< Poor teacher. That wasn't the point I was trying to make.


December 13

Bread, borscht, vegetable “salad” (Class 5-4)

I made a face in this class while drinking my milk. (I really dislike plain milk to start with, and the milk they serve is just…yucks.) A couple of the kids I was with were sympathetic and wanted to ask the class for permission to let me skip the milk. Sweet kids!


Later in the staffroom, I had to do some serious sweating over something I needed for tomorrow’s 6th grade class.

Behold the limits of my artistic ability!


Shut up. I barely passed art.

December 14

“Bibimbap”, fried prawns, seaweed soup (Class 6-1)

The 6th graders learnt how to make their own thingamingy that I made the day before. It had them poring over tour booklets (that my very resourceful 6th grade teacher “received” from JTB XD) and choosing a country to draw about. Some of the kids in my problem class chose Singapore, which made me happy.


December 20

Bread, apple jam, chowder, “ikan bilis” (Class 5-3)

I love the ikan bilis. I wish we had that more often.


December 21

Rice, pumpkin stirfry, fish ball soup, oranges (Class 6-2)

Teachers got more than one orange each! XD But I was asked to leave the extras behind while I ate with my class. Fruit is such a rare treat in 給食.


So that was my 給食 adventures for 2012! Stay tuned for a trip report of Korea and more adventures in 2013~

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Chronicles of an elementary 給食 (November)


A long break later, I’m back! So many things to update.

But because I’m boring like that, here are more pictures of my school lunch! 😛 (Hey, uploading and writing memories of my days at the ES takes a lot of time, all right?)

November 15

Bread, chicken karaage, vegetable soup (Class 6-4)

Back after 2 weeks’ break from ES! I spent those 2 weeks conducting interview tests at the JHS. With a bad cough. Sitting in the corridor with drafts. No, it was not easy.
Anyway, back at the ES, I found out that a lesson was postponed because of the music festival, so we’re going to have to rehearse directions. It had me climbing a lot of steps that day…
And…bread…why bread again? T^T


November 22

Bread (again), chicken curry with beans, boiled cauliflower (Class 6-5)

6-5 is my favourite class. I usually have my first class of the day with them, since the HRT is in charge of the English lessons, so it’s a rare thing for them to have lunch with me. They cheered so loudly when they knew I was having lunch with them 🙂
But omg the number of steps I climbed that day! Even the 教頭 sympathised with me.


November 26

Rice, fish in ginger sauce, vegetable soup (Class 5-1)

Start of another full week at the ES! My first lessons with the 5th graders. The teachers had me walking around the school with the kids to practise “What’s this?” It would have been fine…if it wasn’t so DARN COLD. ><


November 27

Bread, bee hoon soup, korokke, apples (Class 3-2)

My 3rd grade teachers decided to have a double-period lesson of charades. It was kinda fun, and I got onto the floor with them doing imitations of gorillas and cats. XD BUT OMG TIRING.
The kids wouldn’t stop fighting for the apples. Hehe.


November 28

Rice, furikake, stewed beef & yam, stir-fry vegetables (Class 3-1)

Triple double-period charade lessons. BRB DYING.


November 29

Bread, spaghetti in cream ‘sauce’, fresh broccoli (not frozen) (Class 3-5)

Today the nutritionist asked the teachers to let the students know that the broccoli in the lunch are fresh, not frozen as they usually are. I was hoping that my class would have students who disliked broccoli but alas, just the opposite. They were very flavourful.
Double carbohydrate. Sigh.


November 30

Rice with hijiki, fried fish, miso soup with pork (Class 6-3)

It’s Lesson Observation Day!! Each and every one of the new ALTs gets observed by a CIR and some staff from the KEC. I later found out that I’m the only one observed at my ES and not my JHS, and I’m the very last one. The lesson (with 6-5) went perfectly, and they were impressed. (Then again, I had already done the lesson 4 times earlier in the day so…LOL.)


Another month over! December up next!

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Chronicles of an elementary 給食 (October)

Ya know, I am fully aware that half of November has already gone by. I plead illness and interview tests. More on those later.

Now, for the food! (My photo-taking is so regular now that my office ladies barely blink when they see me whip my phone out for a picture ^.^;)

October 2 (Start of a whole week at my ES! orz tired)

Bread, fried udon, yoghurt and…some bean mix thingy (Class 1-1)

It was pretty tasty. The kids couldn’t get enough of the udon but the bread…oh the bread. I actually traded in my adult-sized one for my P1 kid’s mini (he totally wanted it!), and it still nearly killed me.

October 3

Chicken karaage and vegetable soup (Class 6-3)

Simple and delicious. In this class, there was a boy with a milk allergy so severe we had to be careful to go far around him when we exited the class with our milk boxes.

October 4

Fried ikan bilis, bread and chowder (Class 3-3)

I loved the ikan bilis. Loved them! It was my first class with the 3rd years, and I fell completely in love with a couple of them when they came to me after lunch and asked me, “You’re so cute, why aren’t you married yet?” I couldn’t stop laughing for a long time after that.

October 5

Stir-fry chicken and さつま芋 (sweet potato) soup (Class 3-4)

I found something else I don’t like. さつま芋。Bleargh.

October 11

Hijiki+さつま芋 and cauliflower and bread (Class 1-2)

I don’t get this combination AT ALL.

October 12

Fried chicken balls, vegetable チャンプル and pear jelly (Class 6-1)

Yum! (For the record, I threw most of the rice back into the pot.)

October 18

Bread, cream stew, broccoli, fruit cocktail (Class 4-6)

I loved the broccoli and took lots of seconds! The teacher was happy to keep putting more on my plate. I think I ate a whole broccoli by myself…

October 19

Hijiki+vegetables, fried fish (Class 6-2)

October 25

Bread, stir-fry chicken, stir-fry vegetables and some kind of coffee flavouring for the milk (Class 4-3)

My Chinese roots protested against the bread and lack of rice. Rice! Rice goes best with stir-fry!


This 4th grade class was also the first class ever to invite me to play with them at lunch. We (actually, they) played dodgeball. I just ran around trying not to get hit. XD

A nod to Halloween from the kitchen stuff. LOL.

October 29

Stewed meat & tofu, stir-fry vegetables (Class 5-?)

A miscommunication between my schools had me working on my 代休. At least I get a replacement day off, to be spent in Kyoto!

We played with the kids at lunch. My school has an awesome huge slide and the 5th graders love to slide down while holding hands. Thrilling! Then we played dodgeball and tried not to get in the way of the ball again XD

But my favourite part of the day was when my 2nd graders came to grab me by my hands and drag me to their classroom, asking me, “What’s this?” all the way. If I wanted validation that I’m doing the right thing, that was it. /tears

So that’s the October edition of my 給食 adventures. Tune in for November’s version!

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Chronicles of an elementary 給食 (September)

Teaching elementary school is an adventure. Try keeping 35 kids below the age of 12 entertained for 45 minutes while trying to teach them a foreign language. Not easy! But they are a wonderful contrast to my quiet JHS students.

I’ve played tag with them at recess, got mobbed, climbed on, clung to. I’ve had kids point to their schoolbag and yell across the street at me on my way home,”K-sensei, what’s this?!” after a day of teaching them just that. And the best part of my day is always standing at the school gate saying goodbye and giving hi-5s to my little ones.

I take 給食 (kyuushoku), so my last class before lunch gets to eat with me. The kids janken with the teachers for the right to eat with me, even though they usually end up really quiet once I’m there. Still, I really like eating with them.

The food itself is an adventure! So, here are my 給食 chronicles for September!

September 7

Chinese-style egg stir-fry with spring rolls (Class 5-2)

September 13

Fried beehoon, siew mai, bread and pineapple jelly (Class 2-6)

The bread was a tad too much for me…these kids need the carbohydrates but not me! I gave half of it away.

September 14

Rice with umeboshi furikake, fried salmon and miso soup (Class 4-5)

The kid beside me added rice, added furikake, exclaimed “酸っぱい!” (sour!) at a bite, added even more rice, thereby creating a rice mountain. He finished every grain. (Except for the ones that got stuck on his shirt. LOL)

September 20

Bread, sweet and sour pork, edamame (Class 2-7)

I don’t understand. Bread with sweet and sour pork? Why not rice??
I made a sweet and sour pork sandwich in the end. The kids watched, fascinated, then proceeded to copy me. XD

September 21

Nikujaga (meat and potatoes), hijiki (seaweed), furikake (Class 4-2)

A very traditional Japanese meal. Some of the kids obviously hated hijiki, scraping off as much of it off their plates as they could.
My own problem was with the nikujaga. I really don’t have a taste for beef.

September 27

Corn chowder, stewed potato and meat, bread and sausage (Class 2-2)

Surprisingly, some of the kids didn’t like the sausage!
The chowder was a little watery. There was a kid with a milk allergy in the class, and he brought a box of wakame soup for his lunch.

September 28

Chicken liver stir-fry, miso soup, tsukimi dango (Class 2-4)

Without saying, I’m sure you know most of the kids don’t like the liver. I’m not partial to it myself, but I think of it as a source of iron. (I got rejected as a blood donor for insufficient iron. Curses!)

The tsukimi dango was pretty good, though I got reminded of mooncakes. (TwT) They gave me a chance to talk about mooncakes with the other teachers and staff though. Apparently they know what 月餅 is, though it’s pronounced geppei. They were surprised to know that they’re called mooncakes in English.

So that’s a month of 給食 adventure. Stay tuned for the next edition!